Posts tagged testimony
Abbey And Andrew's New Member Testimony

God Is Building Our Church

On Sunday we had the privilege of hearing Andrew and Abbey’s story of the Lord leading them to our church. Here is what they shared:

My wife Abbey and I are excited and grateful to have officially joined this church as members two weeks ago. The road here has had some unexpected twists, but the grace of God has marked them all. 

I first heard about Sovereign Grace several years ago from my good friend, Mark Esposito.  After that, I began listening to Pastor Eric on the podcasts. I also came to the Christmas Eve service at Sovereign Grace with my family for several years. 

Pastor Eric is a very unique pastor. I have never heard a pastor preach with such enthusiasm, charisma, authority, and grace. Many pastors are only one of those things.  Before I began attending Sovereign Grace, I went to mega churches out of convenience, but wasn’t finding the right fit. Due to the importance of fellowship, I began attending regularly in October 2017. The Esposito Family always made me feel so welcomed and at home.

Then, I met Abbey in January 2018 and we began dating. Church is very important to both of us and shortly after we began dating, we started going to church together. We alternated between the church she was attending and Sovereign Grace. After discussion and prayer we decided to attend Abbey’s church together. I remember the conversation with Pastor Eric in the cabin at the men’s retreat. He was gracious, sad to see me go, but happy to see me pursuing a godly woman.

During our time at Abbey’s former church, we had discussions about what we were learning, our fellowship with others, and church practices. We realized through our discussions and prayer that we did not agree with much of what was going on there. So, after a few months of regularly attending and participating, we left.

When we left, we were not sure where we wanted to go next. We thought we might be in for a season of church hunting.  Instead of church hunting, I gently persuaded Abbey to give Sovereign Grace a try again. Right in between leaving the other church and re-attending sovereign grace, we got engaged. We were both drawn to the community oriented feel of Sovereign Grace.

One of the other major draws to Sovereign Grace was Abbey’s rich history in Old Towne Orange. She has lived in this city her entire life and attended school here. Her first jobs were at the Army Navy Store and Watson’s. Her step dad is a city councilman and both he and Abbey’s mom are heavily involved in the city. The whole family has a passion for community engagement. Abbey’s dream was always to put roots down in Old Town and to live near the circle. What a blessing to be brought to a church in the community Abbey loves and I have come to love too.

We have been so welcomed by the Sovereign Grace church body and everyone is so friendly. We love our small group and friends we’ve made here. I am grateful for how this church takes care of each other, which was graciously illustrated when Mark Esposito crashed on his bicycle two weeks ago while we were riding together. Within 10 minutes of the incident Pastors Eric and Mike had been informed and were contacting me to help however they could. Mike and Lois came to the hospital to be with Michelle. It is wonderful to see how the church practices caring for each other.

The community is great, but more importantly Sovereign Grace shows the signs of a true biblical church.

Abbey and I are blessed to have godly friends from this body to fellowship with and grow together.  We are so grateful to be members of this local church.

Jessica's Testimony

On Sunday, we welcomed Jessica as a new member. She shared with us why she is glad to call Sovereign Grace Church “home."

I was a member and on staff at a large church. It was at that church where I became a Christian. It was there where I discovered the value of community and discipleship. It was there where I encouraged, loved, and challenged. I was deeply connected. It was home.

But a little over year ago I knew that it was time for me to find a new home. I just didn’t feel like I was growing spiritually anymore but I wanted go hold on because it was all I had ever known. I was torn and confused.

I shared this with a friend of mine and he invited me to Sovereign Grace. I agreed and visited. Of course I was nervous because I hadn’t been the new person at church in a very long time. But I was warmly greeted as entered and even invited to go to someone’s home for lunch. I was taken aback at everyone’s warmth and genuineness. It was overwhelming in the best way.

I visited other churches trying to find a new home but would go back to Sovereign Grace. There’s just something about this church.

I joined a small group, attended fellowship events, and made incredible friendships here.

I am so thankful that God in this season of my life has me at his very church and I am so excited to be a part of it.

I am growing here, I am challenged here, I have community here, and I am loved and encouraged by others here. This is home.

Abby's Testimony

On Sunday we celebrated and prayed for students in our church that just graduated from high school. Abby shared about her time growing up in Sovereign Grace Church and the impact you have had on her. Here it is in her own words:

I’ve been attending Sovereign Grace Church of Orange for about 11 years. I graduated from High School last week and there's one big thing I want to say:

Thank you for supporting me.

Whether it was being encouraged through the Pastors’ sermons, commiserating with my fellow high schoolers, or being renewed every Sunday through worship, you have all cared, not only for me, but for every young person in your church.  

The youth mentorship program in particular was huge blessing for me. I was paired with Grace Wang and we spent our time studying the word and exploring how to apply it to our lives. If you are a high school student who isn’t sure if you want to take part in mentorship I would strongly urge you to. 

Shockingly, I have found that older adults actually have some valuable wisdom.  

Youth group has also blessed me. We take time to tackle and discuss difficult topics and we puzzle through them together. Through our discussion, we have all learned how to arrive at truth together. That is a lesson that I have found to be absolutely invaluable in adult life.

You all are accepting of high schoolers, who can be a bit much at times. Instead of asking us to watch others serving and to learn from them, you actually encourage us to take part in ministry.  From the time I began attending Sovereign Grace as a squirrely 7-year-old, I have been urged to live out my faith by serving. I still remember Mike Davis teaching me how to plug all the cords into the soundboard when I was 10 years old. This practice has fostered a clear maturity in all the youth at this church.  

I think one thing that sums up how I feel about you, Sovereign Grace Church, is that every time I have brought a friend to church with me, later, when I asked them what they thought, I invariably got the same response: “People actually introduced themselves to me…it was weird.” 

Keep being weird.

Keep being welcoming and loving without limitations. Thank you for bearing with me through my many moody and awkward phases. Thank you for teaching me to, as Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come.”

We Want To Tell Your Story

We love Sundays because the church is all in one place. We are serving. We are singing. We are ministering to one another. We get to see it and experience it. What a joy.

But being a Christian is a full-time job. You are serving and representing Jesus all week in your homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods.

We Want To Know About It

We want to know how you are serving Christ the other six days of the week and tell your story on the blog. This will encourage us and bring glory to God.

If you're willing to write a paragraph or two to be shared, you can find instructions and submit here. If you want to see an example to get inspired, check out Rachel's story.

Thank You For Sharing Your Life In Christ With Us

Christy Graduates From College

A Job Well Done

This weekend Christy graduates from college with a degree in graphic design. She's been working on her degree over the past few years while being wife to Dylan, working a job, and serving the church in various capacities (hosting and leading Tea.ology, small group ministry, photographing our events, and more). We're grateful for her life of joyful service.

We asked Christy to share a few thoughts as this season comes to a close. Here's what she said:

I've learned many things over the course of my college career in graphic design. Some been silly, like making sure Rob is the one working at the 24/7 FedEx Print Center when you have to go in at 2:00am to finish a project. Other things have been career-focused: graphic design is much more than simply creating pretty page layouts.

Still, there are several things which I humbly admit I never ended up figuring out - that is, how to prioritize my time so that I am able to "do everything," as some friends think I do.

Despite all this, the truth that has reverberated so clearly in my heart and mind throughout these years is that the Lord is faithful and so, so good. He has never ceased to provide for my family, kindly sustaining us and opening doors that we didn't even know were there. When my heart was tempted to feel discouraged by my performance, the Lord so quickly reminded me that my confidence and salvation are in Him alone. College was a great experience and a true gift, but as the Lord is bringing this season to a close, I find myself most grateful for Him. 

Kara and Sue's Testimonies

This past Sunday we heard from two women with two very different stories who have both seen God's grace at Sovereign Grace Church. They set out to encourage the women of our church on Mother's Day. Here they are in their own words.


I have been attending Sovereign Grace for the past three and a half years and have seen God’s grace through pretty much every woman I know. These women are not perfect-including myself--but they seek after God. Whether it is a woman learning the ropes of motherhood or a woman trying to figure out what’s next in her career, God uses those who've already been there. There is encouragement when one comes upon trials, worries, or hardships. But there is so much rejoicing from literally everyone when prayers are answered, fears are eased, and God’s righteousness shines through our lives.

God has given the women of Sovereign Grace the gift of forgiveness, encouragement, courage, and strength--to name a couple. There is joy in my life knowing that the Lord has placed these women in this chapter of my life. They must be pretty important if they’re written into it because God could’ve picked anyone and he picked all of you. If you’re new, get to know them, if you’re married to one, pray for them, and know that they are an incredible gift from God.


I sat around a kitchen table with a group of women a few weeks ago. We were candidly talking about our lives and our struggles. Not in these exact words, but each of us expressed a desire to persevere. The question is, how do we get through each day? How do we persevere?

There are so many scriptures that address this. We’re encouraged to run, be patient, to wait, suffer, not be weary, and not give up. I love John 15:5, which says: "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, 
he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."

As women, some of us are:

Looking for wisdom as parents.
Feeling the weight of caring for others.
Trying to extend grace to imperfect people.
Praying that the Lord would bring the right guy into our life.
Looking for a job with a future.
Burdened with financial problems.
Asking God to bless us with a child.
Barely hanging on in a battle against sin.
Working toward academic or professional success while being fully devoted to God.
Wondering if the morning sickness will ever end.
And some of us can’t remember the last time she had a full night sleep or a coherent thought but still aspire to function with endless compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, oh and creativity too.

Perseverance looks different for each one of us but the source of our ability to endure without yielding is the same. It’s all about abiding in Jesus Christ. Apart from
him we can do nothing, but as we abide in Christ, by God’s grace we will persevere.

Paul's Testimony From The Men's Retreat

On Sunday Paul shared how the Lord met him at our Men's Retreat:

Let me begin by mentioning that I attended the retreat because my wife encouraged me to go and assured me that she and our 5-month old daughter would be just fine. So a big thank you to her.

At the Men's Retreat I experienced the oneness of the body, seeing all the men from different churches dwelling with each other in unity. It reminded me of Psalm 133:1: "How good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity." We sang with passion. We prayed. We listened and learned. We competed against each other (with humility). We had fun.

 Near the end of the retreat we were given the opportunity to speak about what God was laying on our hearts. Our fellow church member Miguel spoke about several things, but one thing he did say was "There is much hope in the Christian life!"

It filled me with joy being reminded that the Father sent His beloved Son to die and to redeem us from our sins so we will live at peace with Him forever, all because He loved us. Like we studied in Romans 8:32 "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" God is going to care for us all the way to the end.

I love being a part of a church with men who love God and are committed to their families and their church. Thank you to the men who I count as dear friends. Thank you to the rest of the church who sent us.

Stephanie's Testimony

We are blessed to be in a church where women take the initiative to disciple other women. Our February Women's Retreat was the most recent expression of this commitment.

On Sunday Stephanie shared how the Lord met her at the retreat. Here it is in her own words:

At the end of February, I had the opportunity to attend my first women’s retreat with Sovereign Grace Church and I loved it! It was so nice to spend time in prayer, singing, Bible reading, and fellowship with the women of this church. 

The theme was Drawing Near To God and the teaching was centered on a series of activities that could guide our quiet times and devotionals, such as confession, praise, petition, intercession, and thanksgiving.

So when the retreat began with "God is not impressed with our quiet times”, I was really taken aback by this truth. It is so easy to get caught up in thinking that somehow quiet times and spiritual disciplines will earn God's favor, but this is so far from the truth. 

At the women's retreat, I was reminded that quiet times are a means of grace, not to grace. God is not impressed with our quiet times, but as Hebrews 4:16 says we can “…With confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."