Greater First Church History
The Greater First Church of God In Christ is now celebrating 106 years of service. It is the Mother church of all C.O.G.I.C. churches in the state of Texas. It was organized in 1909.
Meeting places varied from on the street, in a brush harbor, available front porches, and an old saloon called "So-So".
In 1911, a building was erected at 3014 Center Street, Houston, TX. The 1st Pastor was Elder Willie Harris serving from 1909-1918.
Bishop C. H. Mason appointed E. M. Page overseer of Texas in the state convocation held in Houston, TX in July of 1914. Houston was a fitting place for the convocation as the "Mother" COGIC church of Texas, "Center Street" church now "First Church of God In Christ" was founded in the Bayou City in 1909, Page Temple in Dallas named in honor of Bishop E. M. Page and an unnamed church in Hillsboro vies for second place.
Elder Willie Herring became the 2nd pastor. He was a dynamic young preacher, serving well from 1918-1931. His theme was "A Blameless Ministry" he was a man of wisdom with a large ministry. He also held many offices as well as being known to hold services all day. He was sent to Baltimore, MD on a "Beggar Mission", travelling throughout the United States preaching the Word of God, until the Lord called him home in the year of 1966.
Elder J. H. Galloway became the 3rd pastor. He served well from 1931 until his death in 1951. He was a man who was meek and humble, a profound leader who fulfilled the offices of Bishop and Pastor. Under his pastorate, a beautiful choir was formed.
The 4th pastor, Elder O.D. Cannon, served from 1951 until his death in 1959.
A 5th pastor was installed, Elder M. B. Ellison, serving from 1959 to 1967. During the latter years, there came a falling away of membership - some died, some moved away, and some backslid.
In 1967 Elder Adam Smith became the 6th pastor, serving from 1967 to 1972, by now the general upkeep of the church had long gone undone. Elder Smith became the working pastor trying to correct the problems. He began the work of beautifying the building with the help of a small membership.
In 1972-1974, Elder W.R. Dixon served as the 7th pastor, doing the best he could as the Lord blessed him.
The 8th pastor, Elder Pinkston Bell, began serving in 1974 until 1982. He was faithful to keep the doors open.
In August of 1982, Elder Eugene E. Hamilton, Sr., then became the 9th pastor. Led by the Holy Ghost in our Bishop R. E. Woodward, Sr., he sent a young man to do a great work.
With the blessings of God, Elder Hamilton and First Lady Rita Hamilton began doing a tremendous job, working in the church -- souls being saved, backsliders reclaimed, and the membership increased.
"Who is left among you that saw this church in its first glory? And how do you see it now?"
Under the pastorate of Elder Hamilton, Sr., the location moved and a new building erected. First Church then became "Greater First Church of God In Christ". Many accomplishments have been made on Deams Street. Properties on both side of the church and across the street have been purchased and two parking lots paved.
As of the year 2003, it became Greater First C.O.G.I.C., "The Potter's House".
With a strong leadership Greater First Church "The Potter's House" has come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord. Just like a ship that's tossed and driven, battered by an angry sea, she keeps on tolling on. With the help of God she will continue to move forward, we're still standing strong!