It’s a weekend of faith and joy for thousands of people who’ve travelled from nearly 30 states to gather at the headquarters of their beloved church: the United House of Prayer for All People.
More than 15 brightly uniformed marching bands stepped off in front of the sprawling church at 6th and M Street NW, nicknamed “God’s White House.”
National Bishop C.M. Bailey was helped to his seat, atop a float to lead the festive parade through the streets of Shaw. Also leading the parade was a long column of black-robed pastors and church leaders from the many congregations.
“The United House of Prayer has been a beacon of hope in our community …The House of Prayer has been a station for hope,” said Apostle R.C. Lattisaw, pastor of the United House of Prayer in Portsmouth, Virginia.
The sun shone brightly on the parade and the sidewalks were crowded. The faithful were dressed in their best finery: men in suits and women in spring fashions, many with sprightly hats. Many members of the Shaw community came out to watch the exuberance and hear the music.
“It’s an opportunity for us to have outreach to the community, spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. And to thank God for the leaders that he’s given us for the last 104 years that have ensured our success in the Lord,” said Elder Dr. L Murray, spokesman for the United House of Prayer for All People.
The parade honors the church’s founding bishop C.M. Grace, Bishop Dr. W McCullough and Bishop Dr. S.C. Madison.
The mother church is nearly a block long, but not big enough to hold all the worshippers in town for the annual gathering. So religious services were scheduled at the D.C. Convention Center Saturday evening at 7 p.m. and Sunday morning at 11 a.m.
“We had to rent out the DC Convention Center. Multi thousands of seats is something we’ve been doing for well over 15 years now at the DC Convention Center and there really is no other venue in the city that could really contain us,” said Elder Dr. L. Murray.
The church, founded 104 years ago in Wareham, Massachusetts, has multiplied to 137 congregations across 28 states.
It preaches a gospel of success in life tied with the love of God.
The church lives its faith in the communities it serves providing housing for the needy and saluting academic achievement with an annual scholarship, named after the church’s second bishop, D.C. pastor Bishop Dr. W. McCullough.
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