The Ashland Beacon
When you walk into Thrive Ministries, you immediately recognize there’s something different about the City Reach church planted by the bus station. It’s not pretentious, nor is it unwelcoming, but rather an inviting space that looks less like a traditional church and more like a friendly gathering place where friends share stories and experiences. That’s just the kind of church you’d expect to find a pastor whose journey that started 291 miles away in Cumberland, Maryland.
Andrew Grubb is that pastor, and the journey that brought him and his family here was fascinating. While Grubb and his wife are both from the area surrounding Ashland, they met in middle school in Cumberland. They both continued in church, both attended Bible College, both felt longing for more and through divine purpose found themselves in the same church on the launch team devoted to church planting. Fast forward a bit, and they were packing up headed to Ashland with four children and a purpose to reach the churched and the unchurched in Ashland for Christ.
The family is adapting to the area, as the children are participating in sports, orchestra, band, choir and Paramount Player productions, which is also a place where Michelle Grubb, Andrew’s wife of 20 years, recently finished a run as the lead in Mary Poppins.
What really drives Andrew and Michelle is the Kingdom Work, however. “We believe people deserve to have a place where they are celebrated not tolerated,” Grubb opened up, “it’s a laid back atmosphere, but we push people to dig deep into the word of God, walk in love, and bring Jesus to the people in our community.”
Among the Thrive ministries, Grubb can be actively found working in Men’s Hope Home, a nine-month faith-based recovery home, where seven men have graduated so far. Grubb commented of the early graduates, “Their families have been restored, they’re productive members of society and know who they are in God!” Those men, then help other men and contribute to the community.
Away from the church, Grubb likes to read and chauffeur children. He’s also an award-winning Trumpet player, who never turns down a chance to play his silver Bach Stradivarius.
“You don’t see pastors going straight into help with some of the hardest situations in a completely different community but I’m so grateful God moved on their hearts to be here,” Thrive congregant Heather May praised, “I’ve seen so much success and there’s so much for the future we are so so blessed!”
The church is located at 121 16th Street and can be followed at facebook.com/cityreachashland