Apostle Sammy C. Smith
In November of 1984, a vision to create and develop a ministry that would glorify God was given to Apostle Sammy C. Smith who at the time was enlisted in the United States Air Force and stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter, South Carolina. The seed of this vision was planted with a gospel service held in a chapel on the base that ushered in the power of the Holy Spirit and resulted in many souls becoming saved and brought into a greater awareness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because of Apostle Smith’s obedience and commitment to God, the ministry grew by leaps and bounds.
The population of the ministry quickly outgrew the small Shaw AFB chapel and in April of 1987 moved to a location in downtown Sumter on Hampton Street. After much prayer and supplication, Apostle Smith was led by God to become a part of a denomination that had a Holiness-Pentecostal tradition. The ministry joined the Church of God In Christ (COGIC) denomination and became known as Grace Cathedral Church of God in Christ. At that time, the ministry consisted of over 300 adults and children. In May of 1991, the ministry then moved to 307 W. Oakland Avenue and after eight years of unprecedented growth at this location, a brand new million dollar edifice was constructed at 60 Oswego Road. Subsequently thereafter, the ministry seceded from the Church of God in Christ denomination and this act resulted in the creation of Grace Cathedral Ministries.
As Apostle Smith continued to seek the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit for the vision of Grace Cathedral Ministries, he began providing spiritual guidance and counseling to pastor’s of four local area churches. It is from these relationships that the Grace Cathedral Christian Fellowship was birthed. The consecration and ordination service of the Grace Cathedral Christian Fellowship was held on Saturday, October 26, 2002, and marked the beginning of an era that further established Apostle Smith as the visionary and founding Bishop of the movement.
In 2006, God spoke to Apostle Smith about His vision of expanding the ministry beyond Sumter, South Carolina. Out of the manifestation and fruition of this vision came the birth of Grace Cathedral Ministries in Greenville, South Carolina. The first official service in Greenville was held in January of 2007 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel conference center with over 75 persons in attendance; thereby, establishing the new headquarters of the Grace Cathedral Christian Fellowship. Apostle Smith subsequently named Bishop Anthony Gibson to succeed him as Senior Pastor of Grace Cathedral Ministries in Sumter, South Carolina.
God continued His plan of ministry expansion through Apostle Smith by providing the first Grace Cathedral Ministries edifice location in the Upstate at 710 Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, SC in 2007. God allowed the ministry to outgrow that building within two years and relocated the church to 612 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, South Carolina, 29609, where the ministry continued to grow and thrive. In January of 2017, the LORD continued to pour His favor and blessings upon the ministry with the purchase of a new, beautiful sanctuary and acreage located at 200 Assembly Drive, Piedmont, South Carolina. The first worship service in the new sanctuary was held on Sunday, February 5, 2017.