About Us


We are a gospel-centered city church in Philadelphia, desiring to be part of God’s work of calling people from all nations to be reconciled to Him and to each other through Jesus Christ. We call ourselves ‘non-religious followers of Jesus,’ recognizing how ‘religious, institutionalized Christianity’ has created confusion about what it means to be a Christian and how the Christian life is to be lived. We submit to the authority of Scripture and rest in the sufficiency of the saving work of Jesus Christ. We are an ethnically diverse congregation of young and old, rich and poor, college grads and high school drop-outs who seek to encourage one another to grow in the fullness of life and ministry to which Jesus has called us.

Though we want you to visit our Worship Services and Grace Groups, we realize that because of the brevity and uncertainty of life, we may never get to meet you. Our primary concern is that you understand who Jesus is and why He came to give his life for you. Please use the following link for a brief presentation of the only two choices that you and I have in life: How Can I Become A Christian?


Sunday Mornings at 10:00 AM

Bilingual services in English and Spanish. Listening devices available.

All are welcome.


Grace Church of Philly worships in Feltonville at:

123 E Wyoming Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19120


Our identity as Grace Church of Philly is centered on God’s evangel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to give us eternal life. To God’s glory, the Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe. Our fundamental theological convictions are aspects of this Gospel.

God’s gospel originates in and demonstrates the holy love of the eternal, triune GodWe believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This one God, all-knowing and all-powerful, has, in love and grace, purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to restore His fallen creation for His own glory (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 1:3-10; 2:4-9).[1]

[1] Scripture references are representative, not necessarily exhaustive.

God’s gospel is authoritatively announced in the ScripturesWe believe that God has spoken through the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments. They are the verbally inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete and sufficient revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority that stands over every realm of human knowledge and endeavor. Therefore, the Bible is to be believed in all that it affirms, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises (John 10:35; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; 3:15-16).

God’s gospel alone addresses our deepest human needWe believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned through the temptation of Satan, corrupting that image. As a result, all humanity is alienated from God and under His wrath and can be rescued, reconciled, and restored only through God’s gracious work in Jesus Christ (Gen. 1:26; 2:7, 18-22; Ezek. 18:20; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 5:12, 19; 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:21; Eph. 2:1-3, 12).

God’s gospel is revealed in history supremely through the Person of Jesus ChristWe believe that Jesus Christ, Israel’s promised Messiah, is God incarnate, one Person consisting of two natures, fully human and fully divine, who was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of God the Father, He is now our High Priest and Advocate (Matt. 28:5-7; Luke 1:35; 23:33-34; John 1:1-2; 8:58; 10:25-30; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; Titus 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:22).

God’s gospel is accomplished through the work of ChristWe believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, died on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His shed blood and resurrection are the only ground for salvation, and it is through faith alone in Christ that anyone is justified before God (John 3:16; Rom. 3:20, 25; 5:9; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-9; Col. 1:20; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5).

God’s gospel is applied and empowered by the Holy SpiritWe believe that the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ by convicting the world, by regenerating sinners into union with Christ, and by indwelling, sealing, guiding, instructing, equipping, and empowering believers for Christ-like living and service (John 3:3-5; 16:7-15; Acts 2:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Cor. 1:22-23; Eph. 1:13; Titus 3:5).

God’s gospel is now embodied in the new community called the churchWe believe that the true church is composed of all those who have been saved by God’s grace through faith and regeneration by the Holy Spirit and are thereby united together in the body of Christ of which He is the Head. This church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of members of the true church. The two biblically mandated ordinances of the church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, visibly and tangibly express this gospel, strengthening our faith. They are to be celebrated by the church in obedience to Christ, but are not a means of salvation (Matt. 26:26-28; 28:19; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:38, 42, 46; Rom. 6:5; 1 Cor. 11:23-32; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:15; 5:23, 32; Col. 1:18; 2:19).

God’s gospel compels us to Christ-like living and witness to the worldWe believe that God’s justifying grace in the gospel must not be separated from its sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves, acting with compassion toward the poor and needy, seeking justice for the oppressed. In fellowship with one another, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil, especially with the Word of God, prayer, and good works. In all that we do, we are to bear witness to the gospel in word and deed, making disciples among all people (Deut. 6:4-9; Matt. 22:34-40; 25:31-46; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 4:34; Rom. 12:12; 1 Cor. 7:5; 2 Cor. 2:11; Eph. 4:26-27; 5:10-20; Phil. 4:6; Col. 3:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; James 4:7; 5:16; 1 John 3:16-18; 4:4).

God’s gospel will be brought to fulfillment by the Lord Himself at the end of this ageWe believe in the personal and glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with His holy angels, when He will fully establish His kingdom and exercise His role as Judge of all. This coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, requires constant expectancy and should motivate the believer to godly living, sacrificial service, and energetic mission. This is our blessed hope (Matt. 25:31; Mark 8:38; 14:62; Acts 1:6-8; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Titus 2:13; Jude 14-15; Rev. 1:7).

God’s gospel calls for a response which determines the eternal destiny of every personWe believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel, turning to God in repentance to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that in the bodily resurrection of the dead, the unbeliever will face judgment and eternal conscious punishment, while the believer will experience eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord, to the praise of His glorious grace (Matt. 3:2; Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:9-13; 2 Cor. 5:6-10; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 20:4-15). Amen.

We believe that our sexuality and its expression was designed by God at creation, and that our sexuality and its expression was part of God’s original and good design for mankind, and is clearly communicated to us in the Scriptures. Male and female were both created in God’s image, and we affirm that God’s perfect design for all sexual activity is between one man and one woman in the context of the marriage bond. We recognize that, as a consequence of the Fall, all men and women are sexually broken and thus relate in twisted ways to God, self, others, and nature. Therefore, all expressions of sexual activity outside of the bond of marriage are sinful and are a distortion of God’s good design. This includes all involvement with pornography, sexual fantasy, sexual addictions, adultery, homosexuality, gender distortions and any other sexual activity outside of marriage. All sexual sin grieves God and is offensive to His Holiness, and all sexual sin ultimately harms people, whether it is homosexual or heterosexual sin.

We believe that homosexuality is not what God wills for human beings made in His image. We affirm that both homosexual desire and behavior are expressions of mankind’s fallenness, and like all other types of sexual sin, needs to be confessed, renounced and forsaken by those who would be followers of Jesus Christ. We believe that God has always called men and women out of homosexuality or other sexual sin patterns and into the new life of His kingdom through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Thus any attempt to claim, cultivate, or promote a gay identity for oneself is out of place in a confessing Christian since it necessarily competes with the holy identity in Christ that every believer has been given and must claim by faith. We believe that Christ gives to all who seek it a growing freedom from the compulsive pull of all sorts of sinful sexual fantasy and behavior. This does not preclude the possibility of serious lapses of love and obedience on the part of those who truly believe, but such must be evaluated in light of the ordinary path and process of sanctification in which God places all of His children. Such failure on the part of believers can never be taken as license to abolish the call to holiness or to allow a reinterpretation of the Scriptures that permits a “gay Christian” theology.

In subscribing to these Articles of Faith, we by no means set aside or undervalue any of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. We believe the sixty-six books of both testaments to be God’s own written Word, breathed-out to us through the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16). We deem that the knowledge of and adherence to the statements of truth outlined in our Articles of Faith is necessary for sound doctrine and thereby, requisite for Christian fellowship.

In all matters of biblical interpretation and theology not discussed in the Doctrinal Statement, the Elders will arbitrate which teachings contribute to or detract from the unity of the church.


As God’s people, we want all those living in Feltonville and surrounding communities to experience life as God meant it to be in a church. To accomplish that:

  • We Gather each Sunday to worship our great Lord and Savior in spirit and in truth
  • We Grow through small group Bible study and fellowship to lead grace-filled lives of genuine significance for the glory of God with other believers
  • We Give our resources and time to support the work of God and to love to our community with acts of kindness
  • We Go to intentionally make disciples both locally and globally in announcing the Good News of God’s grace to all peoples without regard to ethnicity, gender, or social standing

Transformational – Prayerfully depending on the power of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to transform any life.

Relational – Joyfully offering love and grace to everyone regardless of where they are on their spiritual journey.

Incarnational – Practically living out the gospel of grace within the culture.

Missional – Intentionally committed to engage those who do not know or misunderstand Jesus.


The leadership team for Grace Church provides oversight, shepherding, and teaching for our gathering in Feltonville. Their desire and commitment is to model and teach what it means to have an identity secured in the gospel, a daily experience empowered by the gospel, and an investment of life which advances the cause of the gospel.

All of our Elders function as pastors and overseers in the church.



John and his wife Dawn moved to Powelton Village in August 2009 to start Grace Church of Philly in University City. John is the lead pastor at Grace. He was born and raised in Philly and believed it was time to come ``home`` and invest his life planting churches in Philly. John has been senior pastor for over 40 years planting churches in Buckingham, PA and Queens, NY and serving two other churches in Brooklyn NY and Roslyn, PA. John and Dawn have been married for 49 years and have five children and 12 grandchildren.



Steve and Kathy have been married for over 45 years and have two married sons and two grandchildren. They planted their first church in Philly in 1982. From 1988–1998 they were engaged in church planting and pastoral training in France and Romania, and Steve was involved in pastoral training in Eastern Europe, and the Middle and Far East before returning to Philadelphia in 2009. Steve is the author of seven books on missions and the French Protestant Reformation. His 2021 book on the French Huguenots was awarded the 2022 Scholarly Works Award by the National Huguenot Society. His latest book (May 2023) is “French Protestantism’s Struggle for Survival and Legitimacy (1517–1905).”



Theodor and Love Yonkeu came from Cameroon in West Africa to the United States with a passion to reach a diversity of people for Christ. In Africa and France the Lord used them to plant many churches, and they expect that by His grace, they will assist in the planting of many more in partnership with Grace Church. Theodor and Love have being married for 20 years and have 3 children.



Rolando and Doris Diaz are from the Dominican Republic. They have been married for 28 years and have 2 children.

Rolando has been a pastor for 36 years. He started his ministry in San Pedro de Macoris (a town in the east of the country) where he was a pastor for 15 years, (1980-1995). From 1995-2005 he was church planting in the capital city, Santo Domingo.

Rolando and Doris moved to Philadelphia and planted “The Christian Biblical Community” in Philadelphia and Allentown Pennsylvania. Both are Spanish- speaking churches. After 11 years the church merged with Grace Church of Philly and shares with them the same vision of a multi-ethnic ministry in preaching the gospel of Jesus to a diverse community.



Gary has been married to Que for over 25 years. God has blessed them with two grown children, John and Lora. They are long-time residents of Mantua in West Philly.

Gary, originally from Pittsburgh, graduated from Indiana Univ. of Pa. and moved to Philly in 1975. He began teaching music in the Philly School District, first at the Powel School and more recently at the Masterman School. Que is from Philadelphia and works as a school nurse for the School District.

Both Gary and Que are dedicated believers with many years of experience working with children and youth, teaching Sunday School, serving on church councils, leading Bible studies, and using their musical gifts. Their prayer is that Grace Church will continue to preach the truth of the gospel while seeking to reflect the diversity of the University City area.

Jose and Elizabeth Mota


We welcome Jose Mota and his wife Elizabeth to Grace Church. Jose and his wife moved to Philly from Alaska, where they had been living and serving the Lord. They have two beautiful daughters and a son. Jose will serve as a Pastoral Intern facilitating evangelism and discipleship among both English and Spanish peoples.