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George W. Grunau
Lead Pastor

Bays Chapel – A Non-Denominational, Bible-based community church existing for the supremacy of God

George currently serves as the lead pastor of Bays Chapel. It is his delight to lovingly lead the congregation in becoming growing disciples of Jesus Christ, through verse-by-verse Bible teaching and worship, always encouraging others to pray for others, read the bible and participate in making great the name of Jesus.

George has been walking with the Lord since he was 15, and although a relationship with Jesus Christ wasn’t part of his experience in the early years, God was calling him even as a young man. God sent friends and mentors to help George to see who he was in God’s eyes. George was saved and baptized at Cherokee Park Baptist Church in Shreveport Louisiana in 1979. By age 16, George was helping to work in ministry to the homeless through the youth program in his church, regularly leading in pulpit worship, youth worship and congregational lay speaking.

After high school, George attended college, pursuing a vocation in the oil industry, eventually graduating with undergraduate and graduate degrees in the geological sciences. He was blessed to meet the love of his life, Lori, in college. They were married in 1991, afterward George pursued a career as a petroleum geoscientist. Lori’s faith was deep and abiding, and her love of God and people was contagious. This helped George to realize his full potential as a Christian servant and volunteer in church as well as professionally. The career path eventually brought George and Lori to Austin Texas with 3 beautiful children, Ben, Will, and Sarah. God matured them all in so many ways there, both as individuals and as a family.

In what could never be considered an accident, the Lord led the Grunau family to the Richards area as novice farm owners. First, as weekenders from Austin starting in 2012, then full-time in 2019. They began attending Bays Chapel UMC in 2012 and, with a love that so overwhelmed them, the small group of congregants took them in as family.

Over time, God began to call them to play a more active role in the church, with George eventually completing Lay Servant and Lay Ministry certifications in the UMC system. Beginning in January 2023, Bays Chapel UMC emerged as Bays Chapel, with George assuming the role of lead pastor. Leading for George is servanthood, and he is blessed to lead a congregation full of servants, all seeking to share the love of Christ with everyone they come in contact with.

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