The Church of the Saviour was started by Rev. Dr. Henry O. Alloway, Jr. Rev. Alloway had been a pastor in the United Methodist Church in the Texas Conference for over 30 years until 1981 when he felt God's leadership to begin an independent work. But first let's rewind 20 years to one day in 1961. Rev. Alloway was as yet pastoring in the Methodist church, but on this particular day he found himself in attendance at an Episcopalian Healing meeting in Nacogdoches, Texas, where a converted Jewish Rabbi was leading a diverse group of Christians praising and worshiping the Lord.
At this point, I'll let Bro. Henry tell his own story:
We got to the meeting and I was impressed. Everyone apparently was a college graduate. They all had beautiful smiles on their faces, joy in their hearts, and so far as I could tell, all of them were either Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, or Episcopalian. I felt right at home!
The sermons were good. A converted Jewish Rabbi (at that time a Methodist), a medical doctor, a member of the American Board of Surgery, and an Episcopal minister were the speakers. I listened carefully and I had deep appreciation, not only for what was said, but also for the homiletics involved in the messages.
That night it was expressed that the Reverend Winkler, an Episcopal minister from near Chicago, would talk about "healing services in the church." Already I told you that I was interested in this, so we attended the evening session in the Anna Raguet Room at the Fredonia.
After Rev. Winkler spoke, he said there would be a prayer meeting for anyone who wished to stay. Now, I had always been interested in prayer, so I wanted to stay.
Rev. Winkler began reading from the "Episcopal Book of Common Prayer." Then he began to speak in a language unfamiliar to me. I presumed that it was Latin, and a part of the Episcopalian Liturgy, as I knew very little about the Episcopal Church.
Soon, about a dozen other people began to speak in a language I did not know, and for the first time in my life, I knew that I was experiencing a scene where people were "talking in tongues," as described somewhere in the back of the Bible!
What surprised me was how different it was from what I thought it would be. I thought that people who spoke in tongues rolled on the floor, jumped over benches, hung from chandeliers, climbed the walls, etc. Here was a group of people sitting quietly, speaking in tongues, but I declare, I had never felt the presence of God more strongly than I felt it there. The layman who was with me wanted to leave, so we did.
We came back the next morning and the converted Jewish Rabbi, Brother Jack Robins, was the speaker. He preached a beautiful sermon to nearly one hundred people who were in attendance. Then he said, "I believe there is a Methodist minister here who would like to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. If he will come forward, we'll pray for him."
Well, I didn't know if I was the only Methodist preacher there or not, but I did believe that call was for me.
I got up from my pew and walked to the front. I turned and faced the congregation, and I said, "When I came here I felt some great needs, but somehow I have a sense of expectancy that God is going to meet my needs." With that, I sat down in the chair provided me. As soon as I sat down, without moving my lips, I said this prayer in my heart to God. "God, you know that I am not an emotional person, and I have no intention of trying to drum up some kind of emotion to have some kind of experience, but I do want what you have for me, and I surrender to you."
Let me say at this point that I think this is all God wants, surrendered vessels, people who are willing to yield their total lives to him. God can meet our needs, but even God can't surrender for us.
I began to think of the words of the song, "How Great Thou Art." I was not whispering them, I was not moving my lips, but rather just thinking of the words, when I heard Dr. William Standish Reed, the medical doctor kneeling beside me, say, "Begin singing the song you are thinking about."
You could have blown me over with a feather! I didn't know whether this was mental telepathy or what, but I did know that it had never happened to me before. I know now that it was not mental telepathy, but the leadership of God's Spirit.
I began to sing, and everyone joined in. Obedience is so important in the things of God. If God's Spirit reveals something to you, you need to do it. As God's Spirit spoke to me through Dr. Reed, I obeyed and sang.
Miracle Of Miracles-
When the song was over, although it was off-key and poorly done according to the musical standards of today, I began to feel a warmth go all through my body. I had never felt such peace, such power as I was feeling. My whole body seemed to be aflame with the Spirit and just at that moment Rev. Winkler said, "Speak."
I began to speak, and yet what I was saying was not in English, it sounded oriental to me. I spoke for a moment, not loudly, but in a soft voice. Then Rev. Winkler said, "Now interpret."
I confess that I did not know what he meant by interpretation and I stood to my feet, faced the congregation and told them, "I do not know what you mean by interpretation, but I do know what is in my heart." I now know that this was the interpretation, as it was prophetic, and I have never forgotten it.
I said, "I do not know whether I can return to my local church or not, I do not know whether I can remain in the Methodist ministry or not, but I do know that Jesus Christ is more real to me right now than He has ever been in my life, and I do not know what the future holds, but I want Jesus Christ to hold my future."
The story of the adventurous walk of the Holy Spirit is detailed in his book, currently out of print, IT ALL BEGAN IN SLATE VALLEY. We will have excerpts from it on this site. You can download a free copy of it by clicking here. Click to Download! Download
Bro. Henry has also written another book that is used in counseling and in the Texas Department of Corrections that is called FOCUS -A Layman's Guide to God and an Interpersonal Relationship with God, Self and Others. Focus on Forgiveness and Focus on Commitment are from that book.
Bro. Alloway and his wife, Virginia, went through many years back in Methodist ministry from 1968 until 1981. They pastored Bradfield-Jenkins United Methodist Churches in Daingerfield, Texas for 7 years, and then St Pauls UMC in Conroe, Texas for another 7 years, and then the Montgomery UMC with Farris Chapel Church. The Lord moved mightily in all of them with the wind of the Holy Spirit. Bro. Henry felt the Lord calling him to begin our church 25 years ago now. He and Virginia left the Methodist ministry again, and moved to Conroe and started a prayer meeting in their home, that quickly turned into a thriving congregation, that later moved to Copeland Chapel and then the Holiday Inn, and then the current site that was opened in Jan 1986. Bro. Alloway turned the Pastorate over to Brian and Ginny in the Fall of 1985.
The church is a church of intercession and spiritual warfare through the leading of the Lord. Ginny was involved for several years in Womens Aglow, eventually as President of the night chapter in Conroe. Then she became Regional Director of Women Minister's International from 1985- 1995. At that time she began working in the Montgomery County Jail under Jan and Russell Tickner, and later became the Chaplain for the Women for three years. Much of the ministry of the church became focused on the rehabilitation of inmates who were released and found a relationship with Jesus during their incarceration.
Bro Alloway had been involved in the ministry at the Texas Department of Corrections since 1973, and his materials are still being used there today. He had many wonderful experiences of seeing the miracle working power of God in the men's lives that he ministered to every week at the Walls unit in Huntsville.
Our lives have been enriched by the relationships in the community where Bro Henry and Virginia taught school in Conroe, The Woodlands, Montgomery, and Willis. Bro Henry was also involved in Little League Baseball as a coach and as an announcer for football games for Montgomery for several years. He and Virginia began their marriage in the Pastorate of Willis Methodist Church in 1951.
In 2013, the Lord called Henry and Virginia home. Their ministry was foundational to the church and we miss them. But they are with the Lord Jesus - Amen!