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Pastor, church embrace adoption
Randy Grimes holds his family’s newest addition, 9-month-old Alexa. The Forsyth County family includes two biological and four adopted children. - photo by Autumn McBride
Randy Grimes gets excited when he starts to talk about his big family.Grimes and his wife, Teresa, have two biological children and four adopted children, but that’s only a small portion of the family into which he’s been adopted — the family of God.The church he pastors, Family by Faith, is based on adoption, both physical and spiritual.Founded a little more than a year ago, Family by Faith is a part of the Southern Baptist Convention, though not much is conventional in the church’s focus and outlook.A focus on adoption, including adoption of spiritual orphans into God’s family, fits directly into the message of the Bible, Grimes said.With a Southern accent and a smile, Grimes can quote Bible verses that support adoption as a tenant of Christianity, such as James 1:27 — “Pure and undefiled religion before God our Father is this: to provide for orphans and widows in their time of need.”Quoting the Bible isn’t too unusual for a pastor, but Grimes’ selected phrases often pull from perhaps lesser known facets of the book.But Grimes also has found a way to sum up the Gospel in 10 seconds: creation, the fall, redemption and adoption.The four words make up the ongoing cycle taken on by the church, which has found that adoption comes in many more forms than in the traditional sense.A church without wallsGrimes said God gave him the idea for Family by Faith about 18 months ago.“It really was birthed out of us strictly talking about physical adoption and relating [it] to the Bible, but then we began to see the greater picture that if you don’t know Christ, you’re not in a family,” he said. “By being in the family of God, you always have a father.” Family by Faith began at the Grimes’ dining room table in September 2009 as about 12 people discussed the importance of adoption in Christianity.Since then, Grimes said the congregation has grown via word of mouth to more than 60 members who meet each Sunday at Midway Elementary School in south Forsyth.Many of the church’s members have adopted a child or are in the process of doing so.