Pastor Portraits- Rev. Tracy Gruggett


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I was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, where I currently live and serve as the minister of Grace RCUS. I did not grow up in a covenant household, yet Christ brought me to Himself through His Spirit and Gospel around the age of 22. That was about 23 years ago.

I did have some exposure to the Gospel as a youngster, from time to time, going to church with a friend. For a while we lived outside of town on Taft Highway. My parents rented a house owned by Panama Baptist Church. Our house was next to the church, so I, with my brother and sister, started going to the church on the invite of one of the Sunday School teachers. Eventually my brother and sister stopped attending, but I kept going on my own for a little while longer, hearing Pastor Roger Spradlin preached the gospel. I did not become a Christian then, but I believed that what he said was true. The seed of the Word had been planted, but God had yet to give the increase, it seems.

About a decade afterwards a friend, with whom I served in the military, was converted to Christ. And I was reminded through conversations with him that I needed to be converted as well. I began reading my Bible, reading all of the Gospels while stationed aboard a ship in the Pacific Ocean. When I came back home, I started attending church and listening to sermons on the radio. I believe that it was somewhere in this period that the Spirit of Christ regenerated me. I soon made a public profession of faith which marked a transition from old life to the new man God has called me to be in Christ.

I attended a charismatic church at first, but soon changed to a fundamentalist Baptist congregation. The Reformed faith came next. Accepting the doctrines of grace posed no problem for me. I remember reading a presentation of five points of Calvinism by Loraine Boettner, and his clear and convincing explanation, presented so many verses supporting each point of doctrine that it was evident for me the five points of Calvinism were clearly Biblical. It should be said that I had no prior convictions about doctrines of predestination or freewill. So I didn’t have to wrestle as many understandably do. I’ve been in the Reformed faith now a little over 23 years, the entirety of that time as a member of the Reformed Church in the United States.

My wife, Michelle, grew up in Ashley, North Dakota. She and I met through the match-making designs of mutual friends Jim and Thelma Sawtelle. Jim, who is famous for being the president of the RCUS Synod, was my best man. Michelle and I have four beautiful daughters, Samantha, Angela, Lydia, and Corissa.

After seminary, I took a call to Covenant Reformed Church of Watertown, South Dakota, where I serve for six years. I have been serving Grace Reformed Church in Bakersfield since 2007. Like all minister of Christ I am nothing more than a jar of clay called to preach and teach the rich treasure of the Gospel.

Sola Deo Gloria

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