True Holy Church was formed in 1952 by Pastor Sallie Still. From its earliest inception, it has always been located in the East New York community. The culture of the church was established by its founder through her conduct. She demonstrated serving, helping others, and reaching those that many might have considered lost and written off. Those who knew Sallie remember her picking up anyone and everyone from the street and bringing them to church. She lived out the belief that no one is out of reach and the understanding that sanctification is a process: that through the power of the Holy Spirit we can all be transformed.
The church was further defined by Pastor Nance, who coined the name “City of Refuge.” In the Bible, the Cities of Refuge were towns in the Kingdom of Israel and Kingdom of Judah in which the perpetrators of manslaughter could claim the right of asylum. Outside of these cities, blood vengeance against such perpetrators was allowed by law. It is our belief that the church, like the Biblical Cities of Refuge, is a place were anyone is welcome to come into the house of God to "get it right." Although many places are not welcoming to all those on the fringes -- those who have made mistakes or need to turn their lives around -- the church has always understood that those who are trying to "get it right" have to start from somewhere, and the church needs to reach out to them with love and compassion. The church continues to live out the legacy of its founder by reaching out with love and by rallying behind all its members to lift them up when they are in need.
It is Pastor Grubb’s vision to continue the legacy of the church: to be a city of refuge in today’s time by helping those disconnected in life to find purpose.
Pastor Sallie Still
Founder | 1952- 1978
Dr. Harry T. Nance
Pastor Emeritus | 1978 - 2006
Elder Vivian S. Grubb
Pastor 2006 - Present