This Thursday August 21 is a historic day in Alexandria history. It’s the 75th anniversary of the Alexandria Library sit-in led by Samuel W. Tucker, what is believed to be the first civil rights sit-in in American history. On this occasion, our lead pastor Jonathan Matías retold Samuel Tucker’s story and preached a synopsis of what the Bible says about race.

Listen by clicking the play button below, and follow along with this visual presentation.

Race, Cross, and the Church: Toward a Biblical Theology of Race by gracealexandria

Sermon Title: Race, Cross, and The Church: Toward a Biblical Theology of Race
Sermon Text: Genesis 1:26-28, 8:13-17; Ephesians 2:11-22; Revelation 7:9-10

Read more about the historic sit-in here and here.

Click the link below to listen to an audio recording of the sermon.

Chris Sicks, NavPress author and pastor in Alexandria, will be preaching about mercy ministry at 10:30 am on Sunday November 17, 2013, at Grace Church of Alexandria. Join us at 10:30 am to hear Chris–an engaging, thoughtful, compassionate believer–share how we can make God’s gospel love tangible to people in our city.

Chris has an incredible story of grace to tell, about how God has led his church Alexandria Presbyterian Church to have a powerful ministry to refugees in the Washington D.C. area, which has opened up countless doors to witness. Read the story here.


As I’ve gotten to know Chris, by his life I’ve been personally challenged to reassess how I should more actively and lovingly care for the physical needs of people in my life. By sacrificially meeting physical needs, this opens up doors to speak the truth of the gospel to hurting hearts. Chris has challenged me–what he would call a “word” person”–t0 also be a “deed” person, to make God’s gospel love touchable and real to people, so they will be more open to the saving message of Christ. As Chris says,

“I find it fascinating that Jesus chose to help hurting people as the most frequent proof of his divinity. He could have commanded the sky to rain or snow, moved mountains, and turned rocks into diamonds. These acts would have demonstrated his divinity as clearly as healing and feeding did. He once calmed a storm on the Sea of Galilee, but even then his attention was on the terrified men in the boat. Jesus’ heart of compassion was always moved by people and their needs.”

– p. 30 from Tangible

Chris’s book Tangible is available from NavPress and will be for sale at Grace Church on November 17th. Here’s the print version and the Kindle version. I invite you to come hear Chris!

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Seek God’s grace for Alexandria.
Meet like-minded Christians.
Come hear a devotional on prayer.

Grace Church of Alexandria is gathering with other gospel-centered churches to pray for our city.

When: Sunday, October 6, 6 pm
Where: Franconia Baptist Church
5912 Franconia Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22310
Children: Stay tuned. Childcare may be provided for kids up to age 3.

We love our city, and praying for the good of our community is one way we can express our love and make a difference. As Jeremiah 29:7 encourages–”Seek the good of the city” where God has planted you.

Come join us!

  • Grace Church of Alexandria
  • Franconia Baptist Church
  • Franconia Korean Baptist Church
  • Iglesia Biblica de La Gracia
  • Woodlawn Baptist Church
  • Grace Baptist Church of Arlington
  • Good News Baptist Church

Who Was Samuel Tucker?
Each Sunday Grace Church of Alexandria meets in a building named the Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School. Who was Samuel Tucker? Why is our city honoring him this week with a series of commemorative events?

five African-American teenagers being arrested for the 1939 sit-in

five African-American teenagers being arrested for the 1939 sit-in

Unsung Civil Rights Leader
Samuel Tucker was an African-American lawyer in Alexandria who brilliantly organized the nation’s first sit-in right here at Alexandria’s public library to protest discrimination against African Americans. Long before the civil rights movement adopted sit-ins as a key tactic to overturn racism, on August 21, 1939, Samuel Tucker sent five African American teens to stage a sit-in in our public library, where it was illegal for black people to enter. As expected, they were arrested by the Alexandria police. Attorney Tucker then defended them in court and used their case to secure a new public library for African Americans who, until this time had no access to a public library.

We take seriously the Bible’s command for believers to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed” (Proverbs 31:8). Because of this, we take great pride in the fact that our church’s meeting place is named for this noted civil rights leader who helped pursue biblical justice in our community.

Samuel Wilbert Tucker

Samuel Wilbert Tucker

Commemorative Events This Week, Aug 25-31, 2013
In honor of Samuel Tucker, the Alexandria Black History Museum is offering:

  1. $1 DVD – “Out of Obscurity” – the story of the first sit-in in America, led by Samuel Tucker. Copies are available for $1 at the Alexandria Black History Museum. Screenings of this engaging film are taking place today, August 28, at 1, 2, 3, and 4 pm at the museum.
  2. Civil Rights Walking Tour – A free tour on Thursday, August 29 at 12:30 am and 7:00 pm exploring important sites related to Samuel Tucker and Alexandria’s historic 1939 sit-in. Sponsored by Virginia Tech.

Can’t make it on the tour or film showing? Drop by the Kate Waller Barrett Library at 717 Queen Street in Alexandria where the sit-in took place. Visit the Alexandria Black History Museum. Or watch this C-SPAN video about the 1939 sit-in.

Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School, Grace Church's meeting place for the last five years

Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School, Grace Church’s meeting place for the last five years



That’s right! A gospel-centered church meets right in Alexandria’s Cameron Station–Grace Church of Alexandria. For five years we’ve been meeting at Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School on the far end of Cameron Station. Come join our church family for worship at 10:30 am on Sundays! You’ll find a warm welcome, grounded Bible teaching, and a place to learn about Christianity.


This fall you may notice these posters, announcements, and web ads in Cameron Station, introducing you to Grace Church of Alexandria. Drop in and consider making Grace Church your church home! Our six community groups meet in Alexandria and surrounding communities. And if you’re new to Christianity, we invite you to come and learn what the Christian message is all about.



On September 1, 2013, Sunday services will be back at our regular meeting place, Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
10:30 Service
11:30 Lunch
Afternoon – hang out at the park

Where: Instead of our regular meeting place, GCA will meet at:

Ben Brenman Park
The pavilion across the footbridge
Deer Run Court, Alexandria, VA 22304


Download and print a map here: Map from GCA to Park Pavilion

Casual church service including singing, devotional, and testimonies.

Free Lunch!
GCA will provide subs for everyone. Sign up to bring sides, dessert, and drinks.

What About Kids?
• Childcare will be provided for walkers (kids who can walk & play).
• Two pack-n-plays will be available at the pavilion for infants.
• Check in your walkers before the service begins, then they’ll be dismissed after the song service to go with GraceKids workers to the nearby play area.
• Crayons and coloring sheets will be available during GraceKids check-in.

Bring a volleyball, frisbee, soccer ball, board games and stick around for fellowship!

Inclement Weather 
In case of bad weather, we will meet at our regular meeting place:

Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School
435 Ferdinand Day Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22304

This change would be announced on Saturday via church email, GCA web site, and Twitter.


Come join other gospel centered churches in Alexandria and Arlington to pray for our community. This joint prayer meeting for God’s work in our area is called “A Humble Attempt to Unite In Prayer.” Consider meeting with Christians from other churches to seek God’s grace on Alexandria and Arlington.

When: Sunday, June 30, 6 pm
Where: Grace Baptist Church of Arlington
700 S Buchanan St  Arlington, VA 22204
Children: Childcare will be provided for kids ages 0 to 3

Wondering where the title came from? It is drawn from a treatise on prayer by American theologian Jonathan Edwards.

Come pray for Christ to be glorified in our area!


You’re invited to join other gospel centered churches in Alexandria and Arlington to pray for our community. This joint prayer meeting for God’s work in our area is called “A Humble Attempt to Unite In Prayer. Consider meeting with Christians from other churches to seek God’s grace on Alexandria and Arlington.

When: Sunday, June 30, 6 pm
Where: Grace Baptist Church of Arlington
700 S Buchanan St  Arlington, VA 22204
Children: Childcare will be provided for kids ages 0 to 3

Wondering where the title came from? It is drawn from a treatise on prayer by American theologian Jonathan Edwards.

Come pray for Christ to be glorified in our area!

p.s. the image above includes the date December 2. I’m recycling an old prayer meeting image until a new one is created.

Christy and I have learned that in Virginia over five thousand children are in the foster care system. And 1,300 of them are legally free to be adopted; they are ready and waiting for a family to call their own. To help you learn about the opportunity of fostering, sign up for Change Who Waits, a free two hour event on Saturday, May 11, 2013.

You’ll hear from current foster parents about the joys and pains of foster parenting, and you’ll hear stories from people that grew up in the foster care system. Be inspired and informed about the process to become foster parents. And connect with several foster care agencies that will be present and explore how to start the process of changing the future of these children.

What: Change Who Waits Foster Care Rally

When: Saturday, May 11, 2013, 10 am to 12 pm

 Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington.

Interested, But Can’t Make It May 11?

An additional rally will be held in Chantilly at nZone on June 9, 3-5 pm. If you decide to attend one of these rallies, let us know! We hope to go too.

UPDATE–The Chantilly rally has been postponed till November 2013, for National Adoption Month. It will not be held in June as originally planned.

This post originally appeared at OperationFirefly, where Christy and I blog about our adoption journey and share adoption-related news and resources.

Come meditate with us on the death of our Lord Jesus Christ at our annual Joint Good Friday Service on Friday March 29th at 7 pm. We gather each year with likeminded area churches to show our unity in the person and work of Christ.

the.logo.color               franconiabaptist

 cross-centered songs, Scripture readings, special music, Communion, Good Friday devotional, each part led by a different Alexandria church

Where: Franconia Baptist Church, 5900 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA

When: 7 pm, Friday, March 29, 2013

Fellowship Afterward: After the service, head downstairs to the Fellowship Hall to mingle with believers from the other churches and enjoy snacks together.

Kids? Childcare is provided for ages 0 to 5. There is also a cry room in the balcony, a sound-muffled viewing room for parents with children.

Churches Participating: Grace Church of Alexandria, Iglesia Bíblica de la Gracia, Franconia Korean Baptist Church, Franconia Baptist Church, Good News Baptist Church

See you on Good Friday as we commemorate the death and burial of Jesus and set the stage for  Resurrection Sunday.