Refuge – The City Church, founded July 19, 1959, is a Christ-centered, multicultural, multi-ethnic community of believers in the area of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
We are transforming people to LOVE . LIVE . LEAD.


We first began in the late 1950s, when a group of members of the Lafayette Avenue Church of God was led to hold a series of weekly prayer meetings at the home of Sister Clementine Johnson at 119 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. Because of the rapid increase and growth of the group, it was necessary to find a larger facility; therefore a hall was leased at 239 Hancock Street, Brooklyn, New York, where Sunday and Tuesday night meetings were held.

It was during these meetings that the saints were led to establish a work and to call the Reverend Lionel Yearwood as its first pastor. Under his capable leadership, the work continued to grow and prosper, and on October 30th, 1959, the Refuge Church of God became an incorporated body.

By the month of August 1962, the membership had increased to 65, necessitating the acquisition of a larger edifice. The faithful membership of the Refuge Church of God located a site at 595-97 Quincy Street, Brooklyn, New York and later purchased it. On that site was a burned out building which formerly housed the Exodus A.M.E. Church with a huge pot bellied stove among the rubble and ashes. It was from these ashes that our present edifice rose. In addition, a mortgage was taken and in 1972 by the help of God the members of the Refuge Church of God burned the mortgage, earlier than contracted.

Over it’s nearly 50 year history the Refuge Church of God has been served faithfully by four pastors; our founding pastor, Rev. Lionel Yearwood (1959-1979), Rev. Alfred Sealy (1980-1992), Rev. Dr. Harold Layne (1993-2006) and our current pastor, Rev. Kevin R. Osbourne (January 2007-present).