Local pastor closes Monson’s Grace Community Church
MONSON — After eight and a half years, Grace Community Church closed its doors at Easter.
Pastor Larry Desreuisseau posted this statement on the Grace Community Church Monson Facebook page: “The Lord has called us to another season of trust and obedience in our life and ministry. After more than a year of prayer, listening, discernment and discussion, we will be closing the doors of Grace Community Church.
He continued: “After eight and a half years, it comes with great sadness, but also with hope. There may be heartbreak in that, but so much gratitude. It also comes with “great anticipation of all the good that God has in store for all of His children moving forward. I ask you all to continue to pray for us as we move into what He has already laid in place for us. Know that we will forever hold you in our hearts and continually lift you up to God in prayer.
Pastor Larry and his wife Tammy started Grace Community Church in an apartment with six people in Palmer. They rented space at Brimfield Congregational Church on Saturdays for a year and a half. Then, six years ago, they rented the building at 125 Main Street in Monson to serve on Sundays and all week. Grace Community has been involved in Summerfest every year, providing free games for children with prizes and a prayer tent. The Desreuisseaus opened their church so that they could use the bathroom and the air conditioning if people were hot and gave free water. They also hosted a family game night, open mic night, Christmas parties, and carol singing. The church was very successful until 2019, with more than 40 members, and a building fund was launched the same year.
Tammy explained: “It’s not the fault of COVID[-19], but slowly it seems people have started to stop coming for their own reasons. Just before COVID[-19]our numbers were starting to drop in 2020.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, the church has held services online. When they reverted to full service, they eventually only got half of the attendees, but still posted their services online for those who couldn’t. “It really hindered the growth of our church,” Tammy said. “But my husband and I kept going because we love our community and we love the people.” She went on to say, “To move forward, God put it on our hearts to go into the mission field and we are going to leave this community.”
Grace Community Church was through the Assemblies of God, an internationally recognized organization. Wilbraham’s Evangel Assembly was the parent church of the Desreuisseaus in their early days. The Desreuisseaus encouraged members of their congregation to attend Evangel Assembly at 348 Stony Hill Road. at Wilbraham, and other local churches which they considered to be of equal quality if Wilbraham is too far away.
“We don’t know what God has in store for us,” Tammy replied. “By our faith and hope, whatever God wants us to do, we will do.”