A CHURCH ON ASSIGNMENT, COMMISSIONED BY GOD TO BUILD HIS KINGDOM IN THE EARTH, BRINGING TOGETHER PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD TO RECONCILIATION WITH THEIR CREATOR
It became necessary for these persons who held testimony of being saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost to establish contact with each other for mutual edification and comfort. As a result, many independent churches were established and associations formed where people would feel free to seek God, not only to be genuinely saved, but also to be definitely sanctified.
On the first Sunday in May1886, at the village town of Method, N.C., a suburb of the capital city, Raleigh, North Carolina, a company of men met in the persons of Brothers L.M. Mason, G.A. Mials, Issac Cheshier and H.C. Snipes, all of Raleigh, North Carolina. This meeting, conducted by the Rev. Cheshier, was the first of its kind in the State and of the Southern United States. This meeting gave birth to what is known as The United Holy Church of America.
On October 13, 1894, in the city of Durham, North Carolina, the first Convocation was organized. Those present were G.A. Mials, H.C. Snipes, S.S. Freeman, all of Raleigh, North Carolina, G.W. Roberts of Durham, North Carolina, and L.M. Mason of Method, North Carolina. On October 15, 1900, a convention was called by the Rev. C.C. Craig to meet at Durham, North Carolina, to prepare a Discipline for the Government of the Churches. Those present at this meeting were H.C. Pettiford, H.C. Snipes, L.M. Mason. G.W. Roberts, Mrs. Emma E. Craig, and Mrs. L.J. Roberts.
The church was first known as the “Church of North Carolina,” then the “Holy Church of North Carolina and Virginia.” In September 1916, in a Convocation that assembled at Oxford, North Carolina, the name was changed to United Holy Church of America, and on September 25, 1918, the Church was incorporated under the name of The United Holy Church of America, Inc.
The Southern District (Parent body) of The United Holy Church of America came into being in the year of 1894 in the city of Durham, North Carolina, which later became the official headquarters of the church. This, the largest of all districts, was organized by Elders C.C. Craig, L.M. Mason, George W. Roberts, H.C. Snipes, H.C.Pettiford, Mother E.E. Craig and Mrs. L.J. Roberts. Elder L.M. Mason was chosen as its first president. The work of the church has steadily grown since that time into a great organization.
In June 1920, in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bishop H.L. Fisher and Bishop G.J. Branch with other general officers, met at a call-meeting of the independent groups of Holy Churches in this city and nearby towns; and, after meditation and prayer proceeded to organize the churches into a district known as the Northern District Convocation of the United Holy Church of America, Inc. Bishop G.J. Branch of Goldsboro, North Carolina, was chosen as the president of the district embracing the following states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Following this, in 1924, in the city o f Columbus, Ohio, in the Gospel Tabernacle Church, pastored by Elder John E. Harris, the Northwestern District was organized into a Convocation District by Bishop G.J. Branch, Bishop H.L. Fisher and Bishop J.D. Diggs with other General Officers of the church. Bishop J.D. Diggs of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was chosen as its first president. Other officers were: Bishop J.D. Diggs of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was chosen as its first president. Other officers were: Bishop H.H. Hairston and Bishop S.G. McCoy. The States forming the District were: Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Eastern Illinois.
The New England District, embracing the states of the New England area, was organized in August 1925. Bishop J.W. Houston was the first president of this District.
The Central Western District was organized in 1930. The organizers were Bishop J.W. Houston, Elder O.E. Evans, Mother Addie Houston, and Mother Evans.
The work of The United Holy church on the Pacific coast was originally known as the Union of California United Holy Churches in 1924. In 1936, this District became known as the Western District. Bishop Henry Lee Fisher was the organizer of this District.
The West Virginia District was organized in 1935 by Bishop J.D. Diggs, when the District was separated from the North Western District the previous year.
The South Eastern District, originally known as the Florida-Georgia District, was organized in 1948 by Bishop General Johnson Branch.
The Bermuda District, covering the entire island, was organized in 1921 by Bishop Henry Lee Fisher. Associated with him were Elder Thomas Trott, Elder C. H. Caisey, Elder Patrick Mills, and Miss Majorie Trott.
In the early history of the Barbados District, Evangelist Rosa B. Hawkins of Francisco, California, organized five churches on the island; however, these churches later joined another Pentecostal body. The present United Holy Churches in Barbados were organized by the late Harry Townsend Gentles, who founded the headquarters church-Mt Olive United Holy Church in 1949. Bishop Gentles brought together some independent churches and organized new ones, and these have grown into the present Barbados District.
The Virginia District was organized by Bishop W.N. Strobhar. Bishop Thomas E. Talley was appointed the first president and Bishop S. G. McCoy, vice president. The first Convocation was held August 1969, in Portsmouth, Virginia, and the first secretary was Mrs. Elsie Harris.
On December 10, 1969, at Fisher Memorial United Holy Church, Durham, North Carolina, the Western North Carolina District was organized by Bishop W.N. Strobhar and other General Officers. Bishop A.W. Lawson was appointed the first president and Bishop N.M. Midgett, vice president.