HISTORY OF THE FORT BEND CHURCH
In March 2004, after much prayer, Reverend Byron C. Stevenson yielded to the urgings of the Holy Spirit prompting him to start a church in the Sugar Land community. He and his wife, Sonya, prayed and agreed to start preparing to give birth to the vision God was bringing forth. After Reverend Stevenson had several private conversations with family members and trusted friends, the vision for a new church start had begun.
The only thing lacking at this point was a name for the church. The pastor and his wife wanted a name that was simple, yet one that reflected the vision for the church to “serve the total needs of God’s people”; so goes the name—The Fort Bend Church. The emphasis on “The” being a part of the official name of the church, distinguishes it from other churches in the Fort Bend County area. “It is the place to be in Fort Bend County” is a phrase coined by First Lady Sonya which set the tone for marketing efforts as they spread the word about the upcoming new venture. This led to the first, official planning meeting held on June 5, 2004. The Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of Texas, effective June 22, 2004, establishing The Fort Bend Church as an official, non-profit religious entity.
Reverend Stevenson and his wife began plans to host two information meetings called “Meet and Greet” sessions. These sessions were designed to officially announce plans to begin worship on August 1, 2004. The first “Meet and Greet” was held on July 17, 2004 at the Sugar Land Library. The second session was held on July 24, 2004 at the First Colony Library.
A website was established which bore the official and existing logo of the church. It also included the official church colors which are blue and gold. The Fort Bend Church became affectionately known as “The Bend” as a result of the establishment of the church web address www.thebend.org. God, through His divine will, already had a place of worship designated. Pastor Stevenson was led to establish the church’s temporary worship home at Sugar Land Middle School, 321 Seventh Street, Sugar Land, Texas.
By this time, preparations were underway for the inaugural service. Pastor Byron and Sonya Stevenson assembled a crew of volunteers to serve as the initial “volunteer staff” for the new church. These individuals included: Jay and Artice Hedgemon, Erle Gooding, McKeba Taylor, Derrick and Chalita Cyprian, Toni Crawford, Christopher Hubbard, Shevonne Malvo, Ingrid Rayo and Michelle Hampton. Many others were added later.
The Fort Bend Church opened its doors for worship on a sultry, summer day on August 1, 2004. Over 600 worshippers crowded into the Sugar Land Middle School commons area. Mayor David Wallace of Sugar Land was in attendance on this great day. Pastor Stevenson inaugurated his place in history as the founding Pastor of The Fort Bend Church as he led a crowd of fanning parishioners in worship and praise. On this day, Pastor Stevenson preached a sermon entitled, “The Miracle on Seventh Street” from the scripture Isaiah 54:1-4. Since its inception, the church has grown from over 700 members at the end of December 2004 to over 7,000 members to date.
On June 16, 2005, under the leadership of Pastor Stevenson, The Fort Bend Church congregation purchased 6.3 acres of land at the corner of Eldridge and West Airport in Sugar Land, Texas. In July of 2007, construction began on a 61,000 square foot worship center at 1900 Eldridge, Sugar Land, Texas. Completion is scheduled for March 2009.“Serving the total needs of God’s people”