First Christian Church started in the last decades of the 19th Century as a vision of Dr. J.A. Throckmorton, a respected local physician. His dream was to start the very first Disciples of Christ congregation in Houston. He pulled together a group of 15 people who met for worship and prayer in his upstairs office downtown. In 1871, they held services in a Fifth ward school house, where they met faithfully for the next 15 years.
The church built its first building at Capital and Caroline under the leadership of J.C. Mason in 1889. The membership grew to nearly 500, with an estimated average worship attendance of 350.
The congregation outgrew its building and erected a new building at Main and Bell, where it thrived most significantly under the leadership of Dr. Harry G. Knowles. Dr. Knowles was known throughout the city of Houston as the “Radio Parson” for his insightful radio ministry. First Christian became a truly metropolitan church that cast a wide net of influence throughout the city. Membership records indicate that the church exceeded 2,300, with an estimated average worship attendance of 1,200-1,500 people.
For 70 years First Christian Church had one of the most impactful ministies not only in the city of Houston but the entire southern region. The congregation gave generously and unselfishly, it produced many faithful Christ-followers and it provided Christian leadership for two generations for the kingdom of God.
The congregation again outgrew this location at Main and Bell, and began construction of its present location at Sunset and Rice in 1959. The congregation entered into this transition operating at its highest levels in terms of people involved, ministry done and the impact it made throughout the City.
In 2004, we once again ventured into a building project. This time is was to build a brand new wing off of the existing church for our First Christian Church School. This build out process included the addition of a new gymnasium, transformation of our current sanctuary into a more modern layout, and also general upgrades and maintenance throughout the campus.
First Christian is located in one of the most strategic locations for ministry and outreach sitting across the street from Rice University and surrounded by the Texas Medical Center and Museum District. We are located near a mid-town area that is booming with new condominiums and young professionals, many of whom need a vital life that a relationship with Jesus can bring. We are easily accessible from nearly every point of the compass. God has placed us here for the purpose of making disciples, which we are endeavoring to understand in a new way.