Rhema Word Church initially began as Rising Star MBC when its organizer Rev. Robert Lee Griffin, along with his wife, Bertha Griffin in 1954, answered God’s calling to organize a small group of Christians for the purpose of starting a ministry after receiving a vision from God. These services were held at 2509 W. Wilcox Street at the residency of Rev. Griffin along with six people; his wife, Sis. Bertha Griffin, Sis. Ophelia Rambo (deceased), Sis. Minnie Partlow, Sis. Alzena Edwards, Bro. Willie B. Randolph, and Rev. Flozell Rogers.
After much dedication and prayer, God blessed Rev. Griffin with a place of worship located at 3605 W. Odgen Avenue. It was at this location that by the Grace of God, and the leadership of Rev. Griffin that the name Rising Star MBC was acquired.
In 1959, Pastor Griffin and the Rising Star Family merged with the Gethsemane Family, and moved their services to another location, 3535 W. 15th Street. In 1963, Pastor Griffin gave his resignation as Pastor of the combined churches, but even in the face of disaster, the vision did not die, because the people had a mind to work. Rising Star was reorganized at 3600 W. Roosevelt Road and on February 27, 1964, officially became known as the Original Rising Star MBC.
ORS continued to look for a home and found a store for sale at 5100 W. Chicago Avenue. The church banned together and purchased this location with cash. At that location, Pastor Griffin began crowning more Deacons and organizing more ministries. Many Weddings, Christenings, Baptisms, and other services have been held there as God truly blessed Original Rising Star.
After serving faithfully for 41years, Rev. Robert Lee Griffin went into retirement as Pastor of Original Rising Star on July 31, 1995. On Wednesday, September 9, 1998 the Lord called His beloved Robert Lee Griffin from Labor to Reward. August 6th, 1995 begin a whole new season and new dimension of ministry. Our current Pastor took the reigns of leadership in 1995 and currently our ministry continues to experience explosive growth.
Our membership had increased in 8 years from 26 people to well over 800, with an active membership of over 500. Many new ministries and community outreach projects have begun including: tutoring, mentoring, youth ministry, food drives, as well as a partnership with Rhema Community Development Corporation.
January 2003 our ministry took on another phase of change, with the changing of our name and location. That year we went from being known as Original Rising Star MBC to Rhema Word Church. God also ministered to our visionary about the complacency that the church experienced being in the 5100 West Chicago Ave. location so God told us to leave, no forwarding address, just a temporary tent in Austin High School and by faith we moved and held services in the auditorium of the school. And for the next 20 months we worshipped there.
As a reward for our radical obedience, God blessed us in 2005 to purchase our current property, which gives housing to our Corporate Offices, Computer Labs, Gymnasium, as well as our worship facility. That year we went from 3000 sq. ft of property to well over 16,000 sq. ft. of property. Certainly, God rewarded our radical obedience in moving by faith to His voice. Rhema continues to move from faith to faith and glory to glory.
Our ministry remains a Biblical-Centered ministry designed to evangelize the lost. Equip and Empower God’s people through provision of holistic ministry to our community, as well as the world. Our aim is to provide the above through vibrant worship, sound biblical teaching, and a variation of classes and programs to stabilize people with education as well as economic development to empower them as they maximize their moments in life.