Gracepoint Davis Church

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Location
607 Pena Drive
Meetings
Sunday Worship Service: 1:00pm
123 Sciences Lecture Hall, UC Davis campus
(Please check the website for the latest info.)
Email
<info AT gracepointdavis DOT org>
Phone
(530) 750-3256
Website
[WWW]http://www.gracepointdavis.org
[WWW]http://www.facebook.com/GracepointDavisChurch

Gracepoint Davis Church is a local Baptist congregation that meets at 123 Sciences Lecture Hall on the UC Davis campus.

Their webpage explains that, "
Gracepoint Davis Church seeks to point the way to Jesus who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6) It is our mission to be the body of Christ that raises teams to plant an Acts 2 church in every college town (Acts 2:42-47). Our congregation is a growing multi-ethnic community, composed largely of college students, graduate students, and post-undergrads (average Sunday attendance of ~250). We have people who’ve never stepped foot inside a church and people who’ve been to church all their lives. Some have questions about God or life and come looking for answers. Others want to be raised to become the next generation of Christ’s disciples to impact the world. Check out our “Church Life at a Glance” to get a sampling of what we do together.

Gracepoint Davis Church is led by Pastor William Kang, who recently joined us in 2011. We are a member of the Southern Baptist Convention and a part of the Sacramento Association of Southern Baptist Churches. Our church was planted on September 21, 1997 as an extension of our church in Berkeley (Gracepoint Berkeley Church). We are also a member of the Willow Creek Association of churches. We recently helped plant a church in Austin Texas and we have a vision of helping plant an Acts 2 community on every college town!

So, whether you’re someone who is a spiritual seeker who is starting to ask questions about God, or you’re a committed Christian who wants to sink the roots of your faith deeper, you can find a home here at Gracepoint Davis Church." If you have any questions or comments, please contact Pastor Will at our website.

* For other churches in Davis see Religious and Spiritual Organizations.

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2012-09-04 03:38:11   I was a former "core" of Gracepoint Davis and I am here to give a friendly warning to those who are looking for a new church. When I was a freshman, I was lured into Gracepoint Davis (formerly known as Waypoint Davis back in the day) after hearing about their free food. After coming to the meetings/messages, I thought that the staff was very friendly. I considered Gracepoint Davis my new spiritual home.

However it was not until the 2nd year when the true nature of this church became apparent. Church leaders began "weeding" out students who did not fit their strict, legalistic forms of living out the Scripture. A notorious example is the church's No Dating Rule. Those who were caught dating were to be rebuked strongly and forced to break up with their significant other. Other examples include the formulaic daily devotion and the "unofficial" attendance quota where you had to attend as many meetings as possible that included prayer meetings, friday nights, and sunday worship days. Violating or failing to fulfill these guidelines in following the Scripture will result in your unpleasant rebuking.

The church preaches "Death to thyself" many times with emphasis on Luke 9:23. The concept of death is a very confusing one, and was meant to resemble one's death to his/her sinful past and to pursue a better future in Christ. However, the church's description of "Death to thyself" is vague and is twisted in a fashion to manipulate and intimidate churchgoers. Any doubt on church leadership or doctrine is a sign of pride and not "death to thyself" which justifies the church's leaders to rebuke you.

The church puts much effort in routing undergraduates' time from studying to church activities. While I was a "core" at this church, I was pressured by my leaders and peers to serve. However, it was not just ordinary serving; brothers and sisters were expected to serve for many days of the week to the extent their academics suffer. I was a pre-graduate student deciding between graduate school and medical school, so my grades had to be stellar (~3.5). My leader, noticing that I was not serving as much as my peers but instead studied most of the time, suggested that I was "not putting God at the center of my life" but instead focusing on my own priorities. I was dumbfounded.

Ultimately I decided to leave. I disagreed strongly with the practices of this church as they were unusual and unhealthy. I was disgusted by the leaders' treatment of my peers who in their eyes rebelled and swayed away from God. I was broken after hearing of an undergraduate couple that was yelled at and forced to break up after keeping their relationship secret for a long time. I'm not kidding.

Now just to let you know, this was during the time when Pastor Jonathan Lee and Susanna Lee were around. They were recently moved to Berkeley. I do not know how the new leadership is now, but I pray they do not follow the patterns of spiritual abuse that was prominent in Jonathan and Susanna Lee's leadership era.

Attending Gracepoint Davis / Waypoint Community Church was a big regret in my undergraduate years. Please, if you are looking for a fellowship, look elsewhere. DO NOT GIVE YOUR REAL PHONE NUMBER otherwise your inbox will be littered with GP event text messages and/or voicemail spam. They're trying to lure you in! READ what others have testified regarding this church.

YELP: [WWW]http://www.yelp.com/biz/gracepoint-berkeley-berkeley?sort_by=date_desc
Note - Gracepoint Berkeley is the mother church of Gracepoint Davis. The culture is similar between the two churches.

Twisted Gracepoint: [WWW]http://gracepoint-berkeley.blogspot.com/2010/06/gracepoint-berkeleys-systematic-loop.html
Note - The original blog was shut down after a previous anti-Gracepoint blog was allegedly hacked.

Former Berklander: [WWW]http://formerberklander.blogspot.com/2009/08/legalism-and-policing-behavior-at.html

Keywords: Spiritual pride, spiritual elitism, spiritual abuse —KevinYu


2012-09-28 17:04:14   I am thankful that we were able to celebrate our 15th Anniversary at Davis last week. It was a reminder of God's goodness and faithfulness in my life as well as the life of our church. Matthew 13:31-32 talks about the mustard seed and I remember from our first service in 1997 how that was the word of encouragement shared that with time, we can become a community where people can find rest in God and in the body of Christ.

Through the years, I have experienced a lot at this church being given opportunities to serve and to share God's love with many people, whether college students, international graduate students, and working professionals. Recently we've also started to visit three nursing homes on Sundays to provide a worship service for them, and are also now helping five other local churches in the Davis/Sacramento areas with their youth ministry. One thing I realized through it was that though people are different, we all are searching for meaning and purpose, and in the end share the common need for the Lord.

Recently returning from our church in Austin back to Davis, I was grateful to see how our church has grown through the years, seeing many transformed lives by the word of God. My prayer and hope is that God will continue to use us to reach out to our city and beyond. —JohnLin


2012-10-04  
In my two years at Gracepoint Davis Church so far, I have experienced a community of faith in which the Bible is taken seriously, and where people just try and love God and live out their faith. The vision of an Acts 2 Church in the college town of Davis is being lived out, as we experience people coming to know God's love and compassion in a very personal way through devotion to "the Apostle's teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers." Come and visit, and experience for yourself the truth of what the church is actually like, which I have experienced as that place of love, commitment, understanding, compassion, faith, where God's name is lifted up and honored.


2012-10-04 14:51:03   I have been with this church since it was planted some 15 years ago. It was lonely being one of the first couple dozen people to attend the church, but I am so thankful to have personally witnessed Gracepoint grow into a sizeable church with a variety of ministries. Though it has grown, our church still feels cozy and people know one another. I am serving on staff along with some of my college buddies. It's such a blessing to have grown in the church during college years, serve on staff together and now we have started families in Davis and are still serving in the church. College can be a vulnerable time as people struggle to hold onto the faith of their youth. For others who never attended a church, it is a time when people are open to seeking God and finding out more about the Christian faith. I am thankful that at Gracepoint we try to fill both needs by strengthening those who grew up in church as well as share the Gospel with people who never heard about God. Hope to see you at Gracepoint! —LemMaghamil


2012-10-05 11:17:10   I stumbled upon Gracepoint Davis when I was a freshmen at UC Davis and I'm so thankful for what I've experienced here. When I started coming out to Gracepoint, I remember two things, one was how friendly people were and the second was how the messages were so relevant to my life. It was the first time I could actually relate to the Bible and apply it to my life. At Gracepoint, I saw people genuinely living out their faith, and loving each other. Throughout the years I've experience this love tangibly through being carried by my brothers and sisters during some difficult times with my family. I'm thankful for the community here that is committed to me. Since coming to Gracepoint, I've grown so much in my relationship with God and grown in my understanding of God's heart for people. So if you are thinking about checking us out, please feel free to come on by. —ChristineChang


2013-04-10 17:49:39   I am a former member. I knew most of the reviewers who have posted here personally during my time there. I wholeheartedly agree with what Kevin Yu stated. There are many people that have been hurt by the practices of this church. I’m writing this because I was hurt for many years, both while I was a member and after I left. That part of my story is not unique to myself, many former members have similar experiences. I genuinely hope what I write can help anyone who is currently attending or is a former member or even thinking about going. Please note, that the other reviewers after Kevin’s post talk about how great the church is without directly addressing the many problems he brought up. They may be trying to act Christian and take the high road on a public internet forum. Rest assured, they will likely not discuss or try to address these issue in private either.

They may do some good things, especially to outsiders looking in. So maybe I shouldn’t just make a blanket statement like, don’t go to this church. Rather, I think this is the church for you if:

- You don’t believe in confidentiality. All the information you write on your reflection sheets are circulated and systematically shared in staff meetings. Keep in mind there is a lot of soft pressure to be as honest and forthcoming as you can on these. Anything you tell your leader gets reported back up the chain so the upper staff knows what you are “struggling with.” Former staff members have confirmed that they had “quotas” to meet in terms of how much they share about their ‘sheep.’
- You have too much time on your hands. Or if you’ve ever sat down and thought, you know, I should be spending every waking free moment of every day doing some kind of church activity. And I’d really like someone to be looking over my shoulder and get on my case if I don’t.
- If you truly believe God wants you to be subservient to a church leadership structure, even at the cost of your own mental health. I’m not exaggerating, there are people who left this church that had to seek psychiatric care and medications.
- If you’ve ever thought, “Choosing a spouse is hard. Wouldn’t it be easier if there was a committee of church leaders to pick my spouse for me? I’d like it to be a surprise as to who, when and where they decide, without regard to my opinion on who it is. I don’t care if we have any shared interests, personality traits, mutual attraction or compatability, what our families think of each other, etc. After I meet him/her, I’d like to go through an expedited dating process of about a month, and let the leadership make most of the major decisions in regards to when and how our wedding will go.”

Unless of course, the leadership overlooks or forgets about you and/or decide you are not “spiritually ready” to be married. Be ready to be single a long time. Cause you should never make a decision like when or who to date on your own. I can’t make this stuff up, I seriously believe this church on it’s way to starting a monastery.

- You are ready to sacrifice your career, education, grades and interests if they are perceived to come into conflict with serving the church’s’ interests. I quite literally almost failed out of school due to this church's practices and pressure to attend church activities.
- If you think sleeping is for wussies. I got rebuked several times for sleeping too much. I didn’t even know that was possible- I thought when you are hungry, your body is saying you need food. When you are thirsty, your body is telling you to drink something. When you desire love, something like love must exist. But if you feel tired and sleepy, it’s cause you’re a selfish lazy bum that needs rebuking. These rebukes weren’t very consistent either. Later I was rebuked for not being enthusiastic enough at church activities, probably because I wasn’t sleeping enough.
- You firmly believe that leaving a church or changing your opinion over time as you grow up is a Cardinal sin. Pay attention to how they talk about former members- most if not all of them were too prideful, too angry, too selfish, too *****. They don’t make it easy to leave, and once you do, it’s a full on character assassination blitz.

When I was a freshman, one of the staff told me, and I'm paraphrasing, "**** is a religion based on fear. Christianity is a religion based on love." Looking back, this seems ironic. When I was there, I remember being afraid a lot. Afraid of being rebuked, of being reported on to the leaders about something, about when or if I would be 'ready to date' in their eyes, if I would have to drop out of school to keep up with all the church activities. In conclusion, I’ve come to terms that in their minds, I will always be in the wrong, because I have challenged the infallible wisdom of the leadership of this church. —jonwoo


2013-09-18 10:15:35   My experience at Gracepoint Davis wasn't like the negative comments featured here. I was a churched kid who wasn't really interested in seeking God in college, but through the invitation of a friend I gave Gracepoint a shot. And I was taken aback and pleasantly surprised. People were so friendly, leaders were genuine, and the messages were spot on (the praise wasn't so bad either!) All in all, it was unlike my previous church experiences because people took the Bible seriously and they genuinely loved each other, and exhorted us to do the same. And it made sense to me. So it really helped me take my faith seriously since coming to this church. So that was one thing that struck me. Another was how open the lives of the leaders were. They regularly invited us over to their houses, shared vulnerably about their fears, and let us just do life with them. I appreciated that the leaders were so open and honest. I really liked that because I didn't see any pretense or fakeness about them. Everything that they preached on Sunday was lived out Monday through Saturday. My suggestion for anyone reading this posting who is considering finding a church in Davis, please don't let the negative comments deter you. Especially if you're like me and need to find a spiritual home, I'd recommend giving Gracepoint a shot. It's not a perfect church, and they don't claim to be. But I can guarantee that they try their best to love God and obey His commands. And if you have questions about anything about this church, my experience (and suggestion) is to talk to one of the leaders about your concerns. They are pretty open about talking about these issues that people have, and hear for yourself whether what they say makes sense, before making judgments based on some comments from people you don't know. Just my two cents. —PhilChoi


2013-09-19 9:51:12   I grew up going to church all my life but came to college with a lot of questions about God, Bible, Jesus, etc. Since coming to Gracepoint Davis in my freshman year at UCD, what I appreciated most were 1) the church’s conducive environment so that I could seek God and have a safe place to ask my questions, and 2) the fact that I had spiritual mentors to help me grow in my faith and character, by careful instruction of the Bible and by example. I look back at my college days spent with GP Davis members with a lot of wonderful memories and nostalgia. My friends and I would study hard together, take study breaks together, give and receive tutoring. In between my studies, I got to serve on our church praise band, attend fun outings to Yosemite and retreats, attend discipleship meetings, regularly go over to our pastor’s home for fellowship over warm scrumptious meals, and much more. GP Davis is the place I found wholesome fun with a group of sincere believers who try their best to live Biblically and try to teach others to do the same. More than anything, it was the place I found the love of Jesus, and the community with whom I’m still experiencing the reality of God’s love to this day. From day one, I was captivated by the fact that the messages I heard made the truths of the Bible so personally relevant and applicable in my life. If anyone is seeking answers about God or life’s many questions, and would want to do so with a loving Christian community with spiritual peers and mentors, I suggest that you just come and see for yourself. —LindaU


2013-09-28 01:51:41   "And if you have questions about anything about this church, my experience (and suggestion) is to talk to one of the leaders about your concerns." That's like saying, "If you have any questions about your country, ask your politicians. They will tell you the truth." nice try. —ppan



2014-01-30 02:32:43   I am currently a student at UC Davis. I major in Computer Science and I am currently attending Koinonia (a branch at Gracepoint) for my second year (and counting). It has just come to my attention that Gracepoint have a bad reputation for trying to draw you into Christianity. I have to admit, it is a bit more extreme than my hometown church. When I mean extreme, I mean that it requires much more dedication. Although it is understandable that people may find dedication to be very bothersome (I did too), but doing something for God can make your life 10 times more awesome. This year, and last, I felt that I never been closer to God. I have never seen so many miracles occur in my life. Because of Gracepoint, I have begin to be better at doing daily devotion, fighting temptation, and becoming a better person.

My short testimony is that I was a totally d-bag in high school. Sorry, I can't really find any other word to describe myself. I was mean to my brothers, a disobedient kid, and I would chase after girls like how dogs would chase after skateboarders. Yes, I was Christian, but I didn't act like it. People back in my high school would say "There is no way you are Christian!" I would would up a fake personality in my church and go back being the "bad boy" that I was when I step onto high school campus. I would almost get into fights and continue to sin. I am definitely someone that people would call a "Christian".
However, after coming to GP, I began to challenge myself on being a better person. True, I did almost end up getting in a fight my first couple weeks my first year and I wasn't perfect (still isn't) in life, but I felt my relationship with God become much stronger and my attitude and personality improved through daily devotions and messages in church.

Would I have had the same personal growth and spiritual growth if I had gone to a different church? Yeah, that would have been possible. However, the "intensity" of the Gracepoint church may be necessary for college students especially due to the change in environment. When I was in high school, drinking, drugs, and sex were taboo. If someone did one of these things, the whole school would know about it. However, in college, drugs, sex, and alchohol consumption is considered norm. I believe that the huge change in the school environment may call for a need a change in your spiritual life too. Gracepoint really help me focus on God and school rather than the so called "College Life" You can have a college life without drinking, taking drugs, or getting a girlfriend! Trust me. I am a single sober college student and my life is pretty awesome lol!

Some people may have misconceive the kindness of the staff for a fake attitude to bring people into church. This may have been caused by people who probably never received from an altruistic act for another person. They probably believe that blind love doesn't exist and that there is some type of ulterior motive behind the act of kindness. I am not saying this to belittle anyone who have made this misconception, but because I was that person who had felt the same way before. The invitations to outings and food is just GP's way to show it's love to its church members.

I am not saying that Gracepoint is the best church on campus or that Gracepoint is flawless (but I am saying that Pastor Will is an OG. Check out his break dancing vids on youtube haha). Churches may be different but God stays the same. If you don't feel right at Gracepoint, feel free to join other Christian fellowships. I heard that AACF and CRU are pretty good on-campus Christian ministries too. Don't give up on God and do the right thing! —DerekChung

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