In the Spring of 2002, at an annual conference of grace-oriented teachers, pastors, and laypersons, Dr. Charlie Bing gave an impassioned plea regarding grace and missions. Specifically, he observed when grace is the first on the scene and is established, it takes deep roots for a fruitful ministry. Dr. Earl Radmacher then challenged those in attendance to “do something.” A year later, nothing had been done.
CONSENSUS AND COORDINATION
Concurrent with the conference, Dr. Bing organized a meeting of the same leaders. It was generally agreed that there was a need for an organization that can do more to coordinate and promote the Free Grace position throughout the United States and the world. While many groups were serving a valuable purpose, it was the consensus of those meeting that something different, but complementary, was needed.
Most grace-oriented organizations have a purpose which includes “promoting the clear proclamation of God’s free salvation through faith alone in Christ alone.” This is a noble and appropriate focus, and one rightly shared by many of us. Leadership and connection, however, is the missing ingredient in our efforts. At the urging of a number of those meeting, Fred Lybrand, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and Pastor at Midland Bible Church (Midland, TX), took up the Phase I role of coordinating the effort and seeking to establish a viable organization. In October 2003, Fred Lybrand, Charlie Bing, and Earl Radmacher conferred to establish an initial strategy for a Free Grace Alliance.
On November 17, 2004, an historic meeting in San Antonio occurred where a like-hearted group of leaders met and birthed the Free Grace Alliance.