In the Year 1950, Missionaries Valence and Lula Baird felt led of the Lord to start a mission in the newly erected Singapore Improvement Trust (S.I.T.) single storey terrace shophouse at 50 Odin Square, off Alexandra Road. Starting with a single ‘Story Hour’ in Cantonese, the little mission was jammed with 30-40 children who heard Bible stories in their mother tongue. Less than a year later church services in Cantonese began as the parents and neighbours attended. As more adults in the community showed interest, a Bible Study and Prayer Meeting was introduced as a mid-week service. The mission at the end of 1951 had an attendance of thirty, which included adults, teenagers and children.
In June 1952 Sister Lau To Chan was recommended by the Principal of the Ecclesia Bible Institute as replacement for the Bairds who had to go on furlough. She worked hard, applied herself to the community, and made frequent visits to the homes of the sick and the hospitals. And thus a solid Chinese work developed. Assured of the Lord’s leading, she later applied for and gained Singapore citizenship.
Rev. Jean K. Wagner, an appointed missionary from the Assemblies of God HQ, Missouri, U.S.A. was sent as replacement to the Alexandra Mission in late 1954. Sis Wagner was well versed in English and also spoke Mandarin, while Sis Lau To Chan was fluent in Cantonese and spoke some English. Both widows laboured in harmony and were blessed of God. Soon the church in Odin Square with a congregation of fifty became congested and they were compelled to seek for a larger premises.
In 1958, a property at 355, Tanglin Road was put up in a public auction by the bank. The church prayed fervently about the acquisition of the property. Rev. Wagner went to the auction, not knowing how the church could compete in the bidding. For some unknown reasons, the auction was postponed twice. Because of the postponements, no one was present at the third auction except Rev. Wagner and the negotiation with the bank settled the 41,000 sq. ft. land at $49,500. Soon, the church moved into the new location and was named Grace Assembly because it was by God’s grace that the property was purchased at such a good price.
On 26 May 1962, Rev. Wagner died. Her adopted son, Rev. David Nyien, took over Grace Assembly in July 1962. He served as pastor for less than four years. But in that short time, he made significant changes and transformed the fledging church to an independent and confident church. He led the church to extend the single-storey building with a second level to accommodate up to 350 people. He invited Rev. Oh Beng Khee and his fiancee, Sis Mary Lee, from Malaysia to come and assist him.
On 1 July 1966, Rev. Oh Beng Khee took over as the pastor of the church. Under his leadership, there were several initiatives to set up satellite and house churches. In 1974, a decision was made to go ahead with the new church building because of the dilapidated state and the space problem for the congregation. A dedication service was held on 21 October 1979. The sanctuary was filled with voices of praise and thanksgiving as the congregation reflected on God’s faithfulness and goodness towards Grace Assembly.
An education block was added towards the end of 1989 when the Sunday School faced a constant shortage of class rooms.
On the night the education block was dedicated, Rev. Oh Beng Khee resigned from his pastorate to concentrate on being a full-time evangelist before the dedication of the education block. Rev. David Lim was introduced as the new Senior Pastor. He was installed the following day.
In the year 2006 a new campus was built at Bukit Batok (Grace II) in addition to the one at 355 Tanglin Road (Grace I), This was done to accommodate the growth of the congregation.
On 31st Dec 2011, the position of Senior Pastor was transferred from Ps David Lim to Ps Calvin Lee. Ps Lim remains on staff as Pastor Mentor. Ps Calvin Lee currently leads a staff strength of 63 people, of which 37 staff takes on pastoral and ministry roles and 26 staff undertakes administrative duties.
A new leadership direction has been introduced to the church from 2012 onwards, New Grace — a renewed focus on loving God and loving people. The vision statement of the church remains as More People, More Like Jesus. Our new mission statement is To Fulfill the Great Commission by obeying the Great Commandment. Our core values are derived from the operative word in this new Grace era – LOVE. Live Life Missionally, Obey God Radically, Value People Wholeheartedly, Engage Our World Creatively.