The first Catholic residents of Avon Park attended mass in Sebring and Wauchula. Initially, mass in the city was celebrated at the Tourist Club and also for a time during World War II upstairs in the Brickel Building on Main Street, opposite the Hotel Jacaranda.
In 1956, Father Emil Heiring, pastor of St. Catherine Parish, began plans to build a mission church in Avon Park.The mission would be named "Our Lady of Grace", and a fund drive was soon initiated. Archbishop Hurley gave his permission to commence construction, and the new church was completed in January, 1957. Mass was celebrated for the first time on February 3, 1957, followed by its dedication on May 12, 1957.
In 1961, Father Heiring was named Administrator of Our Lady of Grace, and a small rectory was built adjoining the church. Father Heiring retired and was succeeded by Father Armand Gregoire, who was followed by Father Antonio Pons. During his pastorate, comfortable pews replaced metal chairs and the sanctuary was remodeled. Father Pons added a three-bedroom rectory and a social hall, which included three classrooms.
Father George Frazer arrived as pastor in March of 1974. He added a conference room and two classrooms.
Father Gerald Grogan became Pastor on March 17, 1979. With the fast growing number of parishioners, an extension was built on the south end of the church to accommodate sixty additional people. The faceted glass windows were also new to the addition. Two staff houses and two portable buildings, to house five additional classrooms, were added in 1988.
In 1993, Mass was celebrated in the parish hall while a new wing and sacristy were constructed. At the same time the interior of the church was remodeled, including a new altar. The church now provides seating for 825 people.
In 1998, realizing the importance of youth in the parish, the Youth rooms and racquetball court were added to the former social hall. The covered entrance of the church was added in 2001, as well as a new organ and the remodeling of the choir area. In 2003 the schoolhouse was constructed.
In 2004, a new parish center was built, which included a spacious hall, elevated stage, state-of-the-art kitchen, and an expanded administration department. The Memorial Garden, featuring a statue of Our Lady of Grace, was completed in 2006. On February 4, 2007 the parish celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a special mass.
Father Nicholas McLoughlin, affectionately referred to as "Father Nick" by parishioners, was appointed pastor on March 8, 2007.
Since his arrival, there have been many improvements, renovations and additions to the Parish. The former parish hall was renovated and is now the Sarah MacDonald Religious Education Building, currently housing eight classrooms and the Religious Education office.
The Youth Area was moved from the former parish hall to the old school house, which was appropriately renamed the St. John Bosco Youth Center. A lighted soccer field was added adjacent to the Youth Center. In 2009 a beautiful fenced playground was constructed next to the Religious Education Building providing young children with a safe place to play while activities are in progress at Our Lady of Grace.
In 2010 the grounds were landscaped with the addition of many palms, oaks, and shrubs; which transformed the grounds and added to the overall attractiveness of Our Lady of Grace Parish.