About Us   

We're a new church seeking to present the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Southern Calvert County, Maryland. We believe that each of us, regardless of our past failures or present struggles, can know the forgiveness of God and discover a life of purpose. And that purpose is found and experienced in living life together with the One Who created us…Jesus. This engagement with Jesus becomes a life-shaping thing, providing hope for the present and the future, as well as giving a solid basis for understanding what it means to be human. It enables us to live the life we were designed for. At Grace Church, we pursue this life together, while inviting others to join us on the journey.

Pastor Jay McKinley

Jay was born and raised in the Chicago area, but after meeting and marrying his east-coast bride, Bari-tennette, he has spent the better part of three decades in Maryland. An ordained minister in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, Jay has pastored in Indiana, Ohio, and Prince George's and Calvert Counties in Maryland.


He is the father of three grown children and grandfather to five.

   We Value   

Grace Church at West Shore is a group of people that desires to be...

...a people that provides a safe place to seek, because all of us need to be allowed the grace to work out our own struggles with faith while being encouraged to trust and follow Jesus.

...a people that seriously engages the Bible, writings given by God to teach us about Himself, about ourselves, and about living life together with Him in this world.

...a people that practices Biblical community, helping each other to follow Jesus, rather than trying to do it all alone.

...a people that blesses our surrounding community, because God cares very much about it and wants good things for it.

...a people that shares Christ and grows new believers, because the message of forgiveness and life with Jesus is a message of good news for ALL people.

...a people that highly values Missions, because the good news of Jesus is good news for ALL people, not just the ones who are geographically or culturally near to us.


    News & Events   

Dear GCWS family--


How I wish I could see your faces!  I continue to be praying for you, even though I cannot see you, as this challenging stretch continues.  I want to encourage you with the words of Psalm 46:1-3: 


'God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.'  


No matter what it may seem like to you, each of our lives--and this very world--rests in the hands of an amazingly good God, Who desires us to rest in Him when everything as we know it is threatened with change.  When all else fails, He remains.


Here is a vital update:


Because of ongoing Coronavirus concerns, Governor Hogan has extended his school closure order. All MD public schools will now remain closed to all activities through Sunday, April 26.


Therefore, as it now stands, GCWS will not be able to meet  as usual until Sunday, May 3, 2020.   


In addition to this, due to the ongoing concern that school closures and people working from home will be rendered ineffective if people continue to attend other gatherings, thus working against the social distancing that is essential to stopping the spread of the virus, we will do our part by suspending ALL church-related activities that involve physical, in-person gathering during this same time period.  We will update you as the situation evolves.


Some Very Important News:

  • GCWS will begin livestreaming our sermons beginning this Sunday, 3/29 at 11am (See previous email for instructions on how to join the livestream on Facebook Live.  If you need that info re-sent, please let me know.)

  • Foundations Class (Tues nights at 6:30) will be continuing via Skype (BTW...it's still not too late to join the class, if you're at home and bored!  Due to the Covid-19 disruption, we are still at the beginning of the course!  Contact me and let me know if you'd like to be included.  

  • Good Friday/Easter Season Reflections: Running from 4/1 to 4/12, GCWS will be offering a series of daily reflections posted on our Facebook page written by different members of our church family.  These short reflections will be aimed at guiding our thoughts through this season leading up to Easter.  Watch for them!

  • Good Friday Evening livestream with 'at home' observance of the Bread & Cup (All you need to have is your own juice & bread on hand at 7pm.)

Some special reminders:

Small groups, I'd encourage you to try to meet each week via Skype, Zoom, or whatever app you prefer.  (Perhaps the most tech-savvy person in each group, can take the lead on this?)  Remember, we are not forced to disconnect just because we can't sit in the same room together.

Entire Church Family, please take initiative to reach out to one another via phone, text, and/or email during this time.  Please don't think of this as someone else's responsibility...it's on each of us.

Look for ways to serve people around you who might be in need of encouragement or an expression of grace. (Who doesn't need that, right?)

May God bless each of you.


In Christ's Service,


Pastor Jay

MORE Ministry Opportunities Available!

In case you're wondering, there are lots of opportunities to help out here at GCWS. Areas of particular need:


  - Set-up and/or tear-down

 - Ushers & Greeters

 - Refreshment Table

 - Nursery

 - Children's Church

 - Sound

 - Powerpoint


Think it over and see where you might be able to help out. Talk to Pastor Jay to express an interest.


Hospitality Meals

One of the ways we practice Biblical community is by helping to bear each other's burdens in times of need. If you'd be willing to bring an occasional meal to someone who's laid up, there's a place to sign up at the Welcome Center on Sundays. Questions, or to get involved, email gracechurchwestshore@gmail.com or call (410) 474-6665.

Community Groups

These are groups that meet during the week in the homes of people from our church. The purpose of each Community Group is to develop a primary community where we can get to know Jesus. In these groups, we read and discuss the Bible, pray and help each other to follow Christ. For questions, email gracechurchwestshore@gmail.com or call (410) 474-6665.

Heartfelt Backpack Ministry 

GCWS is helping needy St LES students and their families each weekend with backpacks filled with food items.  A full list of items and more info can be found at the information table. See Leila or Kristi Mitchell with questions about this project.



Head south on MD-2/MD-4/Solomons Island Rd. Turn left onto Calvert Beach Rd. At the traffic circle, take the first exit onto St. Leonard Rd. Destination will be on the left.

5370 St. Leonard Rd

St. Leonard, MD 20685

Worship Gathering: 11am-12pm

St. Leonard Elementary School

Head north on MD-4/Solomons Island Rd. Turn right onto St. Leonard Rd. Destination will be on the right.

Church Office Location:

4821 St Leonard Rd, Suite 1A

St Leonard, MD  20685

From Northern Calvert County:

From Solomons:

   Message Audio   

For older sermons, please visit our Youtube page.

   Contact Us   





Tel: 410-474-6665

Church Office:

4821 St Leonard Rd, Suite 1A

St Leonard, MD  20685


Mailing Address:

325 Madeline Drive

Saint Leonard, MD 20685

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© 2015 by Grace Church at West Shore.