About UsOur History
In the late 1990s, a small group of believers contacted the EFCA Central District office with a desire to plant an E-Free Church in Marshalltown. A committed lay leader from First EFC in Ames named Mel Swenson began to come to Marshalltown to lead a small group Bible study and make evangelistic calls around the city. Under the leadership of the District Superintendent, Ray Johnson, and Pastor Bob Niewendorp from Iowa Falls, the small group began to hold Sunday morning services in various temporary locations.
In early 1990, Pastor Damian Efta and his family moved to Marshalltown to provide temporary pastoral leadership until he had raised his support to serve as a missionary to Poland. The 23 charter members of the Evangelical Free Church of Marshalltown were officially recognized on September 12, 1990. Shortly thereafter, Pastor Damian left for Poland leaving the young church plant to find another pastor.
In March of 1991, Pastor Bob Kosbau, his wife Jenny, and their family moved to Marshalltown to pastor this small, diverse body of believers. After meeting in four different area schools, the growing congregation was able to purchase a former warehouse building at 3111 S. 6thStreet in Marshalltown in September of 2001. That winter, they completely remodeled the interior of the warehouse for the first phase of their building for offices, classrooms and a sanctuary, meeting for their first service in the new building on Easter Sunday 2002.
Since that time, the church has continued to grow and expand, adding a Student Activity Center and student ministry room, a larger sanctuary, a large children’s ministry area, adult classrooms and a large kitchen and commons area. The leaders were led to invest strongly in student ministry with the leadership of Pastor Steve Howe (2002-2008), Pastor Steve Brant (2008-2014) and Pastor Scott Byers (2014-present). Pastor Brent Thiessen joined their staff in 2011 as their Children’s Ministry Pastor. Their ministry to Children in the Marshalltown community has grown through afterschool Good News Clubs meeting at four different schools in the city. In 2014, Pastor Steve Brant transitioned as the Sr. Pastor of New Life Evangelical Free Church in Tama, a church plant of the Marshalltown church.
In October 2018, the Evangelical Free Church of Marshalltown changed their name to Grace Church to better reflect their identity and mission of proclaiming the Gospel of God’s Grace. We remain joyfully committed to the EFCA and the shared vision of advancing the Kingdom to the ends of the earth.
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