What We Believe 

Marked with the Cross of Christ, we are claimed, gathered, and sent for the sake of the world. We are "living Lutheran," as God calls and empowers us for mission through baptism. As a community of believers, we are justified by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. In "living Lutheran," we are always being made new.Sharing a common understanding of our faith as Christians, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) celebrates this unity.

  • We confess the Triune God-- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel, the power of God for the salvation for all who believe.
  • Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was made and  through whose life, death, and resurrection God molds a new creation.
  • The proclamation of God’s message to us as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and centering in all its fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
  • The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God’s Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God’s revelation, centering in Jesus Christ.Through them God’s Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.
  • We accept the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life.
  • We accept the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church.

For more information on our Beliefs, visit the ELCA page on "What We Believe"

For more information about the ELCA New Jersey Synod, of which Grace Lutheran is a member, go to www.njsynod.org 

Martin Luther makes an annual visit to Grace Lutheran in October on Reformation Sunday, to give us some of his more famous quotes.

"I would rather think of the church in the alehouse than think about the alehouse in church." He further captivated the church with the congregation reciting the  explanation to the three articles of The Apostles' Creed from memory. Well, almost, with the help of the Small Catechism. We are always being made new!!

Our Pastor

Pastor Gary A. Grindeland began his ministry at Grace English Evangelical Church in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Memorial Day weekend, May 26, 2013, where he became its first full time pastor in nearly three decades. In addition to this call, Grindeland also serves as vice pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Jersey City . Pastor Grindeland formerly served as Senior Pastor at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Delafield, Wisconsin, a 900+ suburb congregation in the Lake County of Milwaukee, Wis. He has also served congregations in Brookfield and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and Bethesda Lutheran Church, his home congregation, in Ames, Iowa.

Along with his experience in pastoral ministry, Pastor Grindeland has served in a variety of ELCA social ministry settings. Prior to his arrival at Christ the King, Grindeland was Vice President of Church and Community Relations for Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan, in addition to acting as State Coordinator for Lutheran Disaster Response. He remains active in disaster response,  serving on the Wisconsin VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) Long-term Recovery Committee. He co-authored a manual for long-term disaster recovery strategies, lessons learned from two 500-year floods in 2007 and 2008 that engulfed southern Wisconsin and a January, 2008 tornado.

Grindeland also served as the Pastor & Executive Director of Seafarers & International House, an ELCA maritime ministry that includes an 84-bed guesthouse near Union Square in New York City, which is a refuge for seafarers and sojourners from all over the world. Seafarers also provides chaplaincy services to ships in port from New Haven, CT, to Philadelphia, PA.

Pastor Grindeland has supervised 11 intern pastors, ten from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, and one Episcopalian intern from Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin. He is presently a member of the Foundation Board of Nashotah House Theological Seminary and serves as a member of the Hand in Hand Bayonne board, Eger Lutheran Homes and Services board in Staten Island, the Bayonne Mental Health Association board, along with membership in the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce.

He also holds longtime memberships in the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and the Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE).

Grindeland's travel has allowed him to preach in well over 500 churches in the past twenty years, where he has established long-term relationships with fifteen ELCA synods and one Missouri Synod district. This outreach has also spawned several ecumenical partnerships, a movement that drives to the very core of what it means to be the Church. Grindeland believes that "we really are stronger together!" It remains Grindeland's passion to make that dream a living reality in his walk of faith.

Our Church Leadership

The Church Council is an elected group of lay leaders responsible for the oversight of the congregation.  

Church Council 
  • Glenda Alvarez - Secretary
  • Herman Brockman (2019)
  • Adrian Davis (2021)
  • Valerie De Vincenzo (2021)
  • Patty Espejo (2021)
  • Pastor Gary Grindeland
  • Ken Poesl (2021)
  • Peter Roman (2019)
  • Rick Ruggirello (2019)
  • Jilly Sookdeo - Treasurer
  • Andrew Wodzanowski (2020)
  • Jennifer Zinone (2020)
  • Mike Zinone (2019)

  • Patricia Espejo, Anointing of Oil/ESL Classes/Web Master
  • Irene Dwyer, Facebook/Confirmation
  • Kim Martinez, Birth Parent Education & Lamaze classes
  • Kim Norton, Hand in Hand Music School/WELCA
  • Valeria DeVincenzo, Home Communion Outreach/Prayer Group/Call List
  • Pat Ward, The Fun Factory
  • Marianne Greiman, Director of Worship & Music/Memorials
  • Carol Ursilli, Confirmation Assistant/Kitchen Crew
  • Joan Srednicki, Altar Guild/Assisting Ministers
  • Erin Katchmar,  Art School
  • Leslie Levine,  Citizenship class
  • Jennifer Martiak - Sunday School
  • Diane Richie, Parent Empowerment Program/ Bayonne Women's Club
  • Michele Dupey, Public Relations
  • Shawn Norton, Worship & Music/Bayonne Theater Company
  • Jennifer Lubach, Artistic Design/Bayonne Theater Company
  • Dana Solan-Gonzalez, Decorations and Centerpieces
  • Diane Gilbert, Parish Nurse                         
  • Toni Ervin, Certification Training for Preschool Associates (CDA)
  • Peter Roman, Hospitality/Social Events
  • Annie Wickersty, Cradle Roll
  • Rick Ruggirello, Fellowship Hall Rentals/Maintenance
  • Art DiVincent, Maintenance Projects
  • Ruth Smith, The Green Gardener
  • Andrew Wodzanowski, Memorial Bricks
  • Joanne Lucey, Book Club/Bible Study Leader

Our History

Grace English Lutheran Church was established in 1907 and served the Bayonne area with four other Lutheran churches for many years. These churches captured the flavor of their ethnic roots with Norwegian, Swedish, and German influence. Over time the other Lutheran church closed their doors making Grace Lutheran the only remaining Lutheran presence in Bayonne and southern Jersey City. St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church combined with Grace Lutheran church in 1975 and incorporated elements of their tradition 
and architecture into Grace Lutheran. More recently, Zion Lutheran in Jersey City closed its doors in 2012 and several families of Zion have made Grace their worship home. Besides this, many other current members have come from other Christian traditions, from Roman Catholic to Pentecostal, from the Church of South India to Caribbean Anglican.


Proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we provide meaningful worship, pastoral care, and space to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the Bayonne community. 


Grace Lutheran Church in Bayonne believe that God is love and is made visible in our outreach to the larger community in relationships that foster a greater sense of belonging, where we, in turn, are empowered to serve those in need.

As children of God, baptized into the body of Christ,
God has called us to love God and love one another through worship, service, and supporting ministries of healing and wholeness throughout the Bayonne community. Trusting the Holy Spirit to equip and strengthen us, God is calling us to: 

  • Nurture and expand our Christian faith so that the Grace family will be of greater service to God and Bayonne both now and in the future.
  • Share our physical resources with the larger community, where the love of Christ is recognized through our  programs, activities, and programs as a place of healing and wholeness.
  • Strengthen ecumenical relationships with other churches and community organizations, with the understanding that God's love is shared most effectively when we work with others, because we are stronger together!

    Driven by the selfless love of Christ 
          Christ-centered Mission
    Each person of Infinite Worth
          Each a unique child of God and priceless
          Identity realized in community; we are Stronger together 
          Always being made new; recreated in the image of God
    Excellence in Service
          God's Work--Our Hands 

    We are Grace Lutheran Church
                    Connected to Christ...Connected to Each Other...Connected to Community!!!