Loving God. Proclaiming Christ. Living Generously. Engaging All.
Welcome to Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church (MDPC), nestled in the heart of Memorial on the west side of Houston. We are located at the corner of Memorial Drive and Blalock. Our address is 11612 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77024, and our telephone number is 713-782-1710.
This online resource provides a brief sketch of the church’s life. To get a full picture, come join us as we share the wonder of living in Christ’s fellowship. We hope the navigation of our site is intuitive and that you will find the information you are seeking as well as sense the spirit of our congregation. Also, each webpage on our site is searchable by typing in your search word in the search box located at the top right of the MDPC Home page. Let’s start with links to information that tells you:
Our Mission Statement and Vision
Loving God. Proclaiming Christ. Living Generously. Engaging All.
Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church’s vision is to embrace beliefs and practices that fully express who we strive to be as followers of Jesus Christ. These tenets are expressed through our mission statement, and also our vision verse: “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15a). This imperative challenges us to be ambassadors of Christ, sharing God’s love and grace both in our own community and around the world.
These actions are focus areas for us to apply the vision in our individual lives, on our campus, and throughout the world.
Our identity is shaped by these beliefs:
- We continually seek the will of God, believing that God is always offering people creative ways to serve in the church and in the world. We believe we must take risks as we respond to God’s challenges.
- We believe worship is the central act of the people of God. Worship is highly participatory and is the hub from which prayer, study, service, stewardship, care for one another, fellowship, evangelism, and servant leadership emerge.
- Following the guidance of the Westminster Confession, we affirm that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience. We acknowledge that the Bible is a record of God’s continuing loving relationship with humanity, as well as a rich source of guidance for our lives.
- We believe that prayer is a dialogue with God that provides nourishment and strength for living. As we respond to God’s activity in the world and in our lives, we bring to God our deepest concerns and submit them to God’s sovereign will.
- We feel we have an obligation to provide a Christian education program through which every child, youth, and adult can understand the basic doctrine of the Christian faith, apply the teachings of the Bible to the practical situations of our lives, and grow toward Christian maturity.
- We believe that every Christian is called to worship God regularly, to discover God’s love and God’s will, and to demonstrate God’s love to others.
- We believe that the biblical concept of percentage giving is a joyful response to God’s grace in Jesus Christ and an inestimable privilege. We challenge every member to be intentional, not only about pledging but also about moving systematically toward the tithe and beyond it to radical generosity.
Who We Are
Even as a large church (3500 members), Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church is known for its warmth, generosity, and dedication in seeking to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ in the church, the community, and the world. MDPC is one of the ten largest congregations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and is also a member of the Fellowship of Presbyterians. Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways: they adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed Theology, and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members. Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him. Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these beliefs are:
- The sovereignty of God
- The centrality of Jesus Christ
- The authority of scripture
- Justification by grace through faith
- The priesthood of all believers
Our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ.
The Pillars of MDPC
Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church was founded on the two principles listed below, and we still hold them dear today.
Partner in Prayer
Our house shall be called a house of prayer. Prayer guides our major policy decisions as well as our everyday lives. Our Partner in Prayer ministry fulfills the commitment to our goal that every member be prayed for every day. This is accomplished through the efforts of over 600 volunteers who annually commit to pray for approximately ten individuals each day.
Second, in obedience to Christ’s teaching, we are committed to a Dollar-for-Dollar benevolence program. Since the church’s inception in 1954 and continuing to the present, we annually set a goal of matching the money spent in the operation of the church and its programs with giving to those in need in the community and the world. Annually, this works out to approximately $4 Million that goes directly to missionaries, mission agencies, and mission parters, both here in Houston and globally.
The allocation and administration of these funds is the responsibility of MDPC’s Outreach Ministries, who annually review funding requests, visit partners, and provide emotional and physical support to the 140+ beneficiaries of this congregation’s commitment to generosity.
On Sunday, January 9, 1955, seventy persons gathered in the Memorial Drive Elementary School, beyond the then western city limits of Houston, Texas, to hold the first worship services of Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church. From that modest beginning, the church grew rapidly, as the surrounding area filled with new families. Membership rolls passed 500 in 1957; 1,000 in 1960; 2,000 in 1965; 3,000 in 1969. These numbers reflected the community response to the new congregation, led by Dr. Charles Shedd. The fourth anniversary of the church was celebrated by 1,044 worshipers in a new Sanctuary/Fellowship Hall built on six acres at the intersection of Memorial Drive and Blalock. The present Sanctuary was built in 1972. New classrooms, a chapel, parlor, kitchen, and fellowship hall were added in the early 1990s. A remodeling of the Sanctuary, a new Church Life Center, new office space, and renovation of many classrooms were dedicated in 2002, before the church celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005. In 2012, the 18-month Good Housekeeping Campaign was launched, providing for the enlargement of the Sanctuary chancel, media upgrades, conversion of the MDPC Library to classroom space, the creation of TheNook, and the development of the Columbarium.
MDPC continues the historic challenge of high expectations of members to continue their growth through study, prayer, stewardship, and outreach.