A Place Called Grace
In early January 1993 there were several newcomer families to this area which included Michele and David Anderson, Carl and Carolee Todd, Joyce and Tom Duckworth, and Linda and Andy Frauenhoffer. They were attending church services at Tates Creek Presbyterian Church in Lexington whose minister was the Reverend Al Lutz. This group encouraged Reverent Lutz to come to Danville and start a Bible study group with the possibility of establishing a Presbyterian PCA church in the Danville area.
By late January 1993, Reverend Lutz began a began a Bible study class on Wednesday evenings in the basement meeting room of what is now the U.S. Bank building on South Fourth Street in Danville.
By June 1993 the group had grown to approximately sixteen couples which included Tom and Joyce Duckworth, Carl and Carolee Todd, Andy and Linda Frauenhoffer, Brian and Laurie Ellis, Jere and Mary Caldwell, and Warren and Janet Nash.
The first Sunday evening service was held on September 12, 1993 at 6:30 p.m. at the old Holiday Inn. The Reverend Kurt Gardner from Trinity PCA church in Richmond gave the message and Reverend Al Lutz officiated.
By October 1993 we had bulletins and music led by Tom Duckworth with Kim Gardner (Reverend Gardner’s wife) playing the piano. Michele Anderson and Carolee Todd ministered to the children while Linda Frauenhoffer took care of the nursery.
Al Lutz announced early in November 1993 that Peter and Terri Bartuska with their very young daughter Taylor would be coming to Kentucky the weekend of November 20, 1993. On Sunday, November 21, 1993 Peter preached the Sunday morning service at Tates Creek and a Sunday evening service in Danville at the old Holiday Inn. This same evening, the deed for the Burgin Road property was presented to the church. Also that evening, a discussion was had concerning a name for the new church in Danville. Name suggestions were: Christ Presbyterian, Grace Presbyterian, Candlewood Presbyterian, Faith Presbyterian, New Life Presbyterian, Redeemer Presbyterian and Our Savior Presbyterian. At an organizational meeting Sunday December 19, 1993 we voted unanimously to select “Grace Presbyterian” as our name, and Peter Bartuska be called as our planting minister. The closest name contender was Christ Presbyterian. There were 17 counted votes on these issues.
In January 1994 on our first anniversary, eleven families were committed at that time to Grace, with eight additional families seriously considering commitment.
On November 6, 1994 Peter conducted the first communion service at the Day’s Inn.
On March 12, 1995 Peter was installed formally as pastor and the first group of ruling elders were ordained: Jere Caldwell, Tom Duckworth, Brian Ellis and Andy Frauenhoffer. This took place at our new meeting location, the Children’s Learning Center on Lebanon Road at the Danville By-pass. This was followed by the first session meeting March 30, 1995 at our office location on Walnut Street across from the old Post Office Building.
A ground breaking service was held for the new Grace Presbyterian Church building on our property May 23, 1999. Then with the construction under way, on October 31, 1999 a “Sign and Celebrate” service was held in the building for signatures and scripture verses to stand for posterity.
Since entering our first sanctuary in 2000 Grace has experienced steady growth. In 2003 we began our first expansion project and in July 2004 we completed the expansion with additional classrooms, nursery, kitchen space and seating to accommodate 400 people.