Graceway is a church that understands the importance of family. We believe that young people aren’t just the church of tomorrow, they are the church, here and now. We understand that parents are the most influential voice in their kids’ life. Our goal is to partner with parents by giving them resources to help develop young people who are equipped to grow in their relationship with Jesus.
Pastor Donivan Best
The church was founded by Dr. Wendell Zimmerman in 1943 as Kansas City Baptist Temple (KCBT). Dr. Zimmerman was one of the first radio preachers and had an audience in Kansas City where he was invited to participate in revival meetings. These tent revival meetings lasted a year-and-a-half, and culminated with the foundation of the church in April of 1943. KCBT soon purchased an old auto garage and adapted it for a church building.
In the late 1950s, church members personally constructed the old Baptist Temple building, located on Swope Parkway. It was dedicated on Easter Sunday in 1957, and it was home to KCBT until the church moved to its current location.
Following Zimmerman’s resignation in 1968, KCBT called Truman Dollar to be the senior pastor. Pastor Dollar continued the tradition of solid biblical content in his messages, and he became one of the first preachers in the metropolitan area to televise services. In 1984, Dollar resigned from KCBT to assume the pastorate of the Temple Baptist Church of Detroit.
In 1984 Pastor Jeff Adams returned from serving as a missionary in Central America. to become the third pastor of KCBT. In 2017, Pastor Adams announced he would be entering a new season, stepping down as lead pastor, and the search began for his replacement.
Tim Dunn joined Graceway in March of 2017 as a co-lead pastor. Dunn came from Indiana, where most recently he had been the executive pastor at a large, multi-cultural church. As a youth, Dunn had traveled to Kansas City to attend conferences at then KCBT and was discipled at First Baptist Church of New Philadelphia in Ohio, a longtime partner with Graceway. Tim and his wife Ashley have three children, Noah, Emma, and Isaiah.
Over the past 74 years, Graceway has trained and directly sent out approximately 80 pastors, missionaries, and other leaders to places in the United States and all over the world. Approximately 20 autonomous churches have been directly or indirectly started in the Kansas City region out of Graceway, and those churches have a combined weekly attendance of several thousand.
We believe that the Bible is the inspired and complete word of God without error. It was given to man so that we may know and love God, understand the gift of salvation Jesus Christ offers to us, and is our source for spiritual growth.
2 Tim 3:16
We believe in one God who exists as three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Sprit (The Trinity).
1 John 5:7; Mat 3:16‐17; 28:19
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is God in human form. We believe He was tempted by Satan in all points like we are, yet without sin. We believe He allowed Himself to be crucified in order to pay the penalty for all our sin, He rose again from the grave on the third day, and He now sits on the right hand of the Father in heaven.
I Tim 3:16; Luke 1:35; Isa 7:14; Mat 4:1‐11; Heb 4:15; 1 John 2:16; Rom 5:11‐21; 1 Cor 15:3‐4; Col 3:1
We believe the Holy Spirit is fully God and the current, earthly manifestation of God through His indwelling of the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He seals the believer and baptizes him into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation with the goal of teaching God’s Word and conforming the believer to the very image of Christ.
1 Cor 3:16; John 16:7; 1 Cor 12:13; Eph 1:3‐14; 1 Cor 2:9‐16; 2 Cor 3:17‐18
We believe salvation is by God’s grace alone on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and in His resurrection. We believe that salvation is available to anyone who will personally believe in his heart and confess with his mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord. We believe this salvation cannot be reversed or lost, and believers are kept by the power of God.
Eph 2:8‐9; Rom 10:9‐10; John 10:28‐29; 1 John 2:19; Rom 8:35‐ 39; 1 Pet 1:5
We believe the Church, both worldwide and local, should be a witness to the world. The ministry, worship, and teaching of each local church should creatively adapt to the particular culture it feels called to reach, but without compromising Biblical absolutes.
We believe that the first man and woman were created in God’s image and thus all humans have great value in God’s sight. But, when the first couple sinned, they brought both physical and spiritual death to the human race. As a result, all human beings are born with a sinful nature, commit acts of sin in their lives, and must be reconciled to God through the death of Jesus Christ.
We believe in the literal, physical return of Jesus Christ to the earth in power and great glory to judge the world and reign.
Acts 1:11; 2 The 1:7‐10
Pastor Tim Dunn
Our Lead Pastor Tim Dunn has a heart to reach Kansas City and the world with the love of Jesus Christ. His desire is that every single person in Kansas City would discover the reason that God created them and use those gifts and talents to help make a difference in their community.
What are your weekend services like?
Each weekend at Graceway you’ll find a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with exciting, contemporary worship music and a relevant message from the Bible.
What will happen when I visit for the first time?
If you are visiting for the first time, we will not embarrass you or have you stand up. We know that many people want to check out the church and “be anonymous” for awhile—and that’s fine with us! Come in, enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, and see if Graceway for you.
What should I wear when attending Graceway?
You’ll find everything from casual clothes to business suits at our Weekend Services. Come in what is comfortable for you, because Graceway is not about what you look like or what you wear.
What about my children?
At Graceway your children are a top priority. Our nurseries are clean, safe, and staffed with loving workers. We offer a dynamic children’s ministry called Skykids as well as life-changing ministry to students from junior high through college.
How can I meet others and get connected?
There are many ways to get involved. You can begin by attending our Growth Track. Small groups are another great way to connect. In each of these, you can build friendships, learn more about the life of our church, and have the opportunity to grow in your faith.
How can I be discipled and grow?
Our desire is to see you become a fully-devoted follower of Christ. Our Growth Track offers the tools necessary to make this happen in your life. You can begin the process at any step in our Growth Track.
Why do you have small groups?
Small groups are an important part of Graceway; in fact, you haven’t fully experienced the church until you’ve experienced our small groups. Groups allow you to meet other members and develop relationships that will spur your relationship with God. As Graceway grows, groups allow us to “stay small” and connected. Groups are available for all ages and interests—there’s bound to be one that’s just right for you. Learn more about why we’re big on small groups, or find a group to visit in our directory.