Located between Cape Cod and Providence, the South Coast region of Massachusetts has a population of approximately 350,000. Its largest city is New Bedford. Once home to 500 whaling ships, New Bedford became the wealthiest city in America and was known as “The City that Lit the World.” But, today 18.5% of the people live below the poverty line. And the city that lit the world is now receiving a different kind of light.
In August 2018, Morgan and Jess Proudfoot left The Village Church in Denton, Texas and moved to New Bedford to plant a gospel-centered church. They were joined by Luke and Dominee Callender and other core team members from The Village Church, while Grace Harbor Church in Providence provided oversight and financial support.
It was the perfect combination of church-planting essentials: pastors with complementary gifts and a mutual sense of God’s call to New England, generous churches committed to supporting them and a core team of members who joined in the work.
And work they did!
Within six months of arriving, they were given a badly damaged church building in downtown New Bedford that was scheduled for demolition. For a full year, with Nehemiah-like effort, their core team, joined by volunteers from Grace Harbor Church in Providence and The Village Church in Denton, worked to restore the building. They began meeting in the building on June 7, 2020 and three months later officially constituted as Grace Harbor Church of New Bedford.
Pastor Morgan Proudfoot has also launched Neighborhood Churches for Forgotten Places.
Through this ministry he is working to enlist church planters and partners to establish 30 more neighborhood churches in New Bedford and 20 neighborhood churches in nearby Fall River. Once again New Bedford is becoming the city that lights the world.