The East Williamson Free Methodist Church was established in 1886.
A major expansion occurred in the late 1970's and into the early 1980's with the removal of the parsonage, located directly south of the sanctuary. The 'church house' was converted back to a parsonage, and remodeled and named after Clara Milliman. As a second phase in that expansion plan, we built the existing sanctuary. That construction project utilized the knowledge, skill, and labor, all voluntary, of church members. It was built in love, with much vision, prayer, and effort, always with the purpose of sharing Christ with those within reach. It is a tangible evidence of faith that the project was accomplished completely debt free!
During the 1980's the church purchased a home on Main Street, Williamson, as a parsonage, and the church house was re-converted to church use. A second parsonage was purchased, the house directly west of the church across the street, to house the associate pastor. This also gave us additional parking. With Pastor Tedd coming to the church in 2004, he and his family already lived in the area. Therefore this parsonage was turning into a stunning Youth Center named “The Attic”. With high technology meeting rooms and game rooms as well as a Cafe. This facility has been used for multiple ministry endeavors.
There have been six pastors since the 1960's (Elton Smith Sr., Paul Show, Lloyd Payne, Jon Horton (asst. pastors Dave Banks; Ken Rodgers), Dwayne Brothers, Peter Kadar and Tedd Smith). The denomination has changed positively from the policy of changing pastors often (about every three years) and without notification, to a position of recognizing the validity of longevity for a pastor in a healthy church situation.
Visioning, evaluating, and changing are part of the positive heritage of the East Williamson Free Methodist Church. The purpose being to share Christ with all the 'world' within reach of this church, and to be supportive in extending beyond our reach however possible. Most recently, a decision to change the name of the church to Grace Ridge Church was another step to eliminate all unintentional obstacles to anyone hearing the Gospel of Jesus. At the same time, we continue our deep bond with the Free Methodist Church and their mission to Know God & Make Him Known.
God has honored the work of this church, at times in miraculous ways. He has also allowed this church family to be humbled, in order to become stronger in purpose. Most recently in February of 2014 a fire required 50% of the facility to be demolished. With insurance funding and a Capital Campaign, a 1 million dollar renovation took place. The entire facility opened to nearly 500 people for 2017 Christmas Eves services! As God continues to direct, more expansion is planned in order to serve the community he has placed us in for nearly 140 years.