Louis H. Narcisse

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His Grace Bishop King
Louis H. Narcisse
Church Mt. Zion Spiritual Church, Inc.
Installed 1943/45
Term ended 1989
Personal details
Birth name Louis Herbert Narcisse
Born (1921-04-27)April 27, 1921
New Orleans, Louisiana
Died February 3, 1989(1989-02-03) (aged 67)
Detroit, Michigan
Buried Rolling Hills Memorial Park
Richmond, California
Nationality African American
Denomination Baptist
Spiritual Church Movement
Residence Oakland, California
Detroit, Michigan
Parents Stella and Jesse Narcisse
Occupation Pastor
vocalist
musician
gospel singer
composer
Profession Shipyard worker
Motto It's nice, to be nice"

Louis H. Narcisse (April 27, 1921 – February 3, 1989),[1][2] also known as King Louis H. Narcisse, was an African-American religious leader and the founder of the Mt. Zion Spiritual Church.[3] He claimed religious leaders of the time such as Father Divine, Daddy Grace and, James F. Jones were his divine predecessors.

He was an organizer and spiritual healer in Oakland, California. He was also a gospel minister, vocalist, musician, and composer with whom gospel singer Mahalia Jackson often collaborated. He was the uncle of renowned African-American gospel singer Bessie Griffin (July 6, 1922 – April 10, 1989).[4] They died within days of each other in 1989.

Early life[edit]

Louis Herbert Narcisse was born on April 27, 1921 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Stella Narcisse. His father, Jesse Narcisse, was killed in a shipboard accident before his birth. The youngest of four siblings, Narcisse came from a devout Baptist family. At an early age, young Narcisse knew that he had been touched by the hand of God.[5] His family found out early on that Narcisse was something very special, a religious child prodigy who was reserved but loved to pray and sing spiritual music.[5] His singing talents were first locally recognized in New Orleans when he was a teenager, where Narcisse won five radio auditions. As a teen, he became a soloist at church services and funerals.

Ministry[edit]

At 18 years old, Narcisse entered into the Christian ministry in the summer of 1939. Narcisse migrated to California during World War II when God spoke to him to come to California. He found a job in Hunter's Point Shipyards in San Francisco, California as an electrical worker earning $85 a week. He lived at a Hunter's Point War World II Housing Project.[3]

In South San Francisco the Mt. Zion movement began with a small prayer meeting,"[2][3] from there Narcisse founded Mount Zion Spiritual Temple in Oakland on November 8, 1945 under the credo "It's nice to be nice." The church was named after his boyhood church in New Orleans, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, which had been the place of his baptism, but Narcisse's Mount Zion Spiritual Temple was actually a Spiritualist church in the African-American Spiritual Church Movement tradition. As his popularity grew, he presided over several churches in Oakland, Sacramento, Houston, and Detroit, and travelled between them.

Death[edit]

Narcisse died February 3, 1989 of a heart attack in his Detroit mansion.[1][6] He was interred at Rolling Hills Memorial Park in Richmond, California.[6]

Discography[edit]

  • 1950: Rev. Louis Narcisse
  • 1951: Rev. Louis Narcisse & the Celestial Tones
  • 1953: Bishop Narcisse
  • 1955: Bishop Louis H. Narcisse and Mt. Zion Spiritual Choir
  • 1959: Bishop H. Narcisse
  • 1959: King Louis H. Narcisse & His Wings of Faith Choir
  • 1960: Leaning on Jesus
  • 1962/64: His Grace King Louis H. Narcisse

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Marc Sandalow (February 1989). "Lavish East Bay Funeral / King Narcisse Takes Some of It With Him". The San Francisco Chronicle. Chronicle East Bay Bureau. 
  2. ^ a b James R. Lewis (2002). The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions (2 ed.). Prometheus Books. p. 509. ISBN 9781615927388. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Louie Robinson (July 1963). "The+Kingdom+of+King+Narcisse" Ebony (Vol. 13, No. 9 ed.). Johnson Publishing Company. pp. 112–119. ISSN 0012-9011. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ Alan Young (January 1, 1997). Woke Me Up This Morning: Black Gospel Singers and the Gospel Life (illustrated ed.). Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 196. ISBN 9780878059447. 
  5. ^ a b "PROPHETIC JUSTICE, The Destruction of the Spiritual Kingdom of Bishop-King Louis H. Narcisse". Prince Ray Chronicles. December 31, 2007. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Opal Louis Nations. "It's so nice to be nice" The Story of 'His Grace' King Louis H. Narcisse" (PDF). opalnations.com. p. 13. Retrieved March 17, 2013.