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Black Trinitarian Pentecostals

Black Trinitarian Pentecostals

African Universal Church, Inc.

Alpha and Omega Pentecostal Church of God of America, Inc.

Apostolic Faith Church of America

Apostolic Faith Church of God and True Holiness

Apostolic Faith Church of God Giving Grace

Apostolic Faith Church of God Live On

Apostolic Faith Churches of a Living God

Apostolic Holiness Church of America

Association of Independent Ministries (A.I.M.)

Azusa Interdenominational Fellowship of Christian Churches

Beth-El Fellowship of Visionary Churches

Bible Church of Christ

Christ Apostolic Church of America (Obadare)

Church of God in Christ

Church of God in Christ, Congregational

Church of God in Christ, International

Church of the Living God (Christian Workers for Fellowship)

Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Inc. [Lewis Dominion]

Church of the Living God, the Pillar, and Ground of the Truth Which He Purchased with His Own Blood, Inc. [McLeod Dominion]

Deliverance Evangelistic Centers, Inc.

Deliverance Jesus Is Coming Association of Churches

Faith Tabernacle Council of Churches, International

Fire-Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas

Freedom Worldwide Covenant Ministries

Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship

Full Gospel Holy Temple

Full Gospel Pentecostal Association

Healing Temple Church

House of God Which Is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth

House of God Which Is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Inc.

House of the Lord

International Fellowship of United Apostolic Churches

Kingdom Life Network of Ministries

Latter House of the Lord for All People and the Church of the Mountain, Apostolic Faith

Mount Calvary Pentecostal Faith Church, Inc.

Mount Sinai Holy Church of America, Inc.

National Fellowship Churches of God, Inc.

New Light Christian Center Church

National Fellowship Churches of God

Original United Holy Church International

Pilgrim Assemblies International

Tabernacle of Prayer for All People

The True Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ

True Grace Memorial House of Prayer

True Vine Pentecostal Holiness Church

United Church of God in Christ

United Church of the Living God, The Pillar and Ground of Truth

United Crusade Fellowship Conference

United Holy Church of America

The United House of Prayer for All People of the Church on the Rock of the Apostolic Faith

United Pentecostal Council of the Assemblies of God (UPCAG)

Universal Christian Church

Universal Christian Spiritual Faith and Churches for All Nations

Universal Church of Christ

Victory Unto Victory Revivals, Inc.

African Universal Church, Inc.

2336 SW 48th Ave., Hollywood, FL 33023

The African Universal Church, Inc. is one of two churches that grew out of the ministry of Laura Adorkor Koffey (or Kofi), better known as Mother Koffey. Mother Koffey preached throughout the South for several years (1926–1928) until her assassination in 1928 in Miami. Following the assassination, some of her followers in Florida and Alabama reorganized.

The history of the group during its early decades is fragmentary, but many of the local centers became autonomous churches disconnected from the movement as a whole. Emerging as a prominent leader continuing to keep alive Koffey’s teachings and memory during the 1930s was E. B. Nyombolo, an African who had been attracted to the church while living in America. He headed what was termed the Missionary African Universal Church, founded the Ile-Ife Institute in Jacksonville, Florida, and edited a periodical, The African Messenger. He also published the African Universal Hymnal, Mother’s Closet Prayer Book, Mother’s Sacred Teachings, and a volume of Mother’s Sayings. In keeping with the church’s message of self-help, an intentional community was created near Daphne City, Alabama, in the 1940s. Adorkaville, a second church community, was opened in Jacksonville.

In 1953 a reorganization of the churches, which had drifted apart over the years, occurred and three churches came together in a new corporate structure: St. Adorkor African Universal Church of Miami, Florida; St. Adorkor African Universal Church of Hollywood, Florida; and the African Universal Church of Jacksonville, Florida. Elder John Dean was elected as the first chairman of the general assembly. He served until 1958 and was succeeded by Deacon Clifford Hepburn (1958–1970), Sister Gloria Hepburn (1970–1974), and Deacon Audley Sears Sr. (1974–present).

The doctrine of the African Universal Church, Inc. is like that of the African Universal Church. An important new area of the church’s life began in 1968 when Ernest Sears, a member, traveled to Ghana in an attempt to locate Mother Koffey’s family. An earlier attempt in the 1930s had left unanswered charges that Koffey had lied about her African background. However, Sears was able to make contact with the family, who had never been informed of the assassination in 1928. Upon his return, Sears brought Koffey’s nephew with him.

Membership

In 1990 the African Universal Church, Inc. reported seven affiliated congregations in Florida and Alabama.

Sources

African Universal Hymnal. Jacksonville, FL: Missionary African Universal Church, 1961.

Bantu Prayerbook. Jacksonville, FL: Adorkaville, n.d.

Kofi, Laura Adorka. The Church: Why Mother Established the Church and What It Stands For. Jacksonville, FL: The Ile-Ife, n.d.

———. Mother’s Sacred Teachings. Jacksonville, FL: The Mafro Ile-Ife, n.d.

———. Mother’s Sayings. Jacksonville, FL: Missionary African Universal Church, n.d.

Payne, Wardell J., ed. Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1991.

Alpha and Omega Pentecostal Church of God of America, Inc.

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Alpha and Omega Pentecostal Church of God of America, Inc., was formed in 1945 by Rev. Magdalene Mabe Phillips, who withdrew from the United Holy Church of America and, with others, organized the Alpha and Omega Church of God Tabernacles, soon changed to the present name. Like the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), the church’s doctrine reserves the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the sanctified.

Membership

Not reported. In 1970 there were 3 congregations, 6 missions, and approximately 400 members, all in Baltimore, Maryland.

Apostolic Faith Church of America

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Apostolic Faith Church of America was founded in 1922 by former members of the Apostolic Faith Churches of God. The split was possibly occasioned by the death of California-based William J. Seymour who had inspired the founding of the original congregation of the Apostolic Faith Churches of God. The new organization subsequently grew into a denomination under its bishop Isaac Ryles. While organizationally separate, the church continued the holiness Pentecostal perspective of its parent body.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African American Holiness Pentecostal Charismatic: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1992.

Apostolic Faith Church of God and True Holiness

Current address not obtained for this edition.

In 1946 Charles W. Lowe, founder and for over 35 years leader of the Apostolic Faith Church of God, separated from the main body of the church and with one congregation organized the Apostolic Faith Church of God and True Holiness. He was succeeded by Bishop Levi Butts and later by Bishop Oree Keyes (1923–2008). Bishop Keyes was active in seeking to unite the various factions that developed from the original work begun by Lowe and Bishop William Seymour. He helped form the United Fellowship Convention of the Original Azusa Street Mission, which included five similar churches.

Membership

In 1990 the church reported 24 congregations.

Sources

DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African-American Holiness Pentecostal Movement: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1996.

Apostolic Faith Church of God Giving Grace

Rte. 3, Box 111G, Warrenton, NC 27589

The Apostolic Faith Church of God Giving Grace was founded in the mid-1960s as the New Jerusalem Apostolic Faith Churches of God. Its founders, Bp. Rufus A. Easter and Mother Lillie P. Williams, were formerly associated with the Apostolic Faith Churches of God. There was no doctrinal dispute in the break, and the church follows the doctrine of the parent body. Bishop Easter was succeeded by Bp. Geanie Perry, the current leader of the church. The church supports the New Jerusalem Rest Home and a Helping Hand Community Food Bank.

Membership

In 1990 there were 12 churches.

Sources

DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African American Holiness Pentecostal Charismatic: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1992.

Apostolic Faith Church of God Live On

2300 Trenton St., Hopewell, VA 23860

The Apostolic Faith Church of God Live On is one of several groups that originated in the Apostolic Faith Church of God founded in 1909 by Bp. William J. Seymour (1870–1922) and Charles W. Lowe. It was founded in 1952 by Bp. Jesse Handshaw, Bp. Willie P. Cross, and Elder R. T. Butts, all formerly of the Apostolic Faith Church of God and True Holiness, the branch of the church headed by Lowe at that time. No doctrinal matters were at issue, and the church follows the beliefs and practices of its parent body. Bishop Handshaw was succeeded by Bp. Richard Cross, the present leader of the church. The Church has joined with other branches of the Apostolic Faith Church to form the United Fellowship Convention of the Original Azusa Street Mission, which meets annually.

Membership

In 1990 the church had approximately 25 affiliated congregations.

Periodicals

The Guiding Light • Crusade

Sources

DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African-American Holiness Pentecostal Movement: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.

Payne, Wardell J., ed. Directory of African American Religious Bodies. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1991. 363 pp.

Apostolic Faith Churches of a Living God

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Apostolic Faith Churches of a Living God was founded in 1979 when seven congregations in South Carolina that had left the Apostolic Faith Churches of God reorganized as a denomination. The congregations were called together by Bishop Leroy Williams, who had in the 1960s been the president of the South Carolina District Young People’s Union of the Apostolic Faith Church of God. Later, Bishop Richard C. Johnson, Sr., headed the church. The cause of the split was administrative, not doctrinal, hence the churches retained the same holiness Pentecostal beliefs and practices of the parent church.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

Union Newsletter.

Sources

Payne, Wardell J., ed. Directory of African American Religious Bodies. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1991.

Apostolic Holiness Church of America

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Apostolic Holiness Church of America was founded in 1927 in Mount Olive, North Carolina, by a group of former members of the Apostolic Faith Church of God, which was originally founded by Bishops William J. Seymour and Charles W. Lowe. The group included Elders J. M. Barns, W. M. D. Atkins, Ernest Graham, J. M. McKinnon, and Sisters Sarah Artis and Emma Spruel. The issues at stake in the separation were administrative, hence the church retained the doctrine of the other branches in the movement. In 1973 the church went through a constitutional revision under its presiding bishop, Isaac Ryals (d. 2001), assisted by W. R. Turner, I. W. Hicks, Jessie Budd, Shirley Clark, and E. V. Ethridge.

Membership

In 1990 the church reported 10 affiliated congregations.

Sources

Payne, Wardell J., ed. Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1991.

Association of Independent Ministries (A.I.M.)

c/o New Light Christian Center Church, 1535 Greensmark Dr., Houston, TX 77067

During the expansion of the ministry of Drs. I. V. and Bridget Hilliard, prominent African-American ministers and founders of the New Light Christian Center Church based in Houston, Texas, they recognized a need felt by independent Pentecostal ministers for the credibility and spiritual accountability that comes from affiliation and fellowship beyond the local church. In some cases, the pastors needed ordination certificates. The Association of Independent Ministries (A.I.M.) was created to fill that need.

A.I.M. was not designed to provide any direct ecclesiastical, governmental, or administrative control over its members or their congregations and ministries. Instead, A.I.M. offers wise counsel and, upon request, oversight. Membership in A.I.M. is open to men and women who have a viable, functional, independent ministry.

Like the New Light Christ Center Church, the Association of Independent Ministries is a trinitarian Pentecostal organization whose beliefs resemble those of the Assemblies of God. A.I.M. holds an annual convention.

Membership

Not reported. In 2008 almost 850 congregations and ministries were affiliated with A.I.M.

Sources

Association of Independent Ministries. www.newlight.org/aim/index.cfm.

Azusa Interdenominational Fellowship of Christian Churches

8621 S. Memorial Dr., Tulsa, OK 74133-4312

The Azusa Interdenominational Fellowship of Christian Churches was founded in 1990 by Carlton D. Pearson (b. 1953), the head of Higher Dimensions Ministries in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pearson, a prominent African-American Charismatic minister, had been given what he felt was a divine mandate to establish such a cooperative fellowship that might speak to the issue of racial and ethnic divisions that split the larger Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. In 1977 Pearson founded Higher Dimensions Ministries as a traveling evangelistic team that grew through the 1980s into a significant, multifaceted ministry that included the Higher Dimensions Family Church, a megachurch of more than 5,000 members, and a variety of community services from a meals-on-wheels program to an adoption agency. The church and its program serve a multiethnic and multiracial constituency.

By the end of the 1980s, the larger Charismatic movement was beginning to raise significant questions about its racial division and finding ways of healing the organizations split along racial lines. At the same time, Pearson concluded that an effort toward unity is a key ingredient in understanding the beauty of diversity resident in the body of Christ, a principle he had felt he had already established in his ministry. Out of a desire to see the large unity within the larger fellowship, he hosted the first annual Azusa Conference in 1988. This conference served to bring together people of diverse races, cultures, and theologies. Azusa Fellowship was born at the third Azusa Conference in 1990. He found a keynote for the new fellowship in II Corinthians 11:28: “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my deep concern and care for all the churches.”

The fellowship is organized as a coalition of Christian churches and ministries which recognizes the need for networking, accountability, fellowship, and resource facilitation.

Membership

In 2002, there were more than 500 congregations affiliated with the fellowship.

Periodicals

Dimensions Digest.

Beth-El Fellowship of Visionary Churches

c/o The House of the Lord, 1650 Diagonal Rd., Akron, OH 44320

The Beth-El Fellowship of Visionary Churches is an association of African-American Pentecostal churches that emerged from the success of the House of the Lord congregation in Akron, Ohio. The House of the Lord was founded in the 1970s by F. Josephus “Joey” Johnson and over the years grew to become one of the largest congregations in Akron. Rev. Johnson also led in the founding of Emmanuel Christian Academy and Logos Bible Institute.

As the House of the Lord’s fame grew, people began to turn to Johnson for guidance on a variety of issues including church growth and development, business management, leadership, and team building. He founded the Pastoral Mentoring Institute, which facilitated his efforts to help pastors and lay leaders improve their local ministry. His work at the institute led directly to the founding of Beth-El Fellowship of Visionary Churches by pastors seeking a more formal relationship with Johnson.

In 2004 Johnson was consecrated bishop for the fellowship. At the same time, the Joint College of African American Pentecostal Bishops Congress presented him with an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Beth-El Fellowship of Visionary Churches www.beth-elfellowship.org/.

The House of the Lord. www.thotl.org/.

Johnson, F. Josephus. Eight Ministries of the Holy Spirit. Enumclaw, WA: Winepress Publishing, 2005. Available from www.eightministries.org/index.htm.

Bible Church of Christ

1358 Morris Ave., Bronx, NY 10456

The Bible Church of Christ is a small Pentecostal body founded on March 1, 1961, by Bishop Roy Bryant, Sr. (b. 1923). The church is a trinitarian ministry and accepts the authority of the Bible as the inspired word of God. Members receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit; deliverance and miracles of healing are frequently experienced. The church includes a demonology ministry that performs exorcisms and provides instruction on casting out demons. It maintains congregations in Haiti, India, and Africa. Podcasts of Bishop Bryant’s sermons are available on the church’s Internet site.

Membership

In 2008 the church reported six congregations, of which four were in New York. Congregations are located in New York, Delaware, and North Carolina. It also has a congregation in India, plus a school in Liberia, West Africa.

Educational Facilities

Theological Institute, offering more than 30 classes in the subject areas of Christian work, evangelism, general bible study, teachers’ training, postgraduate, theology, and demonology, at three locations: Mt. Vernon, New York; Bronx, New York; and Dagsboro, Delaware.

Sources

Bible Church of Christ. www.thebiblechurchofchrist.org.

Christ Apostolic Church of America (Obadare)

PO Box 117, Cambria Heights, NY 11411

Alternate Address

International Headquarters: PO Box 530, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Christ Apostolic Church of America is the North American affiliate of the World Soul Winning Evangelistic Ministry (WSWEM), an evangelistic outreach founded by Nigerian evangelist Prophet Dr. T. O. Obadare. WSWEM is the evangelistic arm of the Christ Apostolic Church (which Obadare also heads), an African church that grew out of the Aladura, or “prayer people,” movement. Aladura, an independent Christian movement that arose in Nigeria in the early twentieth century and expanded dramatically during the 1930s, was associated with a set of visions received by Joseph Ayo Babalola (1906–1959) calling on Babalola to preach using prayer and the “water of life”(blessed water), which would heal all sicknesses. The Christ Apostolic church was constituted in 1941 as one branch of the Aladura movement.

By 1990 Christ Apostolic church had more than a million members. By this time it had become the largest church in Nigeria and had spread to several other countries in Africa, as well as to Europe and North America. The church has a mainline Pentecostal statement of faith that affirms belief in the Bible as the word of God, the Trinity, and salvation in Christ. It practices baptism by immersion. The church resembles other Aladura churches in its emphasis on prayer, fasting, the use of water and oil for healing, and the rejection of medicines, alcohol, and tobacco.

Several of the Christ Apostolic churches have their own Web sites.

Membership

Not reported. In 2008 the church listed 25 congregations in the United States and Canada.

Educational Facilities

Christ Apostolic Church Bible Training College, Hyattsville, Maryland. This school operates as an extension of the International Seminary in Plymouth, Florida.

Sources

Christ Apostolic Church of America. www.christapostolicchurch.org.

Christ Apostolic Church of America. www.cacamerica.org/index.html (North American site).

Church of God in Christ

Attn: Mrs. Linda K. Wilkins, 938 Mason St., Memphis, TN 38126

The Church of God in Christ was established in 1894 in Jackson, Mississippi, by Charles H. Mason (1866–1959), an independent Baptist minister who four years previously had been swept up by the holiness movement and had been sanctified. Mason also founded the Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A., with a colleague, Elder Charles Price Jones (1865–1949).

In 1907, a change in Mason’s orientation occurred that led to a reorganization of the Church of God in Christ. Elder Jones convinced Mason that Mason did not yet have the fullness of the Holy Spirit, for, if he did, he would have the power to heal the sick, cast out devils, and raise the dead. Mason began attending meetings held at Azusa Street in Los Angeles, where he was baptized in the Spirit and spoke in tongues.

In August 1908, the new doctrine and experiences were presented to representatives of the Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. At a meeting of those from both churches who accepted the new Pentecostalism, a General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ was organized. Mason was elected general overseer. (This brief history is at odds with the history presented in the Encyclopedia’s entry on the Church of Christ [Holiness] U.S.A.; the two churches involved tell two different stories.) The Church of God in Christ was reorganized into an ascending hierarchy of overseer (pastor), state overseer, and general overseer. Annual state convocations to decide on disputed matters and assign pastors, and a general convocation for matters of the general church were established.

Upon the death of Bishop Mason in 1961, a series of new reorganizational steps began. Power reverted to the 7 bishops who made up the executive commission. This group was extended to 12 in 1962 and O. T. Jones Jr. was named “senior bishop.” Controversy sprang up immediately over the new power structure and a constitutional convention was scheduled. In 1967, a court in Memphis ruled that the powers of the senior bishop and executive board should remain intact until the constitutional convention in 1968. That year, reorganization took place yet again and power was invested in a quadrennial general assembly and a general board of 12, with a presiding bishop to conduct administration between meetings of the general assembly. In 2008 the presiding bishop was Charles Edward Blake and the general secretary was Joel H. Lyles Jr.

Church doctrine is similar to that of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. The group believes in the Trinity, holiness, healing, and the premillennial return of Christ. Three ordinances are recognized: baptism by immersion, the Lord’s Supper, and foot-washing.

Membership

In 1991 the church reported over 5 million members, 15,300 congregations, and 33,593 clergy in the United States.

Educational Facilities

Harrison Mason Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia.

All Saints Bible College, Memphis, Tennessee.

Saints Academy, Lexington, Mississippi.

In addition to the seminary in Atlanta (now part of the Interdenominational Theological Center), the church supports the C. H. Mason System of Bible Colleges, which includes a number of schools attached to local congregations both in the United States and abroad.

Periodicals

Whole Truth • The Voice of Missions

Sources

Church of God in Christ. www.cogic.org.

Butler, Anthea D. Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2007. 224 pp.

Cornelius, Lucille J. The Pioneer History of the Church of God in Christ. Author, 1975.

Mason, Mary Esther. The History and Life Work of Elder C. H. Mason and His Co-Laborers. Privately printed, n.d.

Patterson, J. O., German R. Ross, and Julia Mason Atkins. History and Formative Years of the Church of God in Christ with Excerpts from the Life and Works of Its Founder—Bishop C. H. Mason. Memphis, TN: Church of God in Christ Publishing House, 1969.

Patterson, W. A. From the Pen of W. A. Patterson. Memphis, TN: Deakins Typesetting Service, 1970.

Church of God in Christ, Congregational

6939 Marine Rd., Edwardsville, IL 62025

The Church of God in Christ, Congregational, was formed in 1932 by Bp. J. Bowe of Hot Springs, Arkansas, after he was forced to withdraw from the Church of God in Christ, for asserting that church polity should be congregational, not episcopal. In 1934 Bowe was joined by George Slack. Slack had been dis-fellowshipped from the church because of his disagreement with the teaching that if a saint did not pay tithes, he was not saved. He was convinced that tithing was not a New Testament doctrine. Slack became the junior bishop under Bowe. In 1945, Bowe was wooed back into the Church of God in Christ, and Slack became senior bishop of the off-shoot church.

Church doctrine is like that of the Church of God in Christ, but with disagreements on matters of polity and tithing. Members are conscientious objectors.

Membership

Not reported. In 1971 there were 33 churches in the United States, 4 in England, and 6 in Mexico.

Sources

Slack, George, William Walker, and E. Jones. Manual. East St. Louis, IL: Church of God in Christ, Congregational, 1948.

Church of God in Christ, International

125 N Fisher St., Jonesboro, AR 72401

In 1969, following its constitutional convention and reorganization, the Church of God in Christ experienced a major schism when a group of 14 bishops led by Bp. William David Charles Williams Sr. rejected the polity of the reorganized church, left it, and formed the Church of God in Christ, International, at Evanston, Illinois. The issue was the centralized authority in the organization of the parent body. The new group quickly set up an entire denominational structure. The doctrine of the parent body remained intact, however.

Dr. John Henry Davis Sr. was elected in April 1988 as senior bishop and chief apostle of the Church of God in Christ International.

Membership

In 1982 the Church reported 200,000 members, 300 congregations, and l,600 ministers. In 2008 the membership was to be found in congregations scattered across America and organized into 26 dioceses, each headed by bishop.

Periodicals

Message • Holiness Code

Sources

Church of God in Christ, International. www.cogicinternational.com.

Church of the Living God (Christian Workers for Fellowship)

434 Forest Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229

The Church of the Living God (Christian Workers for Fellowship) was formed in 1889 by a former slave, the Rev. William Christian (1856–1928) of Wrightsville, Arkansas. Christian claimed to have had a revelation that the Baptists were preaching a sectarian doctrine and left the Baptist Church in order to preach the unadulterated truth. In his new church, Christian created the senior office of chief, which he himself assumed. Mrs. Ethel L. Christian succeeded her husband after his death and was, in turn, succeeded by their son, John L. Christian. Mrs. Christian claimed that the original revelation came to both her husband and herself.

Church doctrine is Trinitarian and somewhat Pentecostal. The group rejects the idea of “tongues” as the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, although “tongues” are allowed. However, “tongues” must be recognizable languages, not “unintelligible utterance.” Salvation is gained by obeying the commandments to hear, understand, believe, repent, confess, be baptized, and participate in the Lord’s Supper and in foot-washing.

The Church of the Living God also has a belief that Jesus Christ was of the black race, because of the lineage of David and Abraham. They point to Psalms 119:83, in which David declares that he “became like a bottle in the smoke”(i.e., black). The church members also hold that Job (Job 30:30), Jeremiah (Jer. 8:21), and Moses’s wife (Numbers 12:11) were black. These assertions were promulgated at a time when many Baptists were teaching that blacks were not human, but the offspring of a human father and female beast.

Polity is episcopal and the church is modeled along the lines of a fraternal organization. Christian was very impressed with the Masons, and as with that secret society, there are reportedly many points of church doctrine known only to members. Tithing is stressed. The local organizations are known as temples, rather than as churches, and are subject to the authority of the general assembly. The presiding officer is known as the chief bishop. In 2008 the presiding bishop was Robert D. Tyler

Membership

In 1985 the church reported 170 churches, 42,000 members, and 170 ministers.

Periodicals

The Gospel Truth • Fellowship Echoes

Sources

Church of the Living God (Christian Workers for Fellowship). www.ctlgcwff.org/index.htm.

Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Inc. [Lewis Dominion]

4520 Ashland City Hwy., Nashville, TN 37208

Alternate Address

c/o Meharry H. Lewis, Gen. Sec., Church of the Living God, PGT, Inc., PO Box 830384, Tuskegee, AL 36083-0384.

The Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Inc., traces its beginning to 1903 when Mary Lena Lewis Tate (1871–1930), a black woman, began to preach the gospel first at Steel Springs, Tennessee, and Paducah, Kentucky, and then in other states in the South. In 1908, by which time a number of holiness bands had been formed by people converted under her ministry, Tate was taken ill. Despite being pronounced beyond cure, she was healed, and during her healing she received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. Later that year Tate called an assembly in Greenville, Alabama, during which the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth was formally organized. At that time, she was appointed to the bishopric and ordained first chief overseer of the church by the elders present. The church grew quickly in the states of Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky and by the end of the next decade had congregations across the eastern half of the United States. The first four state bishops, J. D. Padgitt, B. J. Scott, W. C. Lewis, and F. E. Lewis, were ordained at Quitman, Georgia, in June 1914.

In 1919, the first of two major schisms occurred. Led by the church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, some members left to found the House of God Which Is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth. Then, in 1931, following Mother Tate’s death, the church reorganized, and three persons were ordained to fill the office of chief overseer. The three chosen were Mother Tate’s son F. E. Lewis, M. F. L. Keith (widow of Bp. W. C. Lewis), and B. L. McLeod. These three eventually became leaders of distinct church bodies. Lewis’s following is the continuing Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Inc. Keith’s group became known as the House of God Which Is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth Without Controversy. Bishop McLeod’s organization is known as the Church of the Living God, the Pillar, and Ground of Truth Which He Purchased with His Own Blood, Inc.

The church affirms the central doctrines of traditional Christianity, including the Holy Trinity and salvation through Christ. It teaches that people are justified and cleansed by faith in Christ and glorified and wholly sanctified by receiving the Holy Ghost and Fire. Speaking in tongues is evidence of the reception of the Holy Ghost. The unknown tongue is a sign of God’s victory over sin. There are three ordinances: baptism by immersion, the Lord’s Supper, and foot washing.

ORGANIZATION

The church is headed by a bishop, designated the chief overseer. After the death of Bp. F. E. Lewis in 1968, Bp. Helen M. Lewis became the third chief overseer. She administered the affairs of the church with the assistance of the general assembly, which meets annually, a board of trustees, and the supreme executive council, consisting of the other bishops and seven elders. Subsequent to her death in September 2001, Bp. Meharry H. Lewis was ordained as the fourth chief overseer of the organization in October 2001. In 2008 members of the church gathered in Greenville, Alabama, to celebrate the centennial of the church’s founding.

The New and Living Way Publishing House is the church’s publishing arm. The Lewis-Tate Foundation and Archives located in Tuskegee, Alabama, reserves the church’s historical documents, especially those related to its founder.

Membership

In 2008 there were 18 churches scattered through the South and Midwest.

Periodicals

The True Report • The Present Truth Gospel Preacher

Sources

Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth. www.clgpgt.org/.

Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth. www.netministries.org/see/churches.exe/ch30084.

The Constitution, Government, and General Decree Book. Chattanooga, TN: New and Living Way Publishing Co., n.d.

Lewis, Helen M., and Meharry H. Lewis. 75th Anniversary Yearbook. Nashville, TN: Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth, 1978.

Church of the Living God, the Pillar, and Ground of the Truth Which He Purchased with His Own Blood, Inc. [McLeod Dominion]

PO Box 55090, Indianapolis, IN 46205

Church of the Living God, the Pillar, and Ground of the Truth Which He Purchased with His Own Blood, Inc. continues the work begun by Mother Mary Magdalena Lewis Tate (1871–1930). Following Mother Tate’s death in 1930, one part of the church selected Bishop B. L. McLeod as the chief Overseer to head the church. He died in 1936 and was succeeded by his widow, Bishop Mattie Lou McLeod (later remarried and known as Bishop M. L. Jewell), elected in 1939.

She founded Jewell’s Academy and Seminary, a Church educational institution serving grades K-12, and in 1964 oversaw the purchase of new church headquarters building in Indianapolis, Indiana. After over thirty years in the leadership role, Bishop Jewell died in 1991 and was succeeded by Bishop Naomi Aquilla Manning (d. 2003). The current overseer is Bishop Faye Moore.

The church continues the Pentecostal teachings of its parent body.

Membership

In 2008, the church had 46 congregations, including one in the Bahamas.

Sources

Church of the Living God, the Pillar, and Ground of Truth which He Purchased with His Own Blood. www.cotlgnet.org.

Deliverance Evangelistic Centers, Inc.

826 S 10th St., Newark, NJ 07108

The Deliverance Evangelistic Centers, Inc. (DEC Ministries), was incorporated on October 8, 1957, by Arturo Skinner (d. 1975). From the very beginning, the church motto was: “To reach the lost at any cost with the message of Pentecost.” Although it grew to become a renowned national and international ministry, DEC Ministries began simply in the Newark, New Jersey, home of Mother Mary Amartys. The ministry moved to several locations before settling in at its first headquarters church at 505 Central Avenue in Newark, which could accommodate 1,600 people.

At the same time, Apostle Skinner was conducting services in the Brooklyn, New York, area. Skinner had been stopped from committing suicide by what he believed to be the voice of God, which told him, “Arturo, if you but turn around, I’ll save your soul, heal your body, and give you a deliverance ministry.” Skinner was 28 years old at the time, and though he had had a full gospel background, he had never heard of anything termed a “deliverance ministry.” In a period of retreat following his encounter with God, Skinner fasted and had a number of visions and dreams. He also consecrated his life to the ministry to which he had been called. Deliverance churches spread from Florida to Massachusetts, eastward as far as Chicago, Illinois, and throughout the southern United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. By 1965 the ministry had between 40 and 50 affiliate churches worldwide. Women have been accepted into the ordained ministry as both evangelists and pastors.

The centers’statement of belief includes affirmation of the authority of the Bible as inspired and infallible, the Trinity, Jesus Christ as redeemer, the Holy Spirit who empowers and baptizes believers, speaking-in-tongues as evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, creation, the necessity of repentance, sanctification, and water baptism by immersion. Skinner was the church’s first apostle. He died suddenly on March 20, 1975. In June of 1975, with the assistance of church leaders, Ralph G. Shammah Nichol formally became the senior pastor of the Deliverance Ministries.

Membership

There are centers in Brooklyn and Poughkeepsie, New York; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Florida; and Asbury Park and Newark, New Jersey.

Periodicals

Deliverance Voice.

Sources

Deliverance Evangelistic Centers, Inc. www.decministries.net.

Deliverance Jesus Is Coming Association of Churches

43 Harrison Pl., Irvington, NJ 07111

The Deliverance Jesus Is Coming Association of Churches began with the work of the Pentecostal minister James H. Everett Jr. in Irvington, New Jersey, in 1976. Everett had previously worked with Bp. Frank C. Clemmons at the First Church of God in Christ in Brooklyn, New York, and with Apostle Arturo A. Skinner (1924–1975) in the healing ministry of Deliverance Evangelistic Center, also in Brooklyn. Following the death of Skinner, Everett decided to go out on his own. His wife Vanessa Horton Everett joined him in this endeavor; she serves as the church’s copastor and leader of many of its various ministries.

From small beginnings the church grew, and Everett led evangelistic crusades in other nearby cities. As the initial congregation expanded through the 1980s, a varied program emerged to meet special needs, and the Maranata Bible Institute was created to train future leaders. Through the 1990s, affiliated congregations were established throughout New Jersey and increasingly in other states. The Deliverance Jesus Is Coming Association of Churches was formed to keep these new congregations in fellowship, and Everett was selected as the Association’s bishop. It holds an annual convention.

The Association follows the Trinitarian Pentecostalism in which Everett was raised. The church also promotes an invigorated, participatory style of worship. The services of the church in Irvington are telecast over cable television throughout New Jersey.

Membership

Not reported. Ten affiliated congregations are located in New Jersey, Maryland, Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado.

Periodicals

The Total Christian.

Educational Facilities

Maranata Bible Institute, Irvington, New Jersey.

Sources

Deliverance Jesus Is Coming Association of Churches. www.deliverancejesusiscoming.org/.

Faith Tabernacle Council of Churches, International

7015 NE 23rd Ave., Portland, OR 97211

The Faith Tabernacle Council of Churches, International, was founded as the Faith Tabernacle Corporation of Churches in Portland, Oregon, in 1962 by Bp. Louis W. Osborne Sr. Osborne began the organization after a vision in which he caught and carried a light that gradually grew in intensity, thus allowing him to lead his followers down the correct pathway.

The council is basically an Apostolic Pentecostal organization, but Osborne has emphasized the need for the preaching of the gospel and for fellowship and freedom. He has organized it as an association of autonomous congregations. The council charters congregations and ordains minister, but conformity of belief is not demanded of ministers and churches. While the council provides congregations with a set of “Guidelines for Christian Development,” there is no requirement that these guidelines be followed.

Membership

In 1990 the council reported 55 congregations, including several churches in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Periodicals

The Light of Faith.

Sources

Payne, Wardell J., ed. Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1991.

Fire-Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas

901 Bishop W. E. Fuller Sr. Hwy., Greenville, SC 29601-4103

W. E. Fuller (1875–1958), the only black man in attendance at the 1898 organizing conference of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church, became the leader of almost a thousand black people over the next decade. Perceived discrimination against them led to the withdrawal of Fuller and his followers, who organized the Colored Fire-Baptized Holiness Church at Anderson, South Carolina, on May 1, 1908. The white body gave them their accumulated assets and property at this time. Reverend Fuller was elected overseer and bishop. Doctrine is the same as in the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, the body that absorbed the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church.

Legislative and executive authority in the church is vested in a general council that meets every four years and in the 11-member executive council (composed of bishops, district elders, and pastors). Mission work is pursued under the direction of one of the bishops. The denomination is divided into three dioceses, each headed by a bishop.

Membership

Not reported. In 2008 the church reported 198 congregation in the United States, plus 1 each in Canada and England, and 16 in Jamaica.

Periodicals

True Witness.

Sources

Fire-Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas. www.fbhchurch.org. Discipline. Atlanta, GA: Board of Publication of the F. B. H. Church of God of the Americas, 1962.

Frazier, Bishop Patrick L., Jr. “Introducing the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas: A Study Manual.” Portions available online at www.fbhchurch.org.

Freedom Worldwide Covenant Ministries

6100 W Columbia Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19151

Freedom Worldwide Covenant Ministries is a charismatic fellowship of churches and ministers founded by Apostle Gilbert Colemen. It is based at the Freedom Christian Bible Fellowship, a large congregation in Philadelphia that Coleman pastors. Coleman is closely associated with Bp. Earl Paulk of the Network of Kingdom Churches and other networks of charismatic fellowships operating within the African-American community. The church is traditionally Pentecostal in its beliefs and practices. It has developed a broad program of outreach ministries that target specific populations (singles, women, youth, etc.) and includes attention to the hospitalized, the incarcerated, and those in hunger. The ministries gather for an annual convocation.

The church’s Freedom Development Corporation facilitates a variety of services within West Philadelphia, including educational assistance and emergency provision of food. Its Community Development program emphasizes the preservation and rehabilitation of existing housing, home ownership, prevention of homelessness, and the creation of affordable housing.

Membership

Not reported. In 2002 the ministries reported 11 churches in the United States and other associated congregations in Burundi, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe.

Sources

Freedom Worldwide Covenant Ministries. www.freedomworldwide.net/.

Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship

2240 Simon Bolivar St., New Orleans, LA 70113

The Full Gospel Baptist Church, founded in 1995, is a fellowship of predominantly African-American charismatic Baptist churches. Through the 1970s and 1980s, the Pentecostal experience spread through African-American churches, including the Baptist churches, which, however, have been among the most resistant to continued fellowship with charismatic pastors and congregations.

The mother church of the organization of charismatic Baptist churches has been the St. Stephens Baptist Church in New Orleans. The congregation was founded in 1937 and has grown steadily through the years. In 1974, following the death of Percy Simpson, then pastor of the church, the assistant pastor, Paul S. Morton, succeeded him. Morton led in the building of a 2,000-seat sanctuary in 1980 and in the acquisition of a 4,000-seat sanctuary in 1988. In 1991, the church changed its name to reflect a newly acquired level of spiritual growth. It became Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church. More recently, the School and College of Ministry was formed to educate ministers and church leaders. In February of 1993, Elder Debra B. Morton, the wife of Pastor Morton, became the co-pastor of the ministry.

In March of 1993, Elder Paul S. Morton Sr. accepted the office of bishop (an office not found in most Baptist groups), and became the First Presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. The first conference was held in New Orleans at the Louisiana Superdome in 1994 with over 25,000 in attendance.

The multicultural and multi-denominational Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship is structured with an episcopal hierarchy. The “tiers of leadership” include the Bishop’s Council, the College of Bishops, general, state, and district overseers, the Financial Assistance Council, and senior pastors.

Each year the Annual Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Conference ministers to nearly 30,000 people through its School of Ministry classes, worship services, and community outreach efforts. The Fellowship’s major initiatives since 1994 include church-planting in Africa and India, the dispensation of multiple $5,000 grants to struggling churches, and the development of the Full Gospel Baptist Sunday School Curriculum, which supports the Christian Education Ministry throughout the world.

Membership

Not reported. Hundreds of Full Gospel Baptist Churches exist in Africa, Asia, the Bahamas, Germany, India, Canada, Great Britain, Italy, and North America.

Educational Facilities

College of Ministry.

Sources

Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. www.fullgospelbaptist.org.

1997 Ministries Networking Directory. Lake Mary, FL: Strang Communications, 1997.

Full Gospel Holy Temple

39727 LBJ Fwy., Dallas, TX 75237

The Full Gospel Holy Temple Church was founded as a single independent Holiness Pentecostal church in June 1961 in Dallas, Texas, by Lobias Murray. The original group of six charter members met in a former café. As the church grew, it began to sponsor a radio ministry, “Broadcast of Deliverance,” with its first announcer and choir director being Evangelist Shirley Murray, the pastor’s wife. As the church’s message spread, additional congregations were formed across Texas and in neighboring states, primarily within the African-American community, and a new denomination emerged.

The church sponsors several ministries in the Dallas Metropolitan Area, including the Lobias Murray Christian Academy, an elementary and high school opened in 1979; the Shirley Murray Child Development Center, also opened in 1979; and Helping Hand, an organization that provides food and clothing to needy families. In addition, the church sponsors the L&S Christian Camp, located in Scottsville, Texas.

The church teaches a Holiness Pentecostal perspective that encourages believers to seek sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Spirit subsequent to their finding salvation in Christ. Members are taught to live a holy existence (including dressing modestly). Baptism is by immersion in the name of the Triune God. The church also practices foot washing.

In 2001, the church broke ground on a new headquarters church that will seat 5,000.

Membership

In 2008 the church’s Web site reported 28 affiliated congregations. The lead church in Dallas had in excess of 4,000 members.

Periodicals

The Gospel Truth, 1900 S Ewing Ave., Dallas, TX 75216.

Sources

Full Gospel Holy Temple. www.fullgospelholytemple.org/.

Full Gospel Pentecostal Association

1032 N Sumner, Portland, OR 97217

Alternate Address

c/o Tabernacle of Evangelism Community Church, 1300 N La Brea Ave., Inglewood, CA 90302.

The Full Gospel Pentecostal Association is a predominantly black Pentecostal church founded in 1970 by Bp. Adolph A. Wells, Rev. Edna Travis, and Bp. S. D. Leffall. It is a loosely organized association of independent Pentecostal congregations that supports a prison ministry, a national women’s organization (Full Gospel Pentecostal Association for Women on the Move), and an international fellowship with similar Pentecostal groups in Africa. It is one of several similar bodies that belong to the ecumenical Federated Pentecostal Church International led by Bishop Leffall, who also serves a church in Seattle, Washington.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

The Epistle. • Full Gospel News Truth.

Sources

Emmanuel Temple Church. www.etchurch.com.

Dupree, Sherry Sherrod. African-American Holiness Pentecostal Movement: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.

Healing Temple Church

660 Williams St., Macon, GA 31201

Healing Temple Church is a predominantly black Pentecostal church with a special emphasis on the ministry of healing. It was founded in 1955 in Macon, Georgia, by Bp. P. J. Welch, a native of Georgia who had begun a tent ministry in 1950 in New Jersey. Welch took his ministry around the country during the nationwide Pentecostal healing revival that had been launched by such evangelists as William M. Branham, Oral Roberts, and Asa Alonzo Allen. The church grew out of Welch’s itinerant ministry. Welch was assisted in his work by his wife, L. R. Welch, who served as a missionary, supervisor, and instructor in the church.

Though the leader of a growing denomination, Welch continued to travel with his healing ministry, and more congregations were founded. Church belief is Trinitarian and believers consider speaking in tongues to be a sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Membership

In 1990 there were 17 congregations.

Sources

DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African-American Holiness Pentecostal Movement: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.

House of God Which Is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth

Current address could not be obtained for this edition.

Not to be confused with the church of the same name that derives from the movement begun by Mary Lena Lewis Tate (1871–1930), the church presently under discussion derives from the work begun by William Christian. During the early twentieth century, the Church of the Living God (Christian Workers for Fellowship), which Christian founded, was splintered on several occasions. A group calling itself the Church of the Living God, Apostolic Church, withdrew in 1902 and, six years later under the leadership of Rev. C. W. Harris, became the Church of the Living God, General Assembly. This church united in 1924 with a second small splinter body. In 1925 a number of churches withdrew from the Church of the Living God (Christian Workers for Fellowship) under the leadership of Rev. E J. Cain and renamed themselves the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth. The Harris group joined the Cain group in 1926 and this new body later adopted the church’s present name, the House of God Which Is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth.

The church is one in doctrine with the Church of the Living God (Christian Workers for Fellowship). Polity is episcopal and there is an annual general assembly.

Membership

Not reported.

Remarks

The most recent independent source of information on this church is the 1936 Census of Religious Bodies. Later sources often confuse it with the Philadelphia-based group of the same name. Its present location and strength is unknown.

PO Box 3319, Philadelphia, PA 19142-9998

During World War I (1914–1917) many members of the church founded by Mary L. Tate (1871–1930), the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth, moved into the northern states, an exodus that continued through the 1920s. Bp. A. H. White (d. 1981), Rev. B. L. McLeod, and Bp. F. Giles worked during these years to establish the church in the northeastern states. In 1929, the year before her death, Mother Tate appointed Bp. A. H. White as her successor. The various churches, then operating in a somewhat autonomous fashion, subsequently met as a general assembly, which elected Bishop White as senior bishop of all churches connected with the “Pennsylvania Group,” and incorporated under the name House of God, Which Is the Church of the Living God, Pillar and Ground of the Truth.

Bishop White led the House of God for more than 50 years. He was succeeded by Bp. James H. Smith (d. 1986). The third and present presiding bishop is Bp. Jesse White Sr. He is assisted by the board of bishops, which includes Bps. David E. Drone, Cleveland L. Harvey, and Ivy A. Hopkins.

The House of God, the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth continues the doctrine and episcopal polity of its parent body, but is administratively separate. The general assembly meets annually.

Membership

Not reported. In the early 1970s the church had 103 churches and 25,860 members.

Periodicals

The Spirit of Truth Magazine. Available from 3943 Fairmont St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Sources

House of God, Which Is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth. www.houseofgodclg.org/.

House of the Lord

Current address could not be obtained for this edition.

The House of the Lord was founded in 1925 by Bp. W. H. Johnson, who established headquarters in Detroit. Church doctrine is Pentecostal but departs from standard Pentecostalism on several important points. A person who enters the church is born of water and seeks to be born of God by a process of sanctification. The Holy Ghost may be given and is evidenced by speaking in tongues. But sanctification is evidenced by conformity to a very rigid code that includes refraining from worldly amusements, whiskey, policy rackets (the “numbers game”), becoming a bellhop, participating in war, swearing, joining secret organizations, tithing, and life insurance (except as required by an employer). A believer is not sanctified if he owns houses, lands, or goods. Water is used in the Lord’s Supper. Members are not to marry anyone not baptized by the Holy Ghost.

The church is governed by a hierarchy consisting of ministers, state overseers, and a chief overseer. There is a common treasury at each local church from which the destitute are helped.

Membership

Not reported.

International Fellowship of United Apostolic Churches

PO Box 11763, Louisville, KY 40251-0763

The International Fellowship of United Apostolic Churches is a Pentecostal church founded by Apostle D. E. Chase, who serves as its presiding bishop. Raised as an Episcopalian, as a young man Chase became a Pentecostal believer and joined the New Shiloh Missionary Full Gospel Church, a congregation in his native New Jersey. He was originally ordained by his pastor. In 1999 he was consecrated as a bishop by Bishops Covington and Grayson of the Full Gospel Missionary Church. In June 2001 Apostle Edwards of the now defunct National Pentecostal Holiness Assemblies consecrated Chase as an apostle. In 2005 Chase was coronated archbishop and patriarch of the International Fellowship of United Apostolic Churches, with a lineage apostolic succession through Abp. Sean Alexander of the Charismatic Archdiocese of the Sacred Heart, an archdiocese in the Ecumenical Apostolic Church Diocese. Alexander possesses several lines of succession that reach back to Abp. Carmel Henry Carfora (1878–1958) of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church, and through Maurice D. McCormick of the Independent Catholic Church of America.

Apostle Chase also founded the Immanuel International Cathedral in Louisville, Kentucky, and he serves as the cathedral’s pastor. He is joined in the national leadership of the church by Abp. D. L. Smith and Bps. T. N. Ary and J. M. Cuff, and internationally Bps. S. Inyangebio (Nigeria) and R. C. Blanco (the Philippines). The church meets annually in convention.

The church is Pentecostal in doctrine and episcopal in structure. Ordination and admission to the episcopacy are offered to both men and women. Training is provided for candidates in the traditional fivefold ministries of Eph. 11:4 (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers), as well as exhorters, missionaries, ministers, elders, overseers, and bishops.

Membership

In 2008 there were eight congregations in the United States, three in Africa, and one each in India and the Philippines.

Educational Facilities

Covenant Bible College and Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

Sources

International Fellowship of United Apostolic Churches. www.ifouac.org/.

Chase, D. E. Apostolic Minister’s Manual. Louisville, KY: IFOUAC Publishing Board, 2008.

———. International Fellowship of United Apostolic Churches Official Church manual. Louisville, KY: IFOUAC Publishing Board, 2007.

Kingdom Life Network of Ministries

597 Naugatuck Ave., Milford, CT 06461

The Kingdom Life Network of Ministries, founded in 2001 by Bp. Ray Ramirez, grew out of Ramirez’s pastorate of Kingdom Life Christian Church in Milford, Connecticut. Ramirez founded the congregation in 1991 and it grew to include some 3,000 members. He also founded a radio ministry, The Bishop’s Counsel, and a television ministry, The Voice of Vision. He and his wife Jeannine Ramirez, also a licensed minister, cohost the Trinity Broadcast Network’s Praise the Lord show. Through the 1990s Ramirez pioneered additional churches in New England, several of which grew to be quite large congregations.

In 2001 Ramirez was consecrated as a bishop and founded the Kingdom Life Network of Ministries to serve as a resource for smaller progressive churches in New England and elsewhere. The Network provides apostolic covering for its members’ministers, with licensing and ordination as needed, and it assists in identifying gifts and local eldership. If conflicts arise in local churches, it offers problem resolution. Membership is open to a wide range of Pentecostal and charismatic churches and ministries.

The Network has spread internationally to Colombia, Ghana, Liberia, Cuba, and South Africa. It attempts to empower local leaders and ministries and plans to establish bishop or national overseers who would work with Ramirez as presiding bishops. Once in place, the national leaders would operate autonomously in the best interests of their country’s particular needs.

Membership

Not reported. The Network includes about 200 U.S. and more than 2,000 international churches and ministries.

Periodicals

Kingdom Life Chronicle.

Sources

Kingdom Life Network of Ministries. www.knetministries.org/index.html.

Kingdom Life Christian Church. www.kingdomlifecc.org/.

Latter House of the Lord for All People and the Church of the Mountain, Apostolic Faith

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Latter House of the Lord for All People and the Church of the Mountain, Apostolic Faith was founded in 1936 by Bp. L. W. Williams, a former black Baptist preacher from Cincinnati, Ohio. The founding followed an enlightenment experience and spiritual blessing realized in prayer. The doctrine is Calvinistic, but adjusted to accommodate Pentecostal beliefs. The Lord’s Supper is observed, with water being used instead of wine. The church members are conscientious objectors. The chief overseer is appointed for life.

Membership

Not reported. In 1947 there were approximately 4,000 members.

Mount Calvary Pentecostal Faith Church, Inc.

Current address not obtained for this edition.

Mount Calvary Pentecostal Faith Church, Inc., also known as the Emmanuel Temple Pentecostal Faith Church, Inc., and the Mount Assembly Hall of the Pentecostal Faith of All Nations, is a predominantly African-American Pentecostal group founded in 1932 in New York, New York by Bp. Rosa Artemus Horne. The work has been continued by Mother Horne’s adopted daughter, Bp. Gladys Brandhagan.

Sources

Payne, Wardell J., ed. Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1991.

Mount Sinai Holy Church of America, Inc.

1469 N Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19122-3327

The Mount Sinai Holy Church of America, Inc., was founded by Ida Robinson (1891–1946), who grew up in Georgia, where she was converted at age 17 and joined the United Holy Church of America. Robinson later moved to Philadelphia, where she became the pastor of the Mount Olive Holy Church. Following what she believed to be the command of the Holy Spirit to “Come out on Mount Sinai,” she founded the Mount Sinai Holy Church in 1924. Women have played a prominent role in its leadership from the beginning.

The church’s doctrine is Pentecostal, with sanctification a prerequisite for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. One must be converted before becoming a member. Bishop Robinson believed that God ordained four types of human beings: the elect or chosen of God, the compelled (those who could not help themselves from being saved), the “who so ever will,” who can be saved, and the damned (ordained for hell). Spiritual healing is stressed. Foot-washing is practiced. Behavior, particularly sexual, is rigidly codified and rules are strictly observed. Short dresses and worldly amusements are frowned upon.

The church is episcopal in government. Bishop Robinson served as senior bishop and president until her death in 1946. She was succeeded by Bp. Elmira Jeffries, the original vice president, who was, in turn, succeeded by Bp. Mary Jackson in 1964. Assisting the bishops is a board of presbyteries, composed of the elders of the churches. There are four administrative districts, each headed by a bishop. There is an annual conference of the entire church, and one is held in each district. Foreign missions in Cuba, Guyana, and South America are supported. Bp. Amy Stevens succeeded Bp. M. Jackson and Bp. Joseph H. Bell was inaugurated president on September 22, 2001.

Membership

In 2000 the group reported 117 churches and approximately 7,500 members.

Sources

Mount Sinai Holy Church of America. www.mtsinaichurch.org.

National Fellowship Churches of God, Inc.

5000 U.S. Hwy. 17, Ste. 18-116, Orange Park, FL 32003-8229

The National Fellowship Churches of God, Inc. (NFCOG) traces its history to 1909, when William J. Seymour, leader of the original Pentecostal revival in Los Angeles, California, visited Washington, D.C. From the mission on Azusa Street in Los Angeles that Seymour pastored, the Pentecostal Movement had spread around the United States. Accompanying Seymour on his visit to Washington was Charles H. Mason, founder of the Church of God in Christ.

Among the people affected by the new teachings on Pentecostalism was Charles W. Lowe of Handsom, Virginia, who in turn founded the Apostolic Faith Church of God, which was loosely affiliated with Seymour’s organization in Los Angeles. Over the years other congregations were founded, some of which became the sources of new denominations. The Apostolic Faith Church of God was finally chartered in Maryland in 1938 (the same year the Los Angeles center was permanently dissolved).

In 1945 Bishop Lowe separated from the main body of the Apostolic Faith Church of God and established himself as leader of a new organization, the Apostolic Faith Church of God and True Holiness. The main body of the church then reorganized and elected Bp. Rossie Cleveland Grant, who was succeeded by Bp. George Buchanan White. Following White was Bp. George W. Parks. Parks discontinued the previous corporation, which was replaced by an unincorporated fellowship of churches. His successor, Bp. Lois Cleveland Grant, reincorporated the fellowship as the Apostolic Faith Churches of God. Bishop Grant was succeeded by Bp. Abraham Urquhart and Stephen Douglas Willis Sr.

In 1996, the Apostolic Faith Churches of God started to dissolve. The National Fellowship Churches of God, Inc., with its Covenant Churches, rose from its ashes. In 1998 Apostle Ivan L. Grant Sr. consecrated NFCOG’s first vice-bishop—former bishop Ronald E. Riley Sr. of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who served until 2006. In 2008 the chief apostle was still Ivan L. Grant Sr.

New Beginning Apostolic Faith Church of God, Inc. serves as the general assembly for the NFCOG. It established its headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, in September 2006. Apostle Ivan L. Grant Sr. serves as its senior pastor.

Membership

Not reported.

Educational Facilities

NFCOG Bible Institute, Orange Park, Florida.

Periodicals

NFCOG Newsletters.

Sources

National Fellowship Churches of God. www.nfcog.org/default.aspx.

New Light Christian Center Church

1535 Greensmark Dr., Houston, TX 77067

The New Light Christian Church was founded in 1984 in Houston, Texas, by Drs. I. V. and Bridget Hilliard, an African-American couple. Formerly the pastor of a Baptist congregation, I. V. Hilliard experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. When he declared his new experience, the great majority of the congregation left him. He began the New Light Church with fewer than 23 lay supporters, ministering in two locations, north Houston (in 1985) and south Houston (several years later). The two locations later were united under the same name— New Light Christian Center Church. The church was joined by new work in Beaumont, Texas, in September 1996 and in Austin, Texas, in September 2001. Most recently, a third location has been added, in east Houston.

The New Light Christian Center Church is a trinitarian Pentecostal church whose beliefs resemble those of the Assemblies of God. Baptism is by full immersion.

Under the Hilliards’leadership the church has continued to grow. Beginning in 1984 Dr. Hilliard led the congregation to support a television outreach, “Changing Lives Through Faith.” The Hilliards also founded and lead an associated network of independent Pentecostal churches, the Association of Independent Ministries. The church supports Life Change Institute and the Addiction Recovery Ministry, both responses to drug addiction in the African-American community in Houston.

Membership

In 2008 the church reported 28,000 members.

Sources

New Life Christian Center Church. www.newlight.org/.

Hilliard, I. V. Living the Maximized Life: How To Win No Matter Where You’re Starting From. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2006.

———. Mental Toughness for Success (Proven Biblical Principles for Successful Living). Providence, RI: Light Publications, 2004.

———. Ten Mistakes Most Failures Make (How To Avoid the Pitfalls to Success). Broken Arrow, OK: Vincom, 2002.

National Fellowship Churches of God

c/o New Beginning Apostolic Faith Church of God, 300 Park Ave. N, Orange Park, FL 32073

The National Fellowship Churches of God was founded in 1996 by its presiding bishop, Ivan Louis Grant Sr. Grant is the grandson of Rosie Cleveland Grant and the son of Bp. Lois Cleveland Grant, whom he succeeded as pastor of Trinity Apostolic Faith Holiness Church in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1989. The Fellowship traces its heritage back to the original Pentecostal revival at Azusa Street in Los Angeles and the leadership of William J. Seymour, of the Apostolic Faith Mission, in spreading the Pentecostal faith among African Americans in the eastern United States. From his work with Seymour, Bp. Charles W. Lowe founded the Apostolic Faith Church in Handsome, Virginia, and subsequently Bp. Rosie Cleveland Grant founded the Apostolic Faith Church of God in Baltimore, Maryland. By the mid-1990s the Apostolic Faith Churches of God appeared to be in decline, and that was the catalyst for the formation of the National Fellowship Churches of God.

L. G. Grant led in the founding of the National Fellowship as a covenant organization for member churches and ministers, and to facilitate the strengthening of its covenant churches and pastors with resources as they pursue their ministries of building the Kingdom of God. Among other efforts, the Fellowship publishes and distributes various tapes, books, pamphlets, tracts, newsletters, and position papers to support its members. Grant was consecrated as the Fellowship’s presiding bishop in 1997 by Bp. Abraham Urquhart of the Apostolic Faith Churches of God. The following year he was elevated to the office of apostle. In 2006 he resigned from Trinity Church and moved to Jacksonville, Florida, to found New Beginnings Apostolic Faith Church of God, which he continues to pastor.

The church is a Holiness Pentecostal body that affirms sanctification as a step in the process of full salvation prior to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is organized according to the fivefold ministry of Eph. 4:11.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

NFCOG News.

Sources

National Fellowship Churches of God, Inc. www.nfcog.org/.

Original United Holy Church International

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Original United Holy Church International grew out of a struggle between two bishops of the United Holy Church of America. The conflict led to the church severing Bp. James Alexander Forbes and the southern district from the organization. Those put out of the church met and organized on June 29, 1977, at a meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina. The new body remains in essential doctrinal agreement and continues the polity of the United Holy Church.

The Original United Holy Church International is concentrated on the Atlantic coast from South Carolina to Connecticut, with congregations also found in Kentucky, Texas, and California. Bishop Forbes also serves as pastor of the Greater Forbes Temple of Hollis, New York. The church supports missionary work in Liberia. On January 24, 1979, in Wilmington, North Carolina, an agreement of affiliation between the Original United Holy Church and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church was signed, which envisions a close cooperative relationship between the two churches.

Membership

Not reported.

Educational Facilities

United Christian College, Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Periodicals

Voice of the World.

Sources

Turner, William Clair, Jr. “The United Holy Church of America: A Study in Black Holiness-Pentecostalism.” PhD diss., Duke University, 1984.

Pilgrim Assemblies International

9202-14 Church Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11236

Pilgrim Assemblies International was founded by Roy E. Brown, who now serves as its archbishop. Brown was born in 1943 in Birmingham, Alabama. He became a Christian at the age of six and over a decade later received the Holy Ghost and acknowledged his call to the ministry. He pastored his first church in 1965 (at the age of 22) and the following year became pastor of Pilgrim Church in Brooklyn, New York. He was consecrated as a bishop on July 18, 1990, and that same year established the Pilgrim Assemblies International, Inc, a movement that now comprises churches across the United States and in the Caribbean, South Africa, and West Africa.

On March 27, 1996, Brown was elevated to the office of archbishop. On July 12, 1998, he moved Pilgrim Church to larger worship facilities in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.

Pilgrim Assemblies International is a Trinitarian Pentecostal church similar in doctrine to the Church of God in Christ. It serves primarily African Americans.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Holy Convocation, Central Georgia Jurisdiction. www.arrowweb.com/klcogic/centga/cgaconvo.htm.

Tabernacle of Prayer for All People

Jamaica, NY

The Tabernacle of Prayer for All People was founded in 1986 in Brooklyn, New York, by Johnnie Washington, a former member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Beginning with 15 people, the congregation grew swiftly, and in the early 1970s moved into successively larger buildings and began a school for church members. Washington conducted a number of tent revivals during the 1970s through which many thousands were reported to have had been saved. This evangelistic outreach led to the founding of a number of congregations, first along the East Coast, and then along the Pacific Coast. Washington died in California while leading the work there.

The church is led by a seven-member Apostles Council. The current church leader is Rev. Ira Davison.

Membership

In 1990 there were 49 churches and approximately 4,000 members.

Sources

DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African-American Holiness Pentecostal Movement: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.

The True Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ

16 Helena St., Rochester, NY 14605

The True Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ traces its American story to Oakfield, New York, where in 1943 Bishop Gus Thomas, an African-American preacher, ministered to several congregants in the home of Cleveland and Mary Albritton. This group moved to Rochester in 1944 and established a second location in Buffalo in 1963. Since the 1960s the church has been led by Bishop Allmon Bailey. American congregations are found in New York, Alabama, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

This Apostolic grouping of churches puts emphasis on its continuation of New Testament doctrine expressed in the revivalist tradition and in the emergence of Pentecostalism at Azusa Street, Los Angeles, in 1906.

Membership

In 2008 the church reported eight congregations in the United States and one in Nigeria.

Sources

True Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. www.trueapostolicchurchofjesuschrist.org/.

True Grace Memorial House of Prayer

205 V St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

In 1960 after Bp. Marcelino Manoel de Graca (“Sweet Daddy” Grace) died, Walter McCollough was elected bishop of the United House of Prayer for All People, but approximately six months later criticism was directed at him for his disposal of church monies without explanation to the other church leaders. The elders relieved him of his office and a lawsuit ordered a new election, at which time he was reelected. Complaints continued that he was assuming false doctrines, such as claiming that he and only he was doing God’s work or that he had power to save or condemn people. Shortly after the second election, he dismissed a number of the church leaders. Twelve dissenting members, with Thomas O. Johnson (d. 1970) as their pastor, formed the True Grace Memorial House of Prayer in Washington, D.C. (Elder Johnson had been dismissed after 23 years of service as a pastor.) In 1962 the church members adopted a church covenant in which they agreed to assist one another in loving counsel, prayer, and aid in times of sickness and distress; to do all good to all, in part, by assisting them to come under the ministry of the church; to avoid causes of divisions, such as gossip; and to refrain from any activity that might bring disgrace on the cause of Christ. The present head of the church is Elder William G. Easton.

Membership

Not reported. In the 1970s there were eight congregations in Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York, New York; Baltimore, Maryland; Savannah Georgia; Hollywood, Florida; and North Carolina.

True Vine Pentecostal Holiness Church

500 Kinard Dr., Winston-Salem, NC 27101

The True Vine Pentecostal Holiness Church was founded in 1946 in Winston Salem, North Carolina, by William Monroe Johnson (d. 1975) and Robert L. Hairston. Johnson served as bishop and Hairston as vice-bishop. The church grew peacefully until the early 1960s when Hairston became the center of an intense and multifaceted controversy. First, Hairston had come to accept the non-Trinitarian “Jesus Only” doctrine declaring the unitary nature of God. Second, he was heavily criticized for his divorce. Hairston had also become an advocate of women ministers, a cause Johnson opposed. In 1961 Hairston was removed as vice-bishop. He left the church with his supporters and founded the True Vine Pentecostal Churches of Jesus (Apostolic Faith).

The True Vine Pentecostal Holiness Church is a holiness Pentecostal body. Johnson continued to lead the church until he was succeeded by his son, Sylvester D. Johnson, in 1975.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Macedonia Worship Center. www.macedoniaworshipcenter.org.

DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African-American Holiness Pentecostal Movement: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.

United Church of God in Christ

International Headquarters, 2649 McAfee Rd., Decatur, GA 30032

The United Church of God in Christ was founded in 1979 by Marshall Carter III (d. 2003), his wife Lillie Fanning Carter (d. 1998), and other former members of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). Rev. Carter had founded the Lynwood Park COGIC congregation in Atlanta, Georgia. He worked under Bishop George Briley as the jurisdiction’s superintendent and his wife as district missionary. After Briley’s death in 1975, Carter began to disagree with the national church over the manner in which the affairs of the jurisdiction were handled, especially in the matter of choosing a successor. Thus, in 1979 the Lynwood Park congregation withdrew from COGIC and became known as the Lynwood Park Church of God in Christ of Georgia, with Carter elevated to the bishopric. Other churches soon affiliated with the Lynwood Park Church. A union of these churches resulted in the formation of the United Church of God in Christ.

The beliefs and practices of the new denomination resembled those of its parent body and continued its Episcopal polity.

Following the death of Bishop Carter in 2003, Bishop Spencer Lakey became the new head of the church as its presiding bishop and chief apostle.

Membership

In 2008 the church reported 41 affiliated congregations, all but seven located in Georgia. Other congregations are located in Illinois, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, and Mexico.

Sources

United Church of God in Christ. www.ucogic.com/.

United Church of the Living God, The Pillar and Ground of Truth

Los Angeles, CA

Alternate Address

601 Kentucky Ave., Fulton, KY 42021.

The United Church of the Living God, The Pillar and Ground of Truth was founded in 1946 in Los Angeles, California, by Bp. Clifton “O.K.” Okley. Raised a Baptist, Okley became a minister in the Church of the Living God, The Pillar and Ground of Truth (Jewell Dominion) and a leading figure in the church on the West Coast. In 1946 Okley had a disagreement with his bishop, M. Jewell, who wanted him to move to Florida. Okley refused to move and left the church; with his supporters he founded a new denomination.

Because the church was formed as a result of an organizational dispute, it still adheres to the doctrine of its parent body. It has established congregations in California and Kentucky and missions in Germany, Haiti, and Africa.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African American Holiness Pentecostal Charismatic: Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1992.

United Crusade Fellowship Conference

14250 SE 13th Pl., Bellevue, WA 98008

The United Crusade Fellowship Conference is a small, independent Pentecostal denomination founded by Bp. Richard E. Taylor. It has an active program that includes support of the Christian Bible Institute and a children’s daycare center. It is a member of the Federated Pentecost Church International, an ecumenical group.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African-American Holiness Pentecostal Movement: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.

United Holy Church of America

825 Fairoak Ave., Chillum, MD 20783

The United Holy Church of America was formed as the outgrowth of a holiness revival conducted by the Rev. Isaac Cheshier at Method, North Carolina (near Raleigh), in 1886. In 1900 the group became known as the Holy Church of North Carolina (and as growth dictated, the Holy Church of North Carolina and Virginia). In the early twentieth century, the church became Pentecostal and adopted a theology like that of the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee). The present name was chosen in 1916.

The church grew throughout the United States and extended to the West Indies, Haiti, Liberia, Ghana, Johannesburg in South Africa, Bermuda, and the Philippines. The church split in 1977. After 21 years of separation, a joint meeting of bishops from the United Holy Church and the Original United Holy Church International held in March of 1998 culminated in reunification, in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the 26th Quadrennial Convocation of the United Holy Church of America, Inc.

The general president in 2008 was Bp. Elijah Williams, who succeeded Bp. Odell McCollum upon the latter’s death.

Membership

There are approximately 50,000 members in 480 churches and over 960 ministers.

Educational Facilities

United Christian College, Greensboro, North Carolina.

United Christian College, New York, New York.

United Christian College, Wilmington, Delaware.

United Christian College, Washington, D.C.

United Christian College, Norfolk, Virginia.

United Christian College, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Periodicals

The Holiness Union.

Sources

United Holy Church of America. www.uhca.org.

Turner, William Clair, Jr. The United Holy Church of America: A Study in Black Holiness-Pentecostalism. Ph.D. diss., Duke University, Durham, NC, 1984.

The United House of Prayer for All People of the Church on the Rock of the Apostolic Faith

601 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20001-3620

The United House of Prayer was founded in the 1920s by the late Bp. Charles Manuel Grace (1884–1960), who built the first House of Prayer in 1919 in West Wareham, Massachusetts, with his own hands. National attention began to focus on the United House of Prayer during the Great Depression, when Bishop Grace, popularly known as “Sweet Daddy” Grace, fed the poor, held services for integrated congregations in southern cities, built churches in poverty-stricken areas for the downtrodden, and gave hope to thousands of distraught people. Over a period of nearly 32 years of preaching, he established over 100 Houses of Prayer across the nation with a membership that grew into the millions. In the process he became one of the most controversial religious leaders in the African-American community and the subject of numerous news articles on both his family life and the various properties he purchased and projects he initiated.

The United House of Prayer was eventually incorporated in Washington, D.C., on June 20, 1927. The purpose of the organization was to establish, maintain, and perpetuate the doctrine of Christianity and the Apostolic Faith throughout the world among all people and to erect and maintain houses of prayer and worship where all people may gather for prayer and to worship the Almighty God in Spirit and in Truth, irrespective of denomination or creed.

The church affirms the Apostolic Faith and takes its name from the biblical passages Isaiah 56:6–7, Matthew 21:13, Mark 11:17, and Luke 19:46. It affirms belief in God as Creator, in Jesus as the virgin-born savior of humanity, the importance of water baptism for repentance, rebirth in the Holy Spirit, and the holiness of life. The church is organized hierarchically.

Following Bishop Grace’s death in 1960, Bp. Walter McCollough was elected to the position of Bishop of the United House of Prayer. He started the McCollough Scholarship College Fund, which has awarded more than 1,000 grants, many of the recipients of which have gone on to careers in medicine, law, engineering, and education. McCollough also inaugurated a nationwide building program of new “Houses of Prayer” and “new and affordable housing,” which resulted in, among other accomplishments, the 90-unit McCollough Canaanland Apartment, the 190-unit McCollough Paradise Gardens, and the McCollough Haven for senior citizens along the District of Columbia’s 7th Street, well known as a former site of riots. Additional housing units were constructed in Charlotte, North Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; New Haven, Connecticut; and Los Angeles, California.

Upon Bishop McCollough’s passing in 1991, he was succeeded as bishop by S. C. Madison. During his first six years in office, Madison led in the erection of over 100 new “Houses of Prayer.” In addition, he has continued his predecessor’s efforts to build new affordable multifamily housing, parsonages, daycare centers, retail malls, and senior citizen’s housing, all without private mortgages or federal or local government assistance. The church pays cash for the total costs of construction for all of its developments. Also, the purchase of several new interstate buses has expanded the outreach of the church.

In keeping with a distinctive architectural “signature and style,” the church’s structures are adorned with the “Sweet Blessing Angel.” This “Sweet Blessing Angel” and other indicia of the United House of Prayer are currently the focus of historians and investigators with the Smithsonian Institution. An exhibit focused on the urban church outreach and housing programs of the United House of Prayer and their impact on the neighborhood environment was displayed in 1998 at the Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall.

Membership

In 1997 the church reported 135 congregations and 875 ministers in the United States.

Sources

The United House of Prayer for All People. www.tuhopfap.org.

Dallam, Marie W. Daddy Grace: A Celebrity Preacher and His House of Prayer. New York: New York University Press, 2007. 261 pp.

Davis, Lenwood G., comp. Daddy Grace: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992. 130pp.

Whiting, Albert N. The United House of Prayer for All People: A Case Study of a Charismatic Sect. Ph.D. dissertation, American University, Washington, DC, 1952. 319 pp.

United Pentecostal Council of the Assemblies of God (UPCAG)

211 Columbia St., Cambridge, MA 02139

The United Pentecostal Council of the Assemblies of God (UPCAG) dates to 1909 and the formation of a small congregation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by George A. Phillips (d. 1946) and Sidney J. Davis. Phillips was formerly a member of the Church of the Nazarene and Davis a Baptist. The original group, consisting primarily of African Americans who had migrated from the Caribbean and several people from North Carolina, met in Davis’s home until rented facilities were obtained in 1914. Phillips was ordained in 1916 for what had come to be known as First Holiness Church. The congregation moved into its own building in 1918. Evangelistic efforts reached out to the New England states and to the Caribbean.

The appearance at the First Holiness Church of an African-American couple who wished to become missionaries to Africa prompted the creation of the United Pentecostal Council, as most churches would not sponsor African Americans as missionaries. The council has subsequently become an international association of congregations and missions.

The council is a Trinitarian Pentecostal body that affirms the authority of the Bible and faith in the Triune God. It holds that all believers should seek for and expect to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the associated sign of speaking in tongues and other spiritual gifts. Divine healing is also stressed.

In 1997, Rev. Lorraine A. Thornhill became the first female pastor of the First Holiness Church.

Membership

In 2008 First Holiness Church reported about 200 members, one pastor, and three ministers. It currently has member churches in the United States, Barbados, Jamaica, Liberia, and Trinidad.

Sources

First Holiness Church of the Apostolic Faith. www.firstholiness.com/.

Universal Christian Church

2140 Martindale Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46202

The Universal Christian Church was founded in 1955 by Bp. Sallie M. Swift (d.1970), an independent African-American Pentecostal Bible teacher, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The church is noteworthy for the prominent role it gives to female leaders. Prior to the church’s founding, Swift led Bible classes in her home and in the homes of associates for some 15 years. One of those who regularly attended her classes spoke for the group and asked her to organize a church and be their pastor. After a time of prayer, she consented. Swift served as bishop until her death in 1970. She was succeeded by Bp. Clara M. Roberts.

Membership

Not reported. There are three congregations.

Universal Christian Spiritual Faith and Churches for All Nations

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Universal Christian Spiritual Faith and Churches for All Nations was founded in 1952 by the merger of the National David Spiritual Temple of Christ Church Union (Inc.) U.S.A., St. Paul’s Spiritual Church Convocation, and King David’s Spiritual Temple of Truth Association. National David Spiritual Temple of Christ Church Union (Inc.) U.S.A. had been founded in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1932 by Dr. David William Short, a former Baptist minister. He became convinced that no man had the right or spiritual power “to make laws, rules or doctrines for the real church founded by Jesus Christ” and that the “denominational” churches had been founded in error and in disregard of the apostolic example. Bishop Short claimed that the temple was the true church, and hence dated to the first century.

The merged church differs from many Pentecostal churches in that it denies that only those who have spoken in tongues have received the Spirit. It does insist, however, that a full and complete baptism of the Holy Ghost is always accompanied by both the gift of “tongues” and other powers. The members of the church rely on the Holy Spirit for inspiration and direction. The church is organized according to I Corinthians 12:1–31 and Ephesians 4:11. It includes pastors, archbishops, elders, overseers, divine healers, deacons, and missionaries. Bishop Short is the chief governing officer. In 1952, he became archbishop of the newly merged body. He is assisted by a national executive board which holds an annual assembly.

Membership

Not reported. In the mid-1960s there were reportedly 60 churches and 40,816 members.

Educational Facilities

St. David Christian Spiritual Seminary.

Periodicals

Christian Spiritual Voice.

Universal Church of Christ

491 Orange St., Newark, NJ 07107

The Universal Church of Christ was founded in 1972 by Rev. Dr. Robert C. Jiggetts Jr., with the assistance of Elders Nathaniel Kirton and Carl Winckler. The first center was in Orange, New Jersey. The church has been very service-oriented and in 1984 it initiated a soup kitchen program that mobilized church volunteers, government grants of money and food surpluses, and donations from local businesses. By the beginning of the 1990s, it was serving 1,300 meals a month to the poor and homeless.

The church accepted the Apostolic Pentecostal position that identifies Jesus as the one God of the Bible and denies the Trinity. It has three ordinances: baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and holy matrimony. It affirms belief in the infallibility of the scriptures and divine healing. Jiggetts heads the church as its chief apostle, president, and overseer.

Membership

In 2008 the church’s Web site listed eight congregations in the United States. It also listed four international congregations, in Ghana, Liberia, the Philippines, and Haiti.

Sources

Universal Church of Christ. www.ucoci.com/index.html.

Payne, Wardell J., ed. Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1991.

Victory Unto Victory Revivals, Inc.

c/o Greater Victory Temple of Praise, 230 Creekview Blvd., Covington, GA 30016

Victory Unto Victory Revivals was the name under which Larry J. Conner and his wife Chandra R. Conner, an African-American couple, operated as independent evangelists. In November 1995 the Connors incorporated Victory Unto Victory Revivals as a ministry for Jesus Christ, and in the following spring they opened Victory Apostolic Temple in Lawton, Oklahoma, as the first congregation.

The new church was founded with a minimum of doctrine. Its doctrinal statement emphasizes the authority of the Bible as the inspired and infallible Word of God. The church affirms that all doctrine, faith, hope, and instruction for the church must be based upon, and harmonize with, the Bible, and it must be clearly understood by those who preach for the church.

The church has had particular success in Nigeria, and most of its affiliated congregations are now a part of its Nigerian diocese headed by Bp. D. D. Obott.

Membership

Not reported. In 2008 there were 4 affiliated congregations in the United States, and 45 in Nigeria.

Sources

Victory Unto Victory Revivals. ourworld-top.cs.com/allvat1/God/index.htm?f=fs.

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