Finding a new church can be difficult. There are so many factors that go into finding a place of worship that is right for you. Unless you are a local student, new students at Greenville University have to go through the church hunting process when they first arrive. When searching for a church, not only is the building itself and the congregation important, but also the pastor. Luckily, Greenville is not lacking in good churches or good pastors.
First Christian Church is a nondenominational church located at 1100 Killarney Drive in Greenville. FCC believes that “the Good News of Jesus Christ is for all people.” Pastor Tyson Graber has been the lead pastor at FCC for around 3 years after serving in Herscher, Illinois for 15 years. Graber grew up in southern Indiana with a younger brother and sister and is now married with four boys and one girl. Graber accepted Christ as his Savior at a young age. “From birth, I was blessed by hearing about God’s love for me and the truth that Jesus died for me so that I could have a relationship with Him. As a young boy, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It was during my teenage years I began to gain an understanding of the beauty and power of God’s Word in my life.”
As a teenager, Graber was told by numerous people that God was calling him to go into ministry. However, Graber was stubborn and wanted to become an engineer. He attended one year of junior college in a pre-engineering program, but discovered that he was losing his passion for that field. “It was during that year that God’s call on my life to go into the ministry also grew stronger,” said Graber. During that same year, Graber began preaching occasionally for a very small country church and leading youth ministry events in his hometown. God then blessed Graber with a scholarship to Lincoln Christian College where he studied Youth Ministry and Preaching.
Fifteen years into serving in Herscher, Illinois, Graber remembers FCC calling and looking for a pastor to follow the leadership of their retiring pastor of over 40 years. Graber and his family put a lot of prayer and faith into their decision and decided to move to Greenville around July of 2017. Over the years, Graber has fallen in love with FCC and its growing congregation. “I love FCC’s commitment to Christ and its desire to share the Hope we have in Him!” Graber has been blessed with a fruitful career as a pastor and it has come with many highlights. “The greatest highlights for me as a pastor are most certainly watching people come to a personal relationship with Jesus. Every time someone accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior it is an amazing blessing to share in. I have also been blessed to mentor a number of former students of mine to the full-time ministry. During this recent COVID crisis, a highlight has been to continue to help God’s people and the community to find hope in Jesus Christ,” shares Graber. He speaks more about these rocky times with COVID-19 and shares that he has recently found a lot of comfort in Ephesians 3:14-21. “This passage really encourages me about how much God has the ability to bless and provide for us during these uncertain times. He is able and willing to share more than I can even think about. I love dreaming about God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven and how He is going to make that happen through His power and the Church worldwide. No matter how much I can dream, He does more!”
Graber is strong in his faith and is passionate about sharing the Word of God and Christ’s love with others. He loves being able to minister to new members at FCC and would love to have Greenville students visit! FCC has Sunday services at 8:00 am, 9:30 am, and 11:00 am. There is also a Wednesday night service at 6:30 pm.