Grace Fellowship Church 
Renovated Grand Union  
Latham, NY

Grace Fellowship Church is a non-denominational congregation in Latham, NY. The church contains a 1500 seat sanctuary, over 15 classrooms, 2 cafes, a youth club, several meeting rooms and offices, and is home to several clubs and meetings. Grace Fellowship is in a renovated Grand Union Grocery Store. The congregation has been in the grocery store for 2 years now. In this time, they have doubled the size of their congregation. The Grand Union sat empty for 4 years before Grace Fellowship breathed their life into it.

The Grace Fellowship Church began in Chestertown, NY in 1985. Chestertown is an "exit community," meaning that it exists right off an exit on the highway. Exit towns survive mostly on traffic from the highway- in this case, specifically exit #25 on the NY interstate 87. Because of the church's proximity to the highway, they established a congregation that drove from many different communities to attend the church. As the church grew and decided to move into a larger structure, it was clear that it was important for the church to be in a central location, so that it would be easily accessible for people who were coming from all over on Interstate 87. In 2001 it was time for the congregation to move to a larger building. At that time, the size of their congregation was at about 600 people.

There were several options for the new building. Latham, NY is a retail community, also an "exit community," right in the middle of the Empire Region near the state capital of Albany, and the congregation decided it was a good spot for their growing congregation. There were several options available in Latham, especially in the way of strip malls. For various reasons, the grocery store was the building that made the most sense.

The Grand Union building that they currently occupy was abandoned in 1996, as Grand Union grocery stores began to close all over the northeast. It had been empty for about 5 years when the Grace Fellowship bought the building in 2001. There was a solid year of renovation before the church moved in in May of 2002.




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