Our Church History
Refuge Church of Christ history began In the year of our Lord Nineteen hundred seventy four when the Lord spoke to the man of GOD Elder Leroy Belcher through HIS Word in the Book of Haggai, chapter 1, verse 4 “Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?” Elder Belcher answered this question put to him by the Scripture and call of God on his life by changing his plans to the divine plan of God. What was to have been a furniture store, the Lord said would be a house of prayer, a place of Refuge for all people.
The Refuge Church of Christ held its first service on Palm Sunday 1974 in a storefront building located on Homestead Avenue. On that Palm Sunday in 1974 the first seven adults in attendance were, Leroy and Pauline Belcher, Arlonzo and Ortry Boswell, James Green, Deacon and Sister Dennis. The five children, Michelle and Michael Belcher, Benita, Kenneth, and Arlonzo Boswell, Jr. The Lord added daily and in most services there was standing room only. By the end of the first year, what was affectionately known as ‘Little Refuge’ was indeed too little.
Quickly outgrowing the Homestead avenue location the church was in need of a larger facility. Elder Belcher and Elder Winthrop Hughue began a series of meetings that led to the merger of Refuge Church and the AOH churchlocated on 370 Garden Street. A new sign was made and the “Greater” was added to the name and we became: The Greater Refuge Church of Christ.
In May, 1980 GOD called our Founder, Elder Leroy Belcher from labor to reward. It was an unexpected shock and an incredibly great loss for the Refuge family, but GOD saw us through. While we mourned his loss, we knew we must journey on.
We needed a Pastor, one who would seek the face of God and take us into our next season. God blessed Greater Refuge with our current pastor, Bishop Alonzo Boswell, a humble man of GOD full of the Holy Ghost.
Under his patient guidance and prayerful instructions, the Lord sent healing, renewed strength, and vision for HIS people.
Greater Refuge Church has had to endure hardness, tragedy and loss, learning through God’s Love, we are more than conquerors. Strengthen by our adversity, we remain united and read for this season of blessing and overflow.
As we continue to strive to be a place of refuge for all people. We are confident of this very thing. "He that hath begun a good work in us, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
God Bless The Greater Refuge Church of Christ!