When Greg and Cara Grimwood sought rest and renewal for God’s call in ministry, they returned to his hometown, Wooster, Ohio. As they prayed, they met FEC church planting leaders in Ohio and considered planting a church in Wooster. As he and Cara prayed about the target community, they realized that the south side needed a church. That prayer was realized on November 18, 2018, when Southside Community Church launched in South Wooster.
The south side has experienced slower economic growth, and fewer churches have been established there. To reflect their commitment to the community of South Wooster, Greg and his launch team chose the name Southside Community Church. Then, he began the search for a meeting place. Locals repeatedly told him, “You’re not going to find anywhere to meet in South Wooster.” However, the team believed that God had called them to that part of town, and He would provide a place for them to meet.
After visiting possible sites, Greg said, “Let’s check the Best Western,” located near the downtown area. When he met the general manager and asked about the space, he discovered that she had been praying for a way to use the hotel’s space to serve God. The hotel management rented the space to the church and provided a mail slot and storage closet, too.
When the church launched on November 18, 141 people came to show their support. One woman came in a wheelchair from a block away; she had been hoping for a church in her neighborhood. A couple who have lived on the south side all of their lives joined the launch team, saying, “This is an answered prayer.” Greg has met young people associated with the college who have been praying for a new church on the south end of town. Southside’s associate pastor, Alex Kacere, tells the same story of praying for a church outreach in South Wooster.
As the Grimwoods begin meeting people in South Wooster, they are eager to hear their stories and bring the message that overflowing life is found only through Jesus Christ.