Bishop R.L. Finney
The History of Grace Congregational Church
Our late Pastor, Bishop Richard L. Finney, Sr., along with several pioneers, gathered on December 7, 1973 and established Grace Congregational Methodist Church of Houston, Texas Incorporated. These faithful people who met on that historical evening were full of faith and were determined to have complete freedom in their worship without being held to the doctrines and disciplines of men. On the first Sunday of January 1974 they gathered at the Impala Steakhouse on Blodgett St. On the third Sunday of January 1974, approximately 50 people were assembled.
The Holy Spirit was falling like the dew. Four months later, in April 1974, the Saints gathered in an abandoned lumber shed on Coffee St., which soon after was converted into a place of worship. Later an education wing and an annex building were added. Greater light led to dropping the "Methodist" part of the church name, and we officially became "Grace Congregational Church". The vision grew, and Bishop Finney felt a fellowship of believers should do more than just meet to worship. He wanted to expand, educate children and adults, feed and clothe the needy, and offer housing for those who needed it. Thus, the R.L. Finney Comprehensive Learning Center & Bible College, Inc. was born in 1977.
God again called for expansion. The property on Coffee Street was sold, and the church was moved to 207 South Main Street in Pasadena, Texas, where our first service was held in 1988 during the Passover Celebration. The church remained in Pasadena until 2006, when the Pasadena School District bought the property.The church then moved to a temporary location on the South Loop East Frwy, Houston, Texas, where it remained until the present property was found at 11620 Cullen Blvd, Houston, Texas. The construction began in April 2008, and our new sanctuary celebratory service was held on the Sabbath, May 2, 2009. Bishop Finney was an innovator, and a trailblazer who was not afraid to step away from tradition, and continued to lead Grace Church into truth and love, but after several months of illness, he handed over the leadership of the congregation to Pastor Walter Turner Jr., Shortly after, he made his transition from this earthly realm on April 28, 2010.
We believe in the One God, Maker and Ruler of all things, Father of all men; the Source of all goodness, Beauty, Truth and Love.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God manifest in flesh who is our Teacher, Example, Redeemer, and Savior of the world.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, God present with us for guidance, comfort, and strength.
We believe in the forgiveness of sins, the life of love and prayer, and in Grace equal to every need.
We believe in the Word of God contained in the Old and New Testaments as the sufficient rule both of faith and of practice.
We believe in the church as the fellowship for worship and for service of all who are united to the Living Lord.
We believe in the Kingdom of God as the divine rule in human society and in the brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God.
We believe in the final triumph of righteousness and in life everlasting.
December 7, 1973