Forest Grove Christian Church began in local homes in the Lucas, Texas area in 1847-48 with members of the Church of Christ (Christian Church). It was formally organized as a church on July 23, 1858. The names of the founders are also found among the pioneers of Collin County. The first church building was dedicated in 1875, and it was replaced in 1953. The church closed on April 8, 1984, but reopened on October 11, 1992. In 2013 the church began the process of ending its affiliation with the Disciples of Christ and becoming independent. This included the creation of a Texas Non-Profit Corporation — First Christian Church of Collin County — to transition from its status as an unincorporated association. The pastor is Dr. Bryan Parks.
The primary past, present and future activity of the church is as a place of worship of Jesus Christ, bible study, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. This includes weekly worship and bible study classes for all ages on Sundays, in addition to weekday classes and groups.
The current congregation numbers around 30, with 20-25 usually in attendance on Sundays. Members range from elementary school age to retired. Members are employed as teachers, professionals, in retail, construction, etc. A high percentage of those who attend worship also attend one of the Sunday School classes. Small group bible studies are held Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Fellowship dinners are held monthly, and a time for fellowship is scheduled between Sunday School and worship.
Outreach is extremely important to the congregation. The annual budget includes at least fifteen percent of the total budget dedicated to outreach giving. In addition, the church actively participates in Family Promise, a program which uses church facilities to house homeless families. In fact, the most recent building added to the church campus has been designed and outfitted to serve the dual purpose of classrooms and Family Promise housing. The church also participates in a ministry to provide summer lunches to underprivileged children in the neighborhood of an Allen Elementary school and supports Allen Community Outreach, The Samaritan Inn, Allen Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry, Hammons Missions, Time to Revive and Pioneer Bible Translators and various other programs. The Elders visit a nearby elder-care facility on a weekly basis to offer communion and fellowship.
In addition to spiritual assistance, a purpose of the church has been and will be to provide prayer, counseling and comfort to its members in times of trouble, including visitation at hospitals and to shut-ins. This also includes baptisms, dedication of infants, weddings, funerals and the counseling and support to assist members and their families in each of those times.
The church believes that Jesus told us, as recorded in the bible in Matthew 25:31-46, that we are required to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, invite in the stranger, clothe those in need and visit the sick. As noted above, the future plans of the church include significant outreach to the community, including active participation in the Family Promise ministry, as well as financial support of other community organizations which provide assistance to the underprivileged in our area. In addition to the organizations and efforts noted above, the church will continue to look for opportunities to meet Christ’s mandate to feed, clothe and house those in need. The church also shares some of its facilities with another congregation which meets weekly.