Church History

 

In 1955 the United Pentecostal Church of Saginaw was established by the Reverend Paul Fleetwood.  He and his family came from Indiana to see a church established in the City of Saginaw.  He found a building that was in need of great repair, the Old Theater Building, at 1807 W. Genessee in Saginaw.  After moving his family into the second floor of the building and making the much needed repairs on the theater, he opened the doors of the United Pentecostal Church of Saginaw on January 9, 1956.

Reverend Fleetwood was a man that came with a great desire to see his church well established.  He was not a novice in ministry.  After college, he assisted in churches for many years.  He then traveled as an evangelist before feeling the need to come to the Saginaw Valley.  Even though he knew there were no members awaiting him, he came.  Some of his colleagues told him that he would never be able to establish a church in the valley because he was not from the Saginaw area.

With a humble beginning he reached out to many families that were in need of spiritual help.  Many of those original families he ministered to are still a part of the congregation today. 
 
Because of the consistent growth of the church, the congregation was forced to look for a new location.  The church purchased a building on Roberts Street in Saginaw.  This location would serve as their home until the church was able to purchase property at 2259 Williamson Road.  The new church was built in Saginaw in 1971.  

After twenty-nine years of service, Reverend Fleetwood announced his retirement from the United Pentecostal Church of Saginaw, UPCS, in 1984.  At that time, the Reverend Paul Leaman was serving as Regional Field Supervisor in Latin America for the Foreign Missions Division of the United Pentecostal Church International.  Reverend Leaman resigned his position with the Foreign Missions Division to become the new pastor of the UPCS.
 
In 1986 Kevin Leaman was added to the ministerial team of the UPCS as Youth Director.  In the years to follow, Reverend Kevin Leaman would serve as an Assistant Pastor.  In 1992 he was voted to serve as the Assistant Pastor to his father, Reverend Paul Leaman.  The Reverend Fred Graham moved to Saginaw during those years and was added to the ministry team as well.  Reverend Paul Leaman passed away in January of 1995.  The congregation then elected Reverend Kevin Leaman to serve as Senior Pastor at that time. 1995 also marked the sale of the church at 2295 Williamson Road and the purchase of property at 6740 Dixie Highway in Bridgeport.  The congregation dedicated the current church building in 1997.  Additional properties were purchased at 6750 and 6770 Dixie Highway.  The church presently maintains two homes, one apartment and a pole barn.
 
The Reverends Ralph Torres, Peter Murdock, Travis Thayer and Candis Thayer have are also part of the ministerial team.  With our team of capable ministers, the church has been able to assist other churches in the area and help establish new churches in other cities.  Because the outreach of our church is to the entire Saginaw Valley the church voted to change its' name to Saginaw Valley United Pentecostal Church (SVUPC) in 2004.  One of the outreaches of SVUPC has been to establish a Spanish speaking church.  Iglesia Pentecostal Unida La Esperanza is pastored by the Reverend and Mrs. Ralph Torres and holds services at our present building.  SVUPC has become a congregation that is reaching out to the Saginaw Valley and to the world.