People matter in Memphis GCI
People matter in Memphis GCI which began in 1961 as the first church east of the Mississippi in the old Worldwide Church of God, forerunner of GCI. GCI means Grace Community International with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. People matter in Memphis as the city is self-described as proudly middle-class with a strong working-class presence.
Through the many ups and down of a church now in its 58th year – through the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. to the arrival of the massive Fedex Fleet – a core group has remained loyal to Jesus Christ and to each other. During many Victory Expressions in weekly services the common refrain is, “I’m just glad to be back here among friends.”
Such friends include Ebonee Clark who takes a leading role in the STEP UP program in aid of citizens working through Down Syndrome. She and her family have been leaders in the annual fund-raiser involving the mayor and the famed Memphis Tigers basketball team. For years Memphis hosted the Mid-South winter gatherings for the youth of GCI.
The church rallies around gifts and funding for such worthy causes as Raleigh-Egypt Elementary School and just recently contributed to support Gideon’s International in response to a talk given in church by Don C. Beer of the local Bartlett, TN chapter. Don reported enthusiastically about the feat of placing 450 Bibles in Guest House Hotel, the recently opened major accommodation unit next to world-famous Graceland, home of Elvis Presley.
In this tourist-oriented town Community of Faith stays open for visitors. We’re a people-oriented church where each and every one of us has a chance to be involved in the Great Commission. Says long-time elder and member Cleo Henderson, “I first attended in 1971 and this congregation has been a life raft for me. In 1964 I asked God to bring me out of darkness and he brought me here.” Come along, and bring a friend.