Church of God and Saints of Christ
℅ Robert D. Grant
10811 Massle Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44108
Elder William S. Crowdy, a black cook on the Sante Fe Railroad, claimed to have a vision from God calling him to lead his people to the true religion. He left his job and founded the Church of God and Saints of Christ in 1896 at Lawrence, Kansas. In 1900, he moved to Philadelphia, and the first annual assembly was held. Crowdy died in 1908, and Joseph N. Crowdy and William H. Plummer succeeded him as bishops. Joseph N. Crowdy died in 1917, the same year that the headquarters were moved to Bellville, Virginia, where the church had purchased a large farm. In 1931, Calvin S. Skinner, the last leader appointed by the founder, became bishop, but he lived only three months thereafter. He passed the leadership to Howard Z. Plummer, who held it for many years.
The doctrine of the Church of God is a complicated mixture of Judaism, Christianity and black nationalism. Members are accepted into the church by repentance, baptism by immersion, confession of faith in Christ Jesus, receiving communion of unleavened bread and water, having their feet washed by the elder, and agreeing to keep the Ten Commandments. They must also have been taught how to pray according to Matthew 6:9-13, and they must have been breathed upon with a holy kiss. They believe that black people are the descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel. They believe in keeping the Ten Commandments and adhering literally to the teachings of both the Old and New Testaments as positive guides to salvation., The church observes the Jewish Sabbath and the use of corresponding Hebrew names. The church is a strong advocate of temperance.
The church is headed by its bishop and prophet who is divinely called to his office. He is believed to be in direct communion with God, to utter prophecies, and to perform miracles. When a prophet dies, the office remains vacant until a new call occurs. The prophet presides over the executive board of twelve ordained elders. The church is divided into district, annual, and general assemblies. There are four orders of the ministry: bishops, missionaries, ordained ministers, and nonordained ministers. Deacons care for the temporal affairs of the church. Each local church bears the denominational name and is numbered according to its appearance in the state. The church at Bellville is communalistic, but other churches are not. The Daughters of Jerusalem and Sisters of Mercy is a women's organization whose duty is to look for straying members, to help the sick and needy, and to care for visitors from other local churches.
Membership: Not reported. At last report (1959) there were 217 churches and 38,217 members. There are affiliated congregations in Jamaica, South Africa, England, and Canada.
Educational Facilities: Bellville Industrial Institute, Bellville, Virginia.
Directory of Sabbath-Observing Groups. Fairview, OK: Bible Sabbath Association, 1986.
Fauset, Arthur Huff. Black Gods of the Metropolis. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1944.
Church of God (Black Jews)
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Church of God (Black Jews) was founded in the early twentieth century by Prophet F. S. Cherry, who claimed to have had a vision calling him to his office as prophet. He was sent to America and began the church in Philadelphia. A self-educated man, Prophet Cherry became conversant in both Hebrew and Yiddish. He became famous for his homiletic abilities, colloquialisms, and biting slang.
The Church of God is open only to black people, who are identified with the Jews of the Bible. White Jews are viewed as frauds and interlopers. The church does not use the term synagogue, the place of worship of the white Jews (Rev. 3:9). The church teaches that Jesus was a black man. The first men were also black, the first white man being Gehazi, who received his whiteness as a curse (11 Kings 5: 27). The white man continued to mix with the black people, and the yellow race resulted. Esau was the first red man (Gen. 25:25). God is, of course, black. Black people sprang from Jacob.
The New Year begins with Passover in April. Saturday is the true Sabbath. Speaking in tongues is considered nonsense. Eating pork, divorce, taking photographs, and observing Christian holidays are forbidden. The end of the period that started with creation is approaching, and the Black Jews will return in 2000 A.D. to institute the millennium.
Membership: Not reported.
Commandment Keepers Congregation of the Living God
1 W. 123rd St.
New York, NY 10027
The Commandment Keepers Congregation of the Living God emerged among West Indian blacks who migrated to Harlem. The group began with the Beth B'nai Abraham congregation founded in 1924 by Arnold Josiah Ford, an early black nationalist and leader in the Universal Negro Improvement Association founded by Marcus Garvey. Ford had repudiated Christianity, adopted Judaism, and learned Hebrew. During the years after the congregation began, Ford met Arthur Wentworth Matthew (1892-1973). Matthew was born in Lagos, West Africa, in 1892. His family moved to St. Kitts in the British West Indies and then, in 1911, to New York. Matthew became a minister in the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth, a black pentecostal church which had endorsed the U.N.I.A. Then in 1919, with eight other men, he organized his own group, the Commandment Keepers: Holy Church of the Living God, over which he became bishop. In Harlem, he had met white Jews for the first time and in the 1920s came to know A. J. Ford. Possibly from Ford, Matthew began to learn Orthodox Judaism and Hebrew and to acquire ritual materials.
Both also learned of the Falashas, the black Jews of Ethiopia, and began to identify with them. In 1930, Ford's congregation ran into financial trouble. Ford turned over the membership to Matthew's care and left for Ethiopia where he spent the rest of his life. The identification with Ethiopia merely increased through the years. In 1935, when Haile Selassie was crowned emperor, Matthew declared himself the Falashas in America and claimed credentials from Haile Selassie.
The Commandment Keepers believe that the black men are really the Ethiopian Falashas and the Biblical Hebrews who had been stripped of the knowledge of their name and religion during the slavery era. It is impossible for a black man to conceive of himself as a "Negro" and retain anything but slave mentality. With other black Jews, adherents believe the biblical patriarchs to have been black. Christianity is rejected as the religion of the Gentiles or whites.
An attempt has been made to align the Commandment Keepers with Orthodox Jewish practice. Hebrew is taught and revered as a sacred language. The Jewish holidays are kept, and the Sabbath services are held on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings and afternoons. Kosher food laws are kept. An Ethiopian Hebrew Rabbinical college trains leaders in Jewish history, the Mishnah, Josephus, the Talmud, and legalism. Elements of Christianity are retained—footwashing, healing, and the gospel hymns.
Matthew also taught Kabbalistic Science, a practice derived from conjuring, the folk magic of Southern blacks. By conjuring, Matthew believed that he could heal and create changes in situations. The conjuring is worked through four angels. In order to get results, one must call upon the right angel.
Matthew was succeeded by his grandson, David M. Dore, a graduate of Yeshiva University.
Membership: Not reported. In the early 1970s there were a reported 3,000 members in several congregations in the New York metropolitan area and the Northeast; 300 members attended the synagogue on East 123rd Street in New York City.
Brotz, Howard M. The Black Jews of Harlem. New York: Schocken Books, 1970.
Ehrman, Albert. "The Commandment Keepers: A Negro Jewish Cult in America Today." Judaism 8, no. 3 (Summer 1959): 266-70.
House of Judah
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The House of Judah is a small Black Israelite group founded in 1965 by Prophet William A. Lewis. Alabama-born Lewis was converted to his black Jewish beliefs (which are similar to those of the Church of God and Saints of Christ) from a street preacher in Chicago in the 1960s. Throughout the decade he gathered a small following out of a storefront on the southside and in 1971 moved the group to a twenty-two-acre tract near Grand Junction, Michigan. The group lived quietly and little noticed until 1983 when a young boy in the group was beaten to death. The incident focused attention on the group for its advocacy of corporal punishment. The mother of the boy was sentenced to prison for manslaughter. By 1985 the group had resettled in Alabama.
The House of Judah teaches that the Old Testament Jews were black, being derived from Jacob and his son Judah, who were black (Jeremiah 14:2). Both Solomon and Jesus were black. Jerusalem, not Africa, is the black man's land. The white Jew is the devil (Rev. 2:9); he occupies the black man's land but will soon be driven out. The House of Judah awaits a deliverer, whom God will send to take the black man from the U.S.A. to Jerusalem. He will be a second Moses to lead his people to the promised land. The group lives communally.
Membership: In 1985 there were approximately 80 members living on the farm in rural Alabama. There is only one center.
De Smet, Kate. "Return to the House of Judah." Michigan, the Magazine of the Detroit News (July 21, 1985).
Israeli Church of Universal Practical Knowledge
1 W. 125th St.
New York, NY 10027
The Israeli Church of Universal Practical Knowledge, founded in New York City in the early 1990s, is based in the identification of the biblical 12 tribes of Israel with the Black and Native people of North, Central, and South America. According to the church, Black Americans are of the tribe of Judah. The remaining tribes include the indigenous people of the various areas of the Americas: Benjamin (West Indians), Levi (Haiti), Simeon (Dominican Republic), Zebulon (Guatemala to Panama), Ephraim (Puerto Rico), Manassah (Cuba), Gad (North American Indians), Reuben (Seminole Indians), Napthali (Argentina and Chile), Asher (Columbia to Uruguay), and Issachar (Mexico).
According to the church, nine of the 12 tribes left Assyria in the eight century B.C.E. and sailed to the Americas. Three tribes—Judah, Benjamin, and Levi—were present in the Holy Land during the time of Christ. They were dispersed in 70 C.E. when Vespasian laid siege to Jerusalem. Some settled in West Africa. Here, Africans and Arabs sold them into slavery and eventually to the white men who brought them to America. The so-called American Blacks are not Africans, but Israelites. Since Africans and Arabs sold the members of the tribes of Israel into slavery, American Blacks should stay away from identification with Africans and those from Islam.
In America, the church asserts, all of the Israelites have suffered at the hands of European Americans. White people are Edomites, the descendants of the biblical Esau, the son of Isaac and Rebecca. The Edomites are the enemy of God's people, Israel, and their end is destruction. God's people should not integrate with the Edomites.
It is the goal of the Israeli Church to reunite the people of God now scattered across the Americas. According to the church, 1914 marked the beginning of the end of the Gentile Age, during which time the message of the Bible was sealed but is now being revealed to the people of God. The Israeli Church uses only the King James Version of the Bible.
Membership: Not reported.
Chaa-Rask. What You Need to Know about Islam and the Negroes. New York: Israeli School of Universal Practical Knowledge, 1992.
Images of Israel in History. New York: Masha/Ahraya Iconographs, Inc., 1994.
Masha, Ahraya, and Yaiqah. Change of World's!!!: About the Mystery Contained in the Bible. New York: Israeli Church of U.P.K., n.d.
Nation of Yahweh (Hebrew Israelites)
Current address not obtained for this edition.
History. The Nation of Yahweh, also known as the Hebrew Israelites or the Followers of Yahweh, is a movement founded by Yahweh ben (son of) Yahweh. Yahweh ben Yahweh was born Hulon Mitchell, Jr., considered a slave name, and no longer used. He was the son of a Pentecostal minister who at one point joined the Nation of Islam in which he became the leader of one of the mosques. He began to call together the Followers of Yahweh in the 1970s.
Beliefs. Yahweh ben Yahweh teaches that there is one God, whose name is Yahweh. God is black with woolly hair (Daniel 7:9; Revelation 1:13-15; Dueteronomy 7:21), and has sent his son, Yahweh ben Yahweh to the the Savior and Deliverer of His people, the so-called black people of America. Those who believe in Yahweh ben Yahweh and His name are immortal. Black people are considered the true lost tribe of Judah. They have been chosen by Yahweh, but have yet to be put into their destined office of rulership. Members, upon joining, renounce their slave name and take the surname Israel. Many of then wear white robes as commanded in the Bible (Ecclesiastes 9:8). They believe that all people who oppose God are devils, regardless of race or color. The devil is one who is immoral and follows immoral teachings of wickedness and evilness. Many persons, regardless of their race or color are capable of being and actually are the devil.
While the Nation of Yahweh has a special place for the chosen black people of America, and see white people as especially used by Satan in exercising wicked rulership, in the end salvation is not a matter of color. Any person of any race or color can be saved by faith in Yahweh ben Yahweh.
Along with its particular religious beliefs, the Nation of Yahweh sees itself as establishing a united moral power to benefit the total community of America. It supports voter registration, education, self-help jobs, business opportunities, scholarships for children, health education, better housing, strong family ties, peace, love, and harmony among people regardless of race, creed, or color. Members are taught to practice charity and benevolence, to protect chastity, to respect the ties of blood and friendship, and revere the laws of Yahweh.
Organization. The Nation of Yahweh is headed by Yahweh ben Yahweh. In its work, the nation has purchased several hotels and apartment buildings. It owns, through its corporate entity, the Temple of Love, more than 42 (in 1988) businesses which are used to support the organization and its members.
Though the 1990s, the Nation of Yahweh was disrupted by accusations of violence and murder committed by leaders against both former members and nonmembers during the period 1981-1986. Concern about the group was heightened in 1986 when two residents of an apartment house were shot while members of the group were attempting an eviction. Then in 1988, a member of the group confessed to four murders and implicated the group's leadership in twelve more. Arrested in the early 1990's, Yahweh ben Yahweh and serveral of his leaders were convicted in federal court of conspiracy to murder in 1992 and received lengthy prison terms.
Membership: Not reported. In 1988, there were congregations in 37 cities and scattered followers in a number of others. The teachings had also spread to 16 countries.
Periodicals: Yahweh Magazine.
Original Hebrew Israelite Nation
℅ Communications Press
PO Box 26063
Washington, DC 20001
The Black Israelites (members of the Original Hebrew Israelite Nation) emerged in Chicago in the 1960s around Ben Ammi Carter (born G. Parker), a black man who had studied Judaism with a rabbi, and Shaleah Ben-Israel. To the Black Jewish ideas (which were espoused by several groups in Chicago at this time) Carter and Ben-Israel added the concept of Black Zionism and held out the vision of a return to the Holy Land for their members. From headquarters at the A-Beta Cultural Center on Chicago's south side, they began to gather followers. The somewhat anonymous group came into prominence in the late 1960s as a result of their attempts to migrate to Africa and then to Israel. The group moved first to Liberia, seen as analogous to the Hebrew children's wandering in the desert for forty years to throw off the effects of slavery. Soon after their arrival, they approached the Israeli ambassador about a further move to Israel. They were unable to negotiate the move to Israel for members in Liberia. In 1968 Carter and 38 members from Chicago flew directly to Israel. Given temporary sanction and work permits, the group from Liberia joined them. By 1971, when strict immigration restrictions were imposed upon members of the group, over 300 had migrated. Other members of the group continued to arrive, however, using tourist visas which were destroyed upon moving into the colony (which had been established at Dimona). By 1980 between 1,500 and 2,000 had settled in Israel.
The Black Israelites feel they are descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel and thus Jews by birth. They celebrate the Jewish rituals and keep the Sabbath. However, they are distinguished from traditional Jews by their practice of polygamy (a maximum of seven wives is allowed) and their abandonment of the synagogue structure.
The group is currently headed by Carter, the chief rabbi. He is assisted by a divine council of twelve princes (for each of the twelve ancient tribes of Israel). During the early 1980s, the American following was under the direction of Prince Asiel Ben Israel. Under the princes are seven ministers responsible for providing education, distribution of food, clothing and shelter, economics, transportation, sports, recreation and entertainment, life preservation, and sanitation.
In Israel, the group lives communally. According to most reports, the group (due to lack of legal status), lives under harsh conditions and the continual threat of mass deportation. They have been unable to obtain necessary additional housing (for those many members who immigrated illegally) and the children are not allowed to attend public schools. Within Israel, the group has asked for land to settle in order to create their own community.
Membership: Not reported. In 1980 there were an estimated 1,500 members in Israel (900 at Dimona, 400 at Arad, 100 at Mitzpe Ramon, and 100 at Eilat) and 3,000 living in the United States, scattered in black communities in urban centers such as Chicago, Atlanta, Georgia, and Washington, D.C.
Remarks: In the wake of continuous immigration problems with the State of Israel during the 1970s, the group gained new prominence in 1980 when members in the United States were charged with the systematic theft of money, credit cards, and blank airline tickets, all of which were being used to support the group and assist members in their movement to Israel.
Carter, Ben Ammi. God, the Black Man, and Truth. Chicago: Communicators Press. 1982.
——. Everlasting Life: from Thought to Reality. Washington, D.C. Communicators Press, 1994. 190 pp.
Fish, H. Bashford. "Trouble Among the Children of the Prophets." TheWashington Post Magazine (February 7, 1982).
Gerber, Israel J. The Heritage Seekers. Middle Village, NY: Jonathan David Publishers, 1977.
Whitfield, Thomas. From Night to Sunlight. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1980.
Yehuda, Shaleak Ben. Black Hebrew Israelites from America to the Promised Land. New York: Vantage Press, 1975.
Overcoming Saints of God
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Overcoming Saints of God is a predominantly black Pentecostal church founded in 1959 by Anna Thompson Mobley. The original church, and still the lead congregation, is the Lethal Cathedral in Archer, Florida. Over the years other churches were founded along the Atlantic coast as far north as Massachusetts, and missions were opened in Africa, the Virgin Islands, Haiti, and the Bahamas. The doctrine is similar to that of the Church of God and Saints of Christ.
Membership: In 1990 there were 10 churches and close to 1,000 members.
DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African American Holiness Pentecostal Charismatic: Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.
Pan African Orthodox Christian Church
Detroit, MI 48202
The Pan African Orthodox Christian Church dates to 1953 when 300 members of St. Mark's Presbyterian Church in Detroit walked out and formed Central Congregational Church. In 1957 they moved into facilities at 7625 Linwood in Detroit and over the next decade became intensely involved in community issues, especially those impinging upon the black community. In 1967, the church's pastor, Albert B. Cleage, Jr., preached what has become a famous sermon calling for a new black theology and a black church to articulate it. An 18-foot painting of a black Madonna was unveiled and the Black Christian Nationalist Movement was launched. The church building became known as the Shrine of the Black Madonna No. 1. In 1970 a book store and cultural center were opened. Cleage changed his name to Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman.
The Black Nationalist Creed, printed below, spells out a position which identifies the black man and the Hebrew Nation:
"I Believe that human society stands under the judgment of one God, revealed to all, and known by many names. His creative power is visible in the mysteries of the universe, in the revolutionary Holy Spirit which will not long permit men to endure injustice nor to wear the shackles of bondage, in the rage of the powerless when they struggle to be free, and in the violence and conflict which even now threaten to level the hills and the mountains."
"I Believe that Jesus, the Black Messiah, was a revolutionary leader, sent by God to rebuild the Black Nation Israel and to liberate Black People from powerlessness and from the oppression, brutality, and exploitation of the white gentile world."
"I Believe that the revolutionary spirit of God, embodied in the Black Messiah, is born anew in each generation and that Black Christian Nationalists constitute the living remnant of God's Chosen People in this day, and are charged by him with responsibility for the Liberation of Black People."
"I Believe that both my survival and my salvation depend upon my willingness to reject INDIVIDUALISM, and so I commit my life to the Liberation Struggle of Black people and accept the values, ethics, morals, and program of the Black Nation defined by that struggle and taught by the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church."
During the 1970s the organization expanded significantly. Agyeman conducted seminary training and ordained over 100 ministers, who were given the title "Mwalimu," Swahili for "teacher." Agyemnan's own name means "liberator, blessed man, savior of the nation." Other congregations and centers were established in Detroit. In 1975 a shrine was opened in Atlanta, Georgia and in 1977 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Also in 1974, a BTG training program to prepare leaders for the liberation struggle of black people was begun.
Membership: Not reported. In 2002 there were 10 institutions supporting the PAOCC.
Cleage, Albert B., Jr. The Black Messiah. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1968.
——. Black Christian Nationalism: New Directions for the Black Church. New York: William Morrow, 1972.
Ward, Hiley H. Prophet of the Black Nation. New York: Pilgrim Press, 1969.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Rastafarian Movement, a Jamaican black nationalist movement, grew out of a long history of fascination with Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular among the masses in Jamaica. The movement can be traced directly to the efforts of Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, who, among other endeavors, promoted a steamship company that would provide transportation for blacks going back to Africa. In 1927 Garvey predicted the crowning of a black king in Africa as a sign that the redemption of black people from white oppression was near. The 1935 coronation of Haile Selassie as emperor of Ethiopia was seen as a fulfillment of Garvey's words.
Haile Selassie was born Ras Tafari Makonnen out of a lineage claimed to derive from the Q ueen of Sheba and King Solomon. He proclaimed his title as King of Kings, Lord of Lords, His Imperial Majesty the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Elect of God. His name Haile Selassie means "Power of the Holy Trinity." Reading about the coronation, four ministers in Jamaica—Joseph Hibbert, Archibald Dunkley, Robert Hinds, and most prominently, Leonard Howell—saw the new emperor as not only the fulfillment of the Garveyite expectation, but also the completion of Biblical prophecies such as those in Revelation 5:2-5 and 19:16 which refer to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the King of Kings. The four, independently of each other, began to proclaim Haile Selassie the Messiah of the black people. Their first successes came in the slums of West Kingston, where they discovered each other and a movement began.
Howell began to proselytize around the island. He raised money by selling pictures of Haile Selassie and telling the buyers that they were passports back to Africa. He was arrested and sentenced to two years in jail for fraud. Upon his release he moved into the hill country of St. Catherine's parish and founded a commune, the Pinnacle, which, in spite of government attacks and several moves, became the center of the movement for the next two decades. At the Pinnacle, the smoking of ganga (marijuana) and the wearing of long hair curled to resemble a lion's mane (dread locks) became the marks of identification of the group.
As the Rastafarians matured, they adopted the perspectives of Black Judaism and identified the Hebrews of the Old Testament as black people. Their belief system was distinctly racial and they taught that the whites were inferior to the blacks. More extreme leaders saw whites as the enemies of blacks and believed that, in the near future, blacks will return to Africa and assume their rightful place in world leadership. Haile Selassie is believed to be the embodiment of God and, though no longer visible, he nevertheless still lives. Some Rastafarians believe Selassie is still secretly alive, though most see him as a disembodied spirit.
Relations with white culture have been tense, lived at the point of "dread," a term to describe the confrontation of a people struggling to regain a denied racial selfhood. Most Rastafarians are pacifists, though much support for the movement developed out of intense antiwhite feelings. Violence has been a part of the movement since the destruction of the Pinnacle, though it has been confined to individuals and loosely organized groups. One group, the Nyabingi Rastas, stand apart from most by their espousal of violence.
Rastafarians came to the United States in large numbers as part of the general migration of Jamaicans in the 1960s and 1970s. They have brought with them an image of violence, and frequent news reports have detailed murders committed by individuals identified as Rastafarians. Rastafarian spokespersons have only complained that many young Jamaican-Americans have adopted the outward appearance of Rastafarians (dread locks and gangasmoking) without adopting Rastafarian beliefs and lifestyle.
A major aspect of Rastafarian life is the unique music developed as its expression. Reggae, a form of rock music, became popular far beyond Rastafarian circles, and exponents such as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh became international stars. Reggae has immensely helped in the legitimization of Rastafarian life and ideals.
In Jamaica the Rastafarian Movement is divided into a number of organizations and factions, many of which have been brought into the Jamaican community in America. Surveys of American Rastafarians have yet to define the organization in the United States though individual Rastafarians may be found in black communities across America, most noticably Brooklyn, New York, Miami, Florida, and Chicago, Illinois.
Membership: There are an estimated 3,000-5,000 Rastafarians in the United States, though the figures are somewhat distorted by the large number of people who have adopted the outward appearance of Rastafarian life.
Periodicals: Arise. Available from Creative Publishers, Ltd., 8 Waterloo Ave., Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. • Jahugliman. Available from Carl Gayle, 19C Annette Cresent, Kingston 10, Jamaica, West Indies.
Barrett, Leonard. The Rastafarians. Boston: Beacon Press, 1977.
Chevannes, Barry. Rastafari: Roots & Ideology. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1994.
Mulvaney, Rebekah Michele. Rastafari and Reggae: A Dictionary and Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1990.
Murrell, Nathaniel Samuel, William David Spencer, and Adrian Anthony McFarlane, eds. Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998.
Owens, Joseph. Dread. Kingston: Sangster, 1976.
Williams, K. M. The Rastafarians. London: Ward Lock Educational, 1981.
United Hebrew Congregation
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The United Hebrew Congregation was the name of about a half dozen congregations of black Jews which during the mid-1970s were centered upon the Ethiopian Hebrew Culture Center in Chicago, which were headed by Rabbi Naphtali Ben Israel. It was this group's belief that Ham's sons were black. Included were the Hebrews of which one reads in the Bible. Abraham came from Chaldea, and the ancient Chaldeans were black. The congregation members believe Solomon was black (Song of Solomon 1:5). Sabbath services were held on Saturday. No sign of their continuance into the 1980s has been found.
Membership: Not reported