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‘Exciting times’: Bradford church raising money for renovations

First event is golf tournament taking place today at Harbour View Golf and Country Club in Gilford

Bradford’s Greater Life Community Church is hosting two community events this week to raise funds for the renovations of their building in the historic downtown at 5 Holland St. W.

The first event is for those with an appetite for hitting the green — a golf tournament taking advantage of the lasting warm weather today at Harbour View Golf and Country Club in Gilford.

Registration is at noon and tickets are $150 per person or $600 for a group of four.

The prizes have yet to be announced and sponsorship opportunities are still available for those who want see their signage and logos on the golf carts, at the individual holes and even event wide.

The second event is for those with an appetite for delicious food — a fundraising dinner at the church on Friday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m.

Expect a full three-course meal, with different options for the main course, including a vegetarian dish.

Business casual attire is recommended, but not required.

Tickets are $50 per adult and $30 per child.

Pastor Eaton Grant is hoping to raise about $10,000 from the dinner and somewhere about $15,000 from the golf tournament to use towards the many repairs, renewals and restorations needed to transform the building into a "complete" place of worship.

The building used to be home to F.K. Textiles, a fabric and upholstery shop that closed in spring of 2020 after 36 years in business, and some of the work it now needs includes: new floors, new plumbing, new electrical, a new HVAC system, upgraded fire-proofing, new drywall for walls and ceilings, foyer upgrades, repairing a leaky roof and adding an accessible washroom — all of which comes with a hefty price.

“We’re trying to do things incrementally. We’ve always figured if we had $100,000 to $150,000, we could do everything, but we’re just trying to get things done in stages,” Grant said.

Ricky Grant, affectionately known as Brother Ricky, is overseeing the renovations and welcomes any volunteers from the community who are willing to help, even if they’re not professionals.

Recently, a group of community members pitched in to paint the concrete block walls in the basement.

Depending on the amount of help they receive, Brother Ricky is hoping to see most of the renovations completed in the next few months.

“We’d like to have Christmas service upstairs,” he said.

Right now, he said they’re looking for anyone who can help mud and tape drywall.

Once all the renovations are completed, Pastor Grant expects the church to offer the foyer, office, conference room, accessible washroom, downstairs recreation and event space available for rent and a new sanctuary capable of hosting at least 110 people.

However, the church is already open to the community with services currently being held downstairs and Grant estimating anywhere from 50 to 70 people attending, depending on the day.

“The building is a tool to reach people and to serve people. A lot of churches are closing down and some people are looking for a good community-minded church. We just want people to know we’re here and we want people to know that they’re welcome to come as they are,” he said.

The pastor explained the church is open to everybody, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.

“We’re a community church. We are totally inclusive,” he said.

In addition to Bible study, youth nights and Sunday school, the church offers the staple Sunday service, which is also a bit of a brunch.

“Every Sunday we feed people. Everyone who comes, gets free coffee, croissants, muffins, fruit, veggies — whatever we have,” Grant said.

The church has a history of feeding people, especially with their annual Thanksgiving dinner, which has been running for the last 11 years, with a few exceptions during the pandemic, according to Grant.

“We’re just here to serve the community,” he said.

This year, the dinner is on Friday, Oct. 6.

While Greater Life Community Church has been in Bradford since 2012, it hasn’t always had a consistent place to gather, and even had no place for a short period of time, including last Christmas.

“For Christians, Christmas Sunday is arguably the biggest Sunday — it’s like the Super Bowl. On the biggest Sunday, we were basically homeless,” Grant said.

That was the result of having to leave another church from whom they were renting space when it had to undergo renovations of its own, which left Greater Life Community Church seeking a new spot.

That’s when they found their current home, and moved in earlier this year on Feb. 5.

It wasn’t exactly in turn-key condition, but Grant could see the potential.

“It’s going to be amazing once it’s finished. ... One of the things that we’re excited about now is the stability that the location provides. Now that we have the stability, we’re starting to see stable growth. It’s exciting times,” he said.

Anyone looking for more information about the upcoming events, the church services or interested in volunteering or donating can call 289-579-9908, visit or find the church on Facebook at or Instagram at

Grant added that any businesses or individual that would like to make a donation of more than $25 to help the church with the renovations, is also eligible for a tax receipt.

“It’s a great opportunity for business that need tax write-offs. We’re able to make it a win-win in that way: the church benefits and the business or the individual gets a write-off to help mitigate taxes,” he said.

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Michael Owen

About the Author: Michael Owen

Michael Owen has worked in news since 2009 and most recently joined Village Media in 2023 as a general assignment reporter for BradfordToday
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