House of Prayer marchers continue Memorial Day weekend tradition


A marching band from Charlotte, N.C., parades past the United House of Prayer headquarters May 26 in Northwest Washington. (Hamil R. Harris/The Washington Post)

The District is the  headquarters of the 1.5 million-member church organization founded by the late “Daddy Grace” in 1927. Since that time it has grown to be one of the largest and most affluent church organizations in the country, with 150 congregations in 25 states.

The church has had only had three other leaders since Daddy Grace: Bishop Walter “Sweet Daddy” McCollough, Bishop S.C. “Daddy” Madison and now Bishop C.M. “Sweet Daddy,” Bailey, who was elected as the head of the church when Madison died in 2008.

The parade featured young and old, from little boys tooting trombones to vintage limousines that once carried church leaders. Participants marched from church headquarters, “God’s White House,” at 6th and M street north to U Street, then back again.

The United House of Prayer used to be located in the heart of the black community. The neighborhood is now more diverse, but the parade still attracted onlookers.

“I think it’s a great day for everyone to come out,” said Ivey Wohlfeld, who lives acoss the street from the church. “I am usually out of town on Memorial Day. I didn’t know that this event was that big.”


Marching bands came from House of Prayer congregations across the couintry came to take part in annual D.C. event. (Hamil R. Harris/The Washington Post)

House of Prayer leaders sing as they march up 6th Street NW on Saturday. (Hamil R. Harris/The Washington Post)
Hamil Harris is currently a multi-platform reporter on the Local Desk of The Washington Post.

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