The year was 1987. Hundreds of new Malayalee immigrant families had settled down in the various towns in Rockland. Most of them were christians from the different mainstream denominations, and among them were a few Pentecostals. No group in the county had a regular worship service or a permanent place for worship. Most believers in the area worshipped in congregations in New York City.
Rev. Rajan Philip who was a teacher of Theology in India had migrated to the US in 1978. He was a member of the Ebenezer Full Gospel Assembly in Yonkers while pursuing his secular education. The yearning to be in the Lord's ministry was strong in him, and on his knees, was seeking guidance, to show him the right place to pioneer a ministry and plant a church. In 1985, he had moved to Rockland and realized that there was no Malayalee Pentecostal gathering in the area. This could be the place for him. Waiting on the lord, he eventually received the confirmation he needed, that Rockland was the land for him to till. Once he had the assurance, Rev. Philip never looked back.
The Grace Assembly of God was born on 30 October, 1987. The name was prayerfully and carefully chosen, and it was the reflection of the deep faith in the abiding grace of God. It started as a prayer meeting at the residence of Rev. Philip with just his family, John Philip and Blessy Chacko attending the first meeting. In the following weeks Kuriakose Kurien, his wife Sosamma Kurien and their two children, Sobhana Philip, and her husband Mathew Philip who had just arrived from India, joined them. Soon after, the small congregation moved to a rented facility, the basement of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Spring Valley. The place was scrubbed and painted, and a few white folding chairs were purchased, the first assets of the church. The membership then was 12.
Grace Assembly of God was officially inaugurated at 2 pm on the afternoon of Sunday, June 5, 1988. 32 people attended that Sunday service which was held at Faith Assembly of God in Chestnut Ridge, NY. Rev. Kenneth Tinch, Rev. Pappy Kunjukunju, Bro. P. Silaskutty and a handful of believers from other local churches participated in that service.
The 'set in order meeting' of the church was on February 4, 1990 with Rev. William J. Behr, Asst. Superintendent of AG New York District in attendance. The congregation accepted the constitution and bylaws of the church, and selected E.J. Chacko and Mathew Philip as the first Secretary and Treasurer of Grace Assembly of God.