Meet Our Staff
Pastor David & Lisa Grainge
David and Lisa Grainge are a team, ministering together to revitalize this 124-year-old church that serves several ethnic congregations in South Philadelphia. David has been pastoring at SACC since 2013 and became lead pastor in 2016.
They share a love for refugees and hope to see the current English-speaking congregation revived and enlarged. David has a passion for preaching and enjoys teaching the Bible to small groups in the Discover Bible Study (DBS) format. David and Lisa also serve the needs of the neighborhood through the church’s food pantry. They teach English as a Second Language (ESL), and Lisa coordinates the church’s Refugee Access Center (RAC@SACC) ministry, along with leading trauma-healing Bible studies.
This is David and Lisa’s second go around in Philly. They were part of the urban missionary team that founded Cornerstone Community Church in the Kensington section of the city in the early 90s.
David has a B.A. in German (with minors in teaching and writing) from Middlebury College and an M.Div. from Grace Theological Seminary. For nine years he pastored the Millgrove Bible Church in Alden, New York, and was previously the executive director of the Buffalo Christian Center in Buffalo, New York.
Lisa is a paralegal, a background that has greatly benefited her refugee assistance ministry. She is currently completing her undergraduate studies at Penn State University in psychology.
David and Lisa were married in 1987. They have four biological and six adopted children.
Pastor Bagudekia &
Bagudekia Alobeyo (Bagu) was born and raised in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a country that has been devastated by wars in the past two decades during which many young people did not have access to higher education but had only the opportunity to join the militia armed groups. Bagudekia believed in Jesus Christ as his Savior, developed the habit of being engaged daily with the Scripture, and got called to serve the Lord as a minister when he was yet a student in Christian schools established by mission work in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He has a diploma in education and a master’s degree in theology from the “Faculté de Théologie Evangélique de Bangui in Central African Republic (CAR). He also holds a master’s degree in Arts of Religion and a Doctorate’s degree in ministry from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. He is fluent in five languages, namely: French, Lingala, Swahili, Zande, and English. In addition, he reads and translate ancient Hebrew and Greek.
Before moving to the USA in 1995, he pastored local churches in DRC for 11 years and served as the national vice president of a large denomination, the Evangelical Church in Central Africa, CECA20. Bagudekia has also served as a church planter, youth pastor, Bible school director, and community development leader. Prior to working for Geneva Global, an international non-profit organization in USA, as the Director of the West African region, he worked as family and children counselor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has extensive experience in international program development within the United Bible Societies’ global network, including matching innovative “holistic” humanitarian components with Scripture Engagement. He worked for American Bible Society in Philadelphia, PA promoting national and global Bible-based Trauma Healing, Bible Translation, and Bible Engagement throughout U.S churches and global communities for about 13 years.
Bagudekia and his wife Suzanne have five sons, six grandchildren in the USA, and five grandchildren in Uganda, who have lost both parents.
Bagudekia has witnessed firsthand in his own family the devastation and terror caused by the Lord’s Resistance Army. In 2009 he had to arrange for his family’s evacuation from his hometown of Dungu. He acknowledges what others in DRC have said of him, that he was spared from the ravages of the war in Congo and provided for in the U.S. so that he could be their advocate and an avenue of hope and restoration.
In 2010, Bagudekia led an unforgotten ministry assessment trip to DRC with few people from American Bible Society and the Lazarus foundation’s representative, Bishop Richard Baker. The outcome of that trip laid down a path of partnership between Lazarus Foundation and American Bible Society to deliver a comprehensive ministry that impacted more than 10 thousands of orphans and widows in Goma and Dungu in Eastern DRC. As response to outcry of church’s leaders in DRC for Bibles and need for being equipped for counseling ministry, American Bible Society has developed sounded Bible-based Trauma Healing that has impacted lives of people not only in the Democratic Republic of Congo but in Africa, Middle East, South Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and in the U.S.
Since 2015, with the help of Cornerstone Church from Easton, Pennsylvania, a Free Evangelical Church in America, Bagudekia has contributed in establishing Restoring Hope Ministries to partner with a church called the Evangelical Church in Central Africa in Congo. The partnership consists of equipping Congolese for leadership of the church and the community.
In 2020, Snyder Avenue Congregational Church, a multi-congregational church that ministers to several immigrant and refugee communities, has offered to Bagudekia the opportunity to serve as the associate pastor helping the leadership team to grow a new English speaking congregation, develop and implement a comprehensive trauma healing ministry, care for Congolese refugee population and ignite the discipleship initiatives.