Biography: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Linda Dianne Henderson McGrew
Born on September 2, 1953 in Angleton, Texas (Brazoria County), Linda Dianne Henderson was the only child of Bertha
Mae and LM Henderson. As a child and young adult, she was a member of New Bethel Baptist Church (under the
leadership of the late Rev. R.L. Davenport and later under the leadership of the late Rev. L. R. Eath). At a young age she
articulated her desire to be baptized and began to use her gifts in His service. She studied piano under the tutelage of
pianist Ms. Ivory Thomas. This enabled her to serve as the musician for several local churches. This was also the
beginning of her call to ministry as she continued to utilize the gifts that God gave her to make a positive impact on
others, letting God’s light shine through her. As a child, she also sang in the church choir and led a spirited and animated
rendition of Henry Thacker Burleigh’s “Didn’t It Rain”. Her activities in the church also included active membership and
service in the church’s youth ministry. This provided an avenue for her to do the work that she loved, helping others.
Often referred to as “an old soul” Dianne loved to spend time with the elderly, listening to stories of their experiences and
gaining wisdom from them. Many times she said, “You can learn a lot from others, if you just listen”. She loved animals
and the time that she spent with her father raising and tending to the family’s livestock. These times were often referred to
as some of the “best times of her life”. It was also not uncommon to find her in her mother’s beauty salon or assisting with
the family’s rental properties. Dianne never encountered a stranger and befriended all, regardless of their social status or
popularity. Growing up she routinely advocated for those that were being treated unkindly or unfairly, even if this meant a
slight kerfuffle. Injustice and the mistreatment of others was something that she refused to allow to happen. She was
committed to including all and could often be found being a friend to those that were shunned, ostracized, and ignored by
Dianne attended school in Angleton, Texas. An excellent student, she was invited to participate in Prairie View A & M
University’s summer programming during high school. This opportunity enabled her to strengthen her cosmetology skills.
After graduating from high school, rather than accept an offer of admission from Prairie View A & M University, she
opted to attend Franklin Beauty School. At this time she and her mother relocated to Houston, Texas so that she could
further her schooling. She earned a Beauty Culture of Arts Degree.
While living in Angleton, TX, Dianne and her mother often fellowshipped with Spiritual Temple No. 2. Thus, upon
moving to Houston, TX, they united with Spiritual Temple No. 1 (under the leadership of Bishop Charles Henry Turner).
It was also during this time that she began a substantial courtship with David L. McGrew, which resulted in their
marriage. To this union, one child was born, Allegra M. McGrew, who she loved dearly with all that she was. The couple
recently celebrated their 50 th Wedding Anniversary with a vow renewal. When speaking of her marriage, she often said,
“We’ve been together for 50 years, I’ve never left him and he has never left me”.
In 1999 she was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel by the late Archbishop Ernest J. Johnson (Pastor Founder and at that
time, Presiding Prelate of Israel Universal Divine Spiritual Church of Christ) alongside her daughter. As a member of
Spiritual Temple No. 1, Dianne served in various roles. These roles included Church Secretary, Senior Associate Minister,
Director of Christian Education, Benevolent Fund Champion, Coordinator of the Mission Department, Leadership
Council member, and Fundraising Coordinator. In 2002, she was appointed as State Overseer of Texas by Archbishop
Ernest J. Johnson. Well known for being a giver, if the small church was lacking the funding for a project, she would
routinely assume fiscal responsibility. She was committed to making sure that God’s work continued to advance. She
remained a faithful member of Spiritual Temple No.1 until her demise (under the leadership of Dr. Allegra McGrew).
Not only was she active in her local church, prior to becoming ill, she was also active in the organization that her church
was a founding member of, Israel Universal Divine Spiritual Churches of Christ (IUDSCC). Serving in various roles,
including leading the Christian Education Committee. Both her local church and IUDSCC provided an avenue for her to
faithfully serve and do God’s work.
She was also well known for her compassion, as evidenced by countless instances of her quietly helping others. One
Sunday after going outside after service, she returned wearing no shoes. It was later discovered that she had given them to
a homeless woman that she encountered while outside. She lived her life in such a way that she actively demonstrated
God’s love. Often quoting Matthew 25:44-45, “They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a
stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you? ' “He will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did
not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me”.
Dianne also loved animals, shopping, and traveling. She was an avid reader and amassed an incredible library of books.
She served as a wife, mother, friend, surrogate mother, and advocate to many. Her high moral standards, integrity,
generosity, strength, honesty, work ethic, compassion, and kindness will forever be her legacy.
Her life’s legacy and heart beats on through her devoted and caring husband and daughter, David L. McGrew and Dr.
Allegra McGrew; Sisters in Christ and devoted friends, Minister Vera Jerry and Missionary Brenda Walker; Godchildren,
Tresa Walker Sellers; Bertha Swift; Dr. Denetra Dianne Walker; Rayna Margaret Carter; Alaina Carter; Timothy
Williams; Victor Hogan; and, Darrell Walker; Cousins, Mary Nell Norwood and Minister Linda Reado; and a countless