The United House of Prayer for All People will celebrate their 2019 Convocation along with the Centennial Anniversary beginning Sunday, September 22 through Sunday, September 29, 2019.
The United House of Prayer for All People was founded in 1919 by Bishop C. M. Grace (Sweet Daddy Grace). The first church was built by the hands of Daddy Grace in Wareham, Mass. The church was then called House of Prayer for All People of the Church on the Rock of the Apostolic Faith of New England.
As we worshipped and celebrated, under the leadership of Bishop Grace, the House of Prayer continued to grow. Daddy Grace established a second House of Prayer in New Bedford, Mass.
Bishop Grace began his southern ministry in Savannah in 1926 with tent services being held on the corners of Bismark and Burroughs Sts. The first tent services held were advertised 2 weeks before the initial tent revival in The Savannah Tribune on April 1, 1926. The service were scheduled for April 11, 1926. He came teaching “You must Be Born again, the Gospel of Purity that drew Blacks into a new mindset that all who came to God will be as of one spirit.
In the summer of 1927, in Washington, D. C. House of Prayer services were held in a pitched tent on May 29, 1926 at South Capitol and K Streets, NW. During those first years, members had to meet for service in many different places, but this did not sway them from their steadfastness to the House of Prayer faith. After leaving the tent at Half and K Street, SE, services were held for a few weeks in the home of Brother Davis until a hall was found on K Street SW. When services were no longer held in this hall, the members came together to praise God in the home of Brother Dudley, after which a mission was opened on Union Street. Here they held services from the winter of 1926 to the winter of the following year. In 1929 services were held in the theater building at the 1400 block of 9th Street, NW. It was during this time that Daddy Grace asked the members to help him find a place in DC that would be a permanent location. !n 1929, Brother and Sister Epps discovered the old William Stickney Mansion located at 601 M Street, NW. Stickney was the first president of Riggs National Bank, today know as PNC Bank. Sister Epps told Daddy Grace about this building and he decided it was worth purchasing. This property also included 609 M Street, NW.
On the first floor there was the entrance from 6th street, the men’s restroom, further down a long hallway was the ladies restroom. Also on the ground floor was the entrance to the porch and the main kitchen area.There was also a room for choir rehearsal and special engagements that held robes and books.
The sanctuary was two sided with the left side being the largest and the right side containing the choir stand, the office, and a stairwell to the upstairs apartments. In the back of the House of Prayer was an elevator. Above the sanctuary in different rooms, were tenants who were also members of the House of Prayer and these members had kitchens in the basement. There were several kitchens in the basement, one of which was a kitchen (snack bar) used to prepare food for the House of Prayer members. Also in the basement was the storage area for black coal used for heating potbelly stoves.
Although the main sanctuary possessed a large partition that divided the congregation in half, that did not stop the members from having a spiritually good time. The spirit would often fall on one side of the partition, and the members sitting on the opposite side would simply move to the other side of the building to join those caught up in the spirit. Those memories include services that were held outside in July and August because there was no air conditioner to cool down the building. The Mother House would have picnics that were held in the backyard on Memorial Day when Daddy Grace would visit. On Sundays, people would bring their lunch baskets to the House of Prayer and spend the whole day giving praise to God, with the 3 o’clock Praise Service being a favorite of many.
When Daddy McCollough became the leader of this organization, he made the statement that the President of the United States has a White House which serves as the headquarters of the nation, and that God likewise will have a White House to serve over his natural kingdom. From that point forward the House of Prayer located at 601 M Street would forever be known as God’s White House.
As we prepare to celebrate our Centennial Anniversary along with our annual convocation we give thanks to the Almighty God for the journey encompassing 100 years of worship.
Under the leadership of Bishop C. M. Grace, Bishop W. McCollough, Bishop Madison and currently Bishop C. M.Bailey, we have come this far by faith!
The Holy Convocation week and the 100th anniversary celebration in Savannah will begin on Sunday, September 15th through Sunday, September 22. Nightly services will begin at 7:p.m. We will conclude our annual convocation with baptismal service on Sunday morning a 10a.m. and after services the Grace American Peace Parade will begin at 2 p.m. This year will be one of the largest parade processions to be held. The services will include guest choirs and bands from various states. The closeout services will be held in the evening of September 22nd, 2019