The Full Story
Faith Tabernacle United Holy Church of America has a vibrant history in the District of Columbia. Faith Tabernacle, a charter church of the United Holy Church of America, Inc. which is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, has been a standard bearer of holiness with a Pentecostal message, an Apostolic order, and Episcopal structure.
This legacy began with the vision of a great woman of God, Reverend Estella Black, who migrated from Kinston, NC in 1922. Finding no United Holy Church in the Washington, D.C. area, she began to fellowship with Temple Church of God in Christ under the pastorate of the late Bishop Samuel Kelsey. She later became acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. Abram Mitchell, former members of St. John UHC in Zebulon, North Carolina. This friendship gave birth to a home prayer meeting, and after much prayer and fasting, these few dedicated souls believed Rev. Black was destined to build God a house. In March 1925, Bishop General Johnson Branch officially organized and incorporated Faith Tabernacle, and Rev. Black was appointed pastor.
Pastor Black's dynamic messages of deliverance and salvation, many souls were added to the church. As a result, Faith Tabernacle outgrew its location at 420 V Street, NW and needed a larger edifice. With this goal in mind, in 1942, two lots were purchased at 49th & Central Avenue, NE. However, before the goal was realized, Pastor Black was called home to be with the Lord December 20, 1947. Determined to continue on and under the leadership of Elder George B. Morton and Deacon Board Chairman Fred McKeithan, the congregation still desired a completed edifice. To this end, the church purchased a site located at 1015 D Street, NE. Faith Tabernacle held its initial service in this edifice on December 31, 1948 and Bishop Branch dedicated the edifice on January 9, 1949.
Following the resignation of Elder Morton, the church was called to fasting and prayer while tenaciously grasping Mother Black's vision that "a young man shall come and take the reins and lead the people." Elder Nelson Miller, in his capacity as District Elder, served while the congregation prayerfully awaited a leader. In December 1950, Rev. Joseph Thomas Bowens was called to pastor Faith Tabernacle. Rev. Bowens, a great expostulator of the Gospel with a rich and uncompromising ministry and trombone in hand, immediately went to work.
Under his leadership, the congregation flourished and, once again a more spacious place of worship was needed. In the spring of 1964, the Faith Tabernacle moved to its present edifice located at 300 A Street, NE, with Bishop Jeremiah M. McLaurin as the chief celebrant of the dedicatory service. During his tenure, many souls were saved and the church was recognized for its many accomplishments. Consecrated to the office of bishop in May 1961, Bishop Bowens' pastorate spanned over four decades. During this time, he served the United Holy Church of America as President from 1980-1992.
After the passing of Bishop Bowens in 1995, Elder Lorraine Barber served as interim Pastor with dignity, dedication and commitment. During this season, she preached the Word and encouraged the congregation to continue praying and fasting that the Lord might send a new leader.
In August 1997, Reverend Dr. James R. Love, Sr. answered the call to become the Pastor of Faith Tabernacle. He was officially installed as pastor in March 1999 by Bishop Kenneth O. Robinson, Sr. After providing ten years of spiritual leadership with a mission to minister and exhibit compassion for God's people and to provide sound Biblical teaching, Dr. Love acknowledged the leading of the Lord to complete his tenure as pastor in July 2007.
Beginning in August 2007, District Elders James Johnson, Herbert H. Chambers, and Anthony Gilmore guided the congregation during the transitional period. The District Elders worked closely with Elder Inez Rollins, Deacon Board Chairman James Hall, and Trustee Board Chairperson D'wana Terry to ensure that the church steadied its course during this time as it prayerfully awaited a new leader.
In May 2009, Elder L. Frazier White II, a dynamic speaker and teacher and then Pastor of Faith Temple was appointed to serve as the interim Pastor by Bishop Robinson. In May 2010, the Faith Tabernacle congregation elected Elder White as its next pastor. On July 10, 2011, Faith Tabernacle and Faith Temple (pastored by Elder White) were unified in a historic ceremony that empowered the combined congregations with renewed hope and replenished vigor. Pastor White was officially installed as Pastor in October 2011. Pastor White is a visionary with a focus on urban change and transformation and a heart for the lost and disenfranchised.
The corner of 3rd and A Streets, NE has been continuously used for Christian service since December 1853 when it was named Waugh Methodist Church. In spite of fire, expansions, and renovations of the church building, without a doubt this is holy ground, hallowed and sanctified to the Glory of God and the strengthening of the community!! Surely the Lord is in this Place!!
And the Legacy Continues…