United Holy Church of America

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United Holy Church of America
  • Date of Establishment: 1886 Incorporation 1918
ClassificationProtestant
OrientationHoliness-Pentecostal
PolityEpiscopal
RegionUnited States, Caribbean, Africa
HeadquartersGreensboro, North Carolina, USA
FounderBishop L.M. Mason
Congregationsest. 516
Members50,000+
Official websitehttp://uhca.org

The United Holy Church of America, Inc. is a predominantly black Pentecostal Holiness Christian denomination, and the oldest African-American Holiness-Pentecostal body in the world. The International Headquarters is located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The UHCA consists of 516 churches, 17 districts, and 8 territories. The largest and the oldest district of the connectional body is the Southern District Convocation (Goldsboro, NC).

Church Affirmation of Faith[edit]

The Church states that

We believe in the Father who is God Almighty. The Creator of all things and the Preserver of Light and Life.
We believe in the Son, who is Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son. He was human and divine, truly lived, suffered and died, rose again from the dead, ascended on high and is coming again.
We believe that Jesus was sent by God to man. That whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
We believe in the Holy Ghost, who was sent from God the Father and the Son. That the Holy Spirit convicts and converts sinners, dwells in the believer, keeps the believer from the power of sin and leads him to the father, through His Son, Jesus Christ.
We believe the Bible is the word of God, given by inspiration through holy men. That in the bible, God seeks to reveal his will to man and man seeks to respond to God's revelation.
We believe that the union of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are revealed through His church. That all believers are united into one body - the Church.
We believe that Christ is coming back for His holy Church, without spot or wrinkle.
That without holiness in Spirit, soul and body, no man shall see the Lord. Amen."

Districts[edit]

  • Africa-Ghana District
  • Barbados District
  • Bermuda District
  • Central Pacific District
  • Central Western District
  • Kentucky District
  • New England District
  • Northern District
  • Northwestern District
  • South Carolina District
  • South Eastern District
  • Southern District Goldsboro
  • Southern District Henderson
  • Virginia District
  • Western District
  • Western North Carolina District
  • West Virginia District
  • St. Lucia-West Indies District

United Holy Church of America Governance[edit]

General President, General Vice-President, and General 2nd Vice-President, Bishops' Council, General Board of Bishops, Board of Elders (district and general church levels), District Board of Presbytery, District Presidents, District Elders, District & General Departments of Evangelism & Extension, Missions, Ushers, Music, YPHA (Young Peoples' Holy Association), BCS (Bible Church School), Publications, and the Holiness Union . The United Holy Church is broken down into districts, sub-districts and then local churches.

Episcopal hierarchy[edit]

Bishops, Pastors, Elders (Ordained Ministers), Licensed Ministers (Evangelists, Reverends, Ministers, etc.) District Board of Presbytery handle the applicants for ministerial licensing and ordination. While in cases of ordination some of the applicants are also tried before the District Board of Elders as well.

Miscellaneous information[edit]

ount Calvary Holy Church of America split from the United Holy Church in 1929 to form their own holiness Pentecostal body. Mount Sinai Holy Church of America separated from the mother church in 1924 to form an organization to create gender equality in episcopal ordination. The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas and the United Holy Church consider each other as sister organizations[citation needed]. The United Holy Church was one of the first churches that ordained women to become pastors and elders and later on bishops. United Holy Church's annual "Holy Convocation" is held every May. District convocations are held at set times within the district. The Holiness Union is the official church organ and magazine of the United Holy Church of America. There is no solid stance on Pentecostal doctrine. The United Holy Church of America has the United Christian College Goldsboro, NC as one of the main educational and training institutions in the body.

Standards of conduct[edit]

The Church has the following general rules:

Clothing and articles of jewelry should be modest and without ostentation.
All local churches are exclusively places of worship, not for activities such as fairs, worldly festivals, other worship programs, or any other kind of untoward activity.

Mission Statement[edit]

  • The Church is the mystical union of all believers with Christ as its head through which He operates, saves souls, reveals God's nature and will to men, and does mighty works, thus glorifying the Father who is in Heaven. (Ephesians 1:22,23; 5:32; Galatians 1:25; Romans 12:14-21; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14).
  • The Christian Church, according to the New Testament, is an inclusive company of baptized believers, called out from the world and organized on a definite plan in order to accomplish God's divine purposes, and through which the ordinances and sacraments are administered.
  • Therefore, the mission of the United Holy Church of America Inc., is to promote Christian doctrine, values and fellowship for the purpose of extending holiness throughout the world through the teaching and preaching of the Word of God, and the establishing of programs and activities which minister to the temporal as well as the spiritual needs of humankind.
  • To implement this mission, we believe that it is necessary to set forth appropriate organizational structures, to exercise discipline, to elect and sustain officers, to acquire, hold and bequeath property, and to superintend the distribution of financial resources as we bear witness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in obedience to His Great Commission.

Former general presidents and presiding prelates[edit]

  1. Rt. Rev. L.M. Mason 1894-1901
  2. Rt. Rev. W.H. Fulford 1901-1916
  3. Rt. Rev. Henry L. Fisher 1916-1947
  4. Rt. Rev. G.J. Branch 1947-1949
  5. Rt. Rev. Henry H. Hairiston 1949-1963
  6. Rt. Rev. Walter N. Strobahr 1963-1980
  7. Rt. Rev. Joseph T. Bowens 1980-1992
  8. Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Talley 1992-1996
  9. Rt. Rev. Odell McCollum 1996-2005
  10. Rt. Rev. Elijah Williams 2005–2016
  11. Rt. Rev. Harry L Cohen 2016–Present

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  • Handbook of Denominations in the United States, by Frank S. Mead, Samuel S. Hill, and Craig D. Atwood
  • The History of the United Holy Church of America, Inc., by Chester W. Gregory, Sr.