In September 1997, Phil Courson left Metro Life Church in Orlando and moved with his wife Kay, their children, and several families – all sent out from their home church to plant Abundant Grace. Their first meeting was held in a condo meeting room, and soon the young church moved to Westwood Middle School.
From there, the congregation moved to Lawton Chiles Elementary School, their home until the church built a building. During this time, the church added Shannon Day as a pastor, who was later sent out to plant a church in the Panhandle. Mike Gilland became a pastor and worship leader at Abundant Grace in 2002, having been a part of the leadership team at Abundant Grace’s mother church in Orlando for 17 years. In 2015, we added two bi-vocational pastors to our staff…Tim Blakemore and Rick Applegate. Tim, along with his wife Angie and their family moved to Gainesville to be part of the original church plant and has been our administrator. Rick, his wife Lettie and family, moved in 2002 to Abundant Grace from Indiana, where he had served as a pastor.
In 2003, the church purchased property on 39th Avenue, just 1.5 miles east of I-75, and by God’s amazing grace, the church was able to pay the cost of the land off just 10 months later! Groundbreaking for a permanent worship center on this property was held in January of 2007. Construction began immediately thereafter, and one year later, the church moved into our new building! The auditorium seats up to 650, and it is a multi-purpose room, doubling as a gym complete with a wood basketball/volleyball floor.
You’re invited to join our growing group of believers in one of our upcoming Sunday Celebrations at Abundant Grace! We hope to see you soon. Contact us for questions.