The Grace Center Church

2821 Island ave

Philadelphia pa 19153

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Pastor Eric Simmons was born on January 31st, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and was baptized at the Second Baptist Church of Frankford at the age of eight. He is a product of the Northeast Boys and Girls Club where he studied piano and voice at the age of 5. He is married to his wife of 20 years the former Miss Tiffany Stokes and from this union they have four children.

Throughout Pastor Eric Simmons tenure he has been employed in the human services fieldhelping and serving people. He has been employed as Activities Coordinator for Genesis Elder Care, Dir. of Programs & Activities for Manor Health Care for their Alzheimer's, Unit, and a Social Worker for the Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging.

In 1996, Pastor Simmons received the calling to preach the gospel; being obedient to the Lords call he enrolled at the Center for Urban Theological Studies at Geneva College. In June 1999, he received an Associate of Arts Degree in Bible & Ministry, and in June of 2001 received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban Ministry Leadership where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and received the research honors with distinction award as a result. He has conducted his master degree studies at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary & Philadelphia Biblical University while at PBU his focus was on Organizational leadership. Currently, he is student at Trinity Theological Seminary in pursuit of a P.H.D. in Biblical Counseling.

Pastor Simmons became a member of the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church on September 7th 1997. He was there to witness the growth of the church from 121 members to now over 10,000. He served diligently on music ministry and an active participant in both the Senior Choir and Male Chorus. On June 30th, 1998, he was licensed to preach by his Pastor the Rev. Dr. Alyn E. Waller. He became the first minister licensed at Enon since 1958, and the youngest in 122 years. On April 6th, 2002 was ordained into the gospel ministry and served as the Youth Pastor where he led over 1000 youth developing biblically based programs and activities for youth and young adults.

On May 16, 2002, Pastor Simmons received a certificate in critical incident and stress management from the American Association of Christians Counselors and on November 1st, 2002 received a certificate for interactive training from Temple University.

On October 10th, 2004, Pastor Simmons was called to be the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Paschall in Philadelphia PA, a congregation of about 100 members at that time. The congregation knew it had a Pastor with great preaching and singing abilities. However, within his very first year, Pastor Simmons' other skills were tested as well. After the former St. Clement Catholic Church and school campus became available for sale he seized the opportunity to make the churches vision statement real, "A Church with a Helping Hand for a Hurting Humanity." The opportunity came with a 1200 seat sanctuary, a school and two other buildings on the campus for administrative usage and community outreach. On July 15, 2006 about 19 months into his tenure as Pastor, the First Baptist Church of Paschall purchased the former St. Clements property and immediately planned for a September 1, 2006 move in date. Pastor Simmons prayed over an architectural design to meet the 21st century church needs. Under his leadership the church began over $800,000 in constructional improvements. Today these buildings are home of a 1200 seat worship and administration center, a charter School with over 500students grades K-8, a residential Home for boys operated and partnered by the Child First Services and a local and national mentoring program for young men and women.


Pastor Simmons continues to have vision with improvements on the $6 million dollar complex as new architectural plans have been developed by Pastor Simmons for a new state of the art sanctuary with a bookstore and Multi- purpose Activity Center. Under his leadership the church has also created organizations and built relationships with outside funding sources to secure help with the vision. Partners for sacred places a religious funding source has partnered with matching dollars from the reinvestment fund to provide significant grant dollars. The Helping Hands CDC organized & created under Pastor Simmons' leadership to attract funding primarily for seniors and youth programs, has raised thousands of dollars to fund activities that serve the youth and surrounding communities. The church continues to grow numerically and spiritually and financially with many new programs, ministries & activities.


Under his leadership the church has been featured on radio, several news events and several TBN television broadcasts where he occasionally serves as television host. Under his leadership the church has been blessed by having as its guest many national preaching ministries including Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant, Dr. Dorinda Clark Cole, Dr. Steve Brock of TBN & Dr. Clifton Davis just to name a few and the music ministries of Trinitee 5 7, Brian Courtney Wilson, Jeff Majors, James Fortune, Isaac Carree, Lonnie Hunter & Structure, and Dr. Dorinda Clark Cole.

In April 2011, Pastor Simmons Released his debut album entitled “FREEDOM” while signed to FLOW records former label owned by Juanita Bynum and now by President and CEO Myron Williams. His debut single “Lord I Thank You,” reached the Top 40 on national Gospel Billboards and opened doors for Pastor Simmons to perform with some of the nation’s top gospel recording artist and be invited to churches across the U.S. including Crystal Cathedral Church in California. His debut Album FREEDOM is available now on itunes,, Target and Best Buy Stores. In 2011 & 2012 he ministered on the Radio One Love Gospel cruise. He has also ministered on some of the top gospel music platforms across the country and for various Praise in the Park events in Atlanta with Dorinda Clark Cole, Isaac Caree, Jessica Reedy, Darlene McCoy & Earnest Pugh, and Charlotte and Raleigh, NC with Mary Mary, Earnest Pugh, Lonnie Hunter and many more. Pastor Eric Simmons is a gifted singer, song writer and musician, but most off all has a compassionate love for preaching the gospel and God’s people.