The Greater Refuge Memorial Church had its humble beginning in the summer of 1975. It was in that year that Bishop Henry Ross was preparing to conduct a tent revival in Wachula, Florida, when one of the "Sons of Thunder", Elder John Lewis of New York, informed Bishop Ross of two saints (Brother Charles and Sister Patricia George) that had recently relocated to Orlando and needed a church home.
In 1976 the Lord blessed the Orlando Church to move to its present location at 596 W. Church Street, purchasing the former Ebenezer United Methodist Church. In a special Thanksgiving Day Service, honoring the vision of Deacon Henry Matthews of Refuge COOLJC Perrine, the church was dedicated and named:
REFUGE TEMPLE CHURCH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
OF THE APOSTOLIC FAITH, INC.
In the fall of 1988 the church building was condemned by the City of Orlando for code violations and services could no longer be held in the building. The City of Orlando wanted to demolish the building and charge us $24,000.00 to do it. On March 14, 1990 Apostle William L. Bonner, Chief Apostle of the Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, preached the first message in the completely renovated edifice and the
church was renamed:
GREATER REFUGE MEMORIAL CHURCH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
OF THE APOSTOLIC FAITH, INC.
"The Church In The Heart of the City Beautiful...
With The People Of The City Beautiful In Its Heart"
In April of 1990 Elder Marcus R. McCoy, Sr. was appointed Associate Minister and charged to oversee the work in Orlando. In April of 1993 he was appointed Assistant Pastor. On Sunday morning, August 16, 1998, the Lord called our illustrious Apostle, Bishop, Pastor and Friend form labor to reward. Apostle Ross had miraculously triumphed over two deadly cancers (bone and prostate) for seven years and God saw fit to ease his suffering by taking him home. As a result our church has suffered a great and devastating loss.
In September of 1998 our Presiding Apostle, Regional Apostle, and Diocesan Bishop, Apostle Gentle Groover of Jacksonville, Florida began serving as our pastor, with Elder McCoy reappointed as Assistant Pastor, overseeing the ministry in Orlando. Please pray for us as we continue to abide in the center of God's Holy will. In November of 2001 Elder McCoy was appointed Pastor of the Greater Refuge Memorial Church in Orlando, FL. In 2004 the church was severely damaged by three hurricanes and was subsequently condemned July 13, 2005. Our insurance company denied our claim stating "the wind event did not cause the damage but exposed pre-existing structural damage." One again the congregation was faced with seemingly impossible odds. But having obtained help from the Lord we continue to this day. The congregation was displaced for eighteen months and worshipped with the Zion COOLJC family while the building was being renovated in stages. After repair of structural damage to the building and roof, the GRM Family was blessed to have it's first service back at home in our downstairs fellowship hall on January 28, 2007. Through much prayer and perserverence the Lord blessed to move upstairs to have our first service in 10 years in our new sanctuary on March 30, 2014. ToGod Be The Glory For The Things He Has Done !
The Greater Refuge Memorial Church is a member of the
Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc. (COOLJC)