Grace Church – Sarasota, FL
Church Plant Profile
Church Planter: Jorge Acevedo
Church: Grace Church
Location: Cape Coral, Fort Myers Shores, Fort Myers Central, Fort Myers Trinity, and Sarasota, FL
Jorge Acevedo was born in Puerto Rico and moved with his family to the United States at an early age. Jorge’s life was touched by the grace of God at seventeen. Jorge, who was rescued from a life of addictions, believes his greatest delight is connecting people to Jesus and the church. Jorge tells the story:
“I had what you might call a nominal religious upbringing. Church was a very small part of my childhood, but I quit going to church when I was thirteen. The pastor yelled at me and my friend Alex for fooling around in the back of the church during a service. I was so embarrassed that I left church that night and never returned to any church for five years. During those five years, my life spiraled into a world of drugs and alcohol. By the grace of God, a Campus Crusade for Christ area director led me to Christ shortly before I graduated from high school.”
After answering the call to ministry, Jorge was appointed pastor of Grace Church in Cape Coral, Florida, in 1996. Under his able leadership, Grace Church has become a thriving multi-site, United Methodist congregation in Southwest Florida with five campuses (Cape Coral, Fort Myers Shores, Fort Myers Central, Fort Myers Trinity, and Sarasota). Grace Church has grown in its weekend attendance from four hundred to more than 2,600 in the past nineteen years.
Grace Church is recognized as having one of the largest and most effective recovery ministries in America, with more than seven hundred people involved in weekly meetings. In 2003, Grace Church planted a second campus in East Lee County by adopting a declining United Methodist church. Today this campus has more than 375 people in attendance. In 2007, Grace Church purchased a former grocery store and in November 2008, opened the Grace Community Center, a holistic ministry center and home to the third worshiping community of Grace Church. Jorge and Grace Church are an example of how God can multiply His church to reach a geographic region through multi-site church planting and multiplication. For more information about Jorge and Grace Church, visit http://www.egracechurch.com.