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David Jaroszewski – President
Rev. Brenda Fluitt – Vice President, Worship Chair, Minister of Outeach, LGBTQ
Benedicta Onyebuchi - Council Secretary
Gail Hicks - Treasurer
Laura Bruce – Property Mananger
Juli Kring – Enviromental-Fellowship
George Wolbert – Evangelism Chair
Tim Mohle - Stewardship Chair
“Open the gates of justice! I will enter and tell the Lord how thankful I am.” Psalm 118:19
In America, the topic of race continues to be difficult to discuss in many social settings. Very few Christian churches are leading bold and courageous conversations, engaging in direct social activism, and participating in civil disobedience as a way to bring attention to and disrupt racist systems and structures.
The call to be a multiracial and multicultural church is an acknowledgement that racial justice is the inclusiveness of all humans and never excludes anyone based on skin color, culture or ethnic origin. The United Church of Christ stands in solidarity with the creation narrative in Genesis 1:26-27, which clearly outlines what matters to God—all of humankind and a just world for all. God created humankind in God’s image and likeness, women and men are image bearers, sharing equal status as human beings. God did not create race, racism, superior groups of humans, and hierarchical and hegemonic social structures.
In 2008 Gethsemane UCC and Evangel UCC merged as one congregation. As a sign of our unified congregation and reflective of the spirit of our merger made possible by the grace of God, both Evangel and Gethsemane adopted the new name of Grace United Church of Christ for our congregation.
Gethsemane began with the decision of the Houston Missions Committee in 1961 to establish a UCC in Southwest Houston. Committed individuals met in homes and local elementary schools for worship, fellowship, and ministry. A two-acre tract of land was purchased at the intersection of Gessner and Beechnut on May 21st, 1962. On June 30th, 1963, the congregation selected the name Gethsemane United Church of Christ. In January 1964 a charter was drafted with forty-nine members. The first building was dedicated in 1967 and enlarged and renovated in 1977. In 1990 Gethsemane UCC moved to its present site and burned the note in 2001. Mission has been an important part of our history including establishing the Sharpstown Bread Pantry, being an organizing partner of Southwest Area Ministries, sponsoring refugee families from Cambodia and Haiti, participating in CROP Hunger Walks, and a stronger supporter of Our Church's Wider Mission fund of the United Church of Christ. Four pastors have served Gethsemane UCC: Rev. Richard N. Zulauf (Patricia)1963-1967, Rev. Gilbert F. Bumb (Anne) 1967-1974, Rev. Barney Federwisch (Rose) 1974-2001 and Rev. David Pantermuehl (Esther) 2002-present.
A Brief History of Evangel United Church of Christ
Evangel United Church of Christ (EUCC) began as a vision of a Filipino American Church here in Houston, inspired by some leaders of the United Church of Christ, USA. On January 28, 1996 five Filipino-American families gathered to pray, to think and to study the possibility of putting this vision into reality. The group decided to hold weekly Bible studies to which relatives, friends and acquaintances were invited.
On February 3, 1996 the first Bible study was held in the home of one of the original families. In the succeeding weeks the Bible studies were well-attended, and more families were added. After three months of these weekly Bible studies, the group decided to hold a worship service. So, on April 21, 1996 a Sunday worship service was held a home with about forty in attendance including a leader from the National UCC and a leader from the South Central Conference.
In May 1996, during the Spring meeting of the Houston Association of the UCC churches, Evangel UCC was presented as a new church start. Its leaders appealed for recognition and assistance in fulfilling its ministry and mission. Gethsemane UCC offered help in terms of providing a space for Evangel UCC to use for worship, study, and fellowship. Evangel stayed at Gethsemane UCC for two years.
On September 1, 1996 Evangel UCC held its inaugural worship service attended by eighty people including members and guests. During the service the members, led by the founding pastors, Bishop Pat and Rev. Lina Apura, and leaders signed the “Covenant and Statement of Faith.” Significantly, the setting was Gethsemane UCC.
On May 3, 1997 Evangel UCC was officially received into the UCC Houston Association at its Spring meeting in the Woodlands. Then on June 15, 1997 the South Central Conference gave its official recognition to Evangel UCC during its annual meeting, held at the Wyndam Hotel, Greenspoint, Texas.
On October 19, 2007 a service of celebration was conducted to formally receive Evangel UCC into the Houston Association of UCC churches. Representatives from the Association presented a Certificate of Reception and a Bible to Evangel UCC pastors.
A welcoming, diverse, inclusive Christian community.
We pledge ourselves to:
Grace United Church of Christ, led by the Holy Spirit, endeavors to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. We promise to:
Deepen our Christian commitment and our understanding of all people;
Promote an open and spiritual worship experience through praise, prayer and celebration;
Minister to our ever-changing spiritual needs;
Extend opportunities for faith exploration education, service, fellowship, and outdoor ministries;
Dedicate the church’s resources to meet the needs of those near and far;
Develop outreach programs for the community;
Honor the church’s Christian heritage as we remain open to the future.
- The United Church of Christ - Discover the UCC!
- Still Speaking - Never place a period where God has placed a comma
- Houston Association - events in the houston association
- The South Central Conference UCC - The South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ
- Slumber Falls Camp UCC Church Camp - See our beautiful church camp in New Braunfels, Texas
- The Metropolitan Organization - Organizing for Social Action
- National Council of Churches - National Council of Churches News & Events
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