Bishop S.C. Madison: “Daddy’s” Gone…Long live “Sweet Daddy”

Daddy Madison

Bishop S.C. Madison, the Presiding Bishop of the United House of Prayer for All People has been laid to rest in grand fashion April 14. He was only the third leader of what must be considered the first Black “Mega Church.”

My hat is off to the UHOP. May God Be Pleased With You. UHOP members don’t stand out from other middle class, “Raisin in the Sun” type, striving Black folks, they don’t change their names to “El” or “Bey” or Rashideen. Of course their clean, well dressed, well represented. But there’s something else about their strength I admire. The way they worship, their exuberant musical tributes.

Bishop Grace–Sweet Daddy Grace–founded his first church in West Waltham, Massachusetts, around 1919. By the mid-1920s he had moved South, and was holding large, popular revivals and tent-meetings around Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1927, with an estimated 13,000 followers, Bishop Grace incorporated The United House of Prayer for All People of the Church on the Rock of the Apostolic Faith. The church grew rapidly and soon included branches all along the eastern seaboard, claiming some 500,000 people in 100 congregations in 67 cities.

Was he “charismatic” or merely “flamboyant?”

Charles Manuel Grace was of mixed African and Portuguese descent, born in the Cape Verde Islands around 1882. His family came to the United States during the first decade of the twentieth century. In the Cape Verdean communities of New Bedford and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the young Charles Grace worked as a short-order cook, a cranberry picker, and a sewing machine and patent medicine salesman, before giving his life completely to his ministry.

Bishop Grace was said to have been a showman, but he was always a generous benefactor. He sponsored bands and parades, and tossed candy to his followers (hence “Sweet Daddy”) and to this day UHOP marching bands and steppers travel up and down the east coast in bright, shiny, dream-mobile-looking buses where they perform at various congregation meetings and rallies.

Daddy Grace dazzled with his long hair, multicolored robes, and colored fingernails. His followers believed he had the power to bless such ordinary items as soap, coffee, and eggs, and many believed that buttered toast from his plate had the power to heal. Although Bishop Grace did not claim the divinity that his followers assigned to him, neither did he deny it. “I never said I was God,” he once clarified, “but you cannot prove to me I’m not.”


Another thing I admire, is that even though his followers worship Bishop Grace, his successor, and Bishop Walter “Sweet Daddy” McCullough, and now just departed Bishop S.C. Madison as “Daddy.” the followers don’t seem to act like “Babies.” They impress me, from the outside at least, as strong people God-fearing people who know and appreciate the value of life and of “things.”

In his own right, Bishop Madison stood firm against the very ultimate force of gentrification and urban renewal ever faced by any inner-city church leader, the encroachment into the church’s residential neighborhood with the construction of the new Walter E. Washington Convention Center. To his eternal credit, Bishop Madison apparently did not yield an inch to the developers, not one apartment given up at Canaanland Apartments on Seventh Street. God Bless his soul!

The Rev. Willie Wilson said of Bishop Madison: He was a supreme example that churches can play a role in the housing and economic development needs of our community. He as well as the United House of Prayer, continued the historic position of setting up hospitals, banks and stores for the community, and it came out of the Black church. We need to emulate more of what he did.” Rev. Wilson told James Wright of the Afro-American newspaper.

Indeed, that it seems is the church tradition. Sweet Daddy Grace, after all, was known for spending a good portion of his income on his congregations, supplying apartments, pension funds, burial plans, and free food to the faithful.

Long live that great tradition and Great Black Ministry.

37 thoughts on “Bishop S.C. Madison: “Daddy’s” Gone…Long live “Sweet Daddy”

  1. I agree with QueenMother. Many people do criticize our kingdom for our unique values and traditional style. We serve God just like anyone else. We will miss Daddy Madison very much but we do know that God has and will always stand by our side.

  2. Wonderfully written! People tend to find the negative in our faith, but you did just the opposite and God bless you for that.

  3. Very nicely written. Many people not of our faith cannot explain in such a positive manner, as you did. We don’t put man before God, for he is the creator of all man kind. I will miss Daddy Madison for the things he has taught me and the impact he has had on my life. God will never put more on us than we can bear and I trust that he makes no mistakes.




  6. This was well written and a great publication to the world to show that this was a remarkable man and is a remarkable organization and we are striving for holiness and greatness in the eyesight of GOD. The leaders of the HOP have given their lives to make sure this organization continues to grow and thank you for commending them for that. Sweet Daddy Madison we will miss you and we love you! Your great works will never be forgotten! Rev. Willie Wilson, I couldnt agree with you more!

  7. I truly thank God for being a member of this great organization. Yes many don’t understand our faith but God has shown us in the HOP that he always gives the increase!! Daddy Madison and our previous leaders would not have been able to do what they did except God was with them. They always taught us to give the GOd the honor and praise. To God be the Glory!! Very well said.

  8. Thank you, for including more fact than myth about the United House of Prayer For All People and our leaders. Above all else, we are thankful to God for His son, Jesus. We know that our “Daddy” is not God or Jesus. “Daddy” is a name that we have given to our leader, who carries the Christ spirit within a man. We know that “Daddy” is not our natural father, but he is the one who beget us through the spirit of Christ. It is with fervent prayer and absolute faith that we know that God will bless us with a new Bishop, who through our tradition, will be called “Daddy”.
    As a lifelong member, I have always urged non-members to come and gain understanding. Utilizing the same premise that experience is the best teacher, the United House of Prayer is open seven days a week and welcomes all for worship. God bless everyone who reads this!

  9. I Thank God for the United house of prayer for all people,and also allowing me to part of a Great organization.


  11. I am so grateful to have known Precious Daddy Madison. He was a true Man of God. I am also grateful and thankful to the Almighty God for giving me the opportunity to see His spirit that was in our leader. Although the man is gone, God’s spirit lives on and I will continue to praise God and shout around the Holy Mountain through my good times and my bad times. Thank you Black Journalism for the positive remarks.

  12. I, along with my family, went to a meeting at UHOP this past Sunday. We could not believe what we were hearing. The pastor had everyone to stand and give praise to “the one who is sitting on his throne looking down on them…Daddy Madison”. We immediately got up and left because first, the Holy Scriptures does not tell us that man has a throne in heaven after he dies(only Jesus is sitting on a throne on the right hand side of the Heavenly Father) nor does it tell us that we should give man more praise than we give God’s son, Jesus Christ,who died for our sins on the cross and rose again and because of this He is worthy to receive all praise, glory, honor and power. Over the one and half hour we had been in this service, which was suppose to be a Christian meeting, there was no mention of the name of Jesus. As a matter of fact, the picture who was supposed to be representative of Jesus was not in the pulpit area as the past leaders pictures were hung, the picture of Jesus was off to the side of the church. Most of the time was given to this dead man who will never rise again like my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to collecting money and trombone band playing. My heart go out to these people who have placed their trust and lives in the hands of someone who can not save them in the end. I am quite sure Daddy Grace and all those who have since followed in his leadership footsteps and have died, found out that Jesus Christ is Lord and their knees have had to bow to him. “Thou shall have no other god before me.” There is no other name given that we might be saved…the name of Jesus. It is my hope and prayer that a member of this organization who has been questioning some things about this faith will begin to ask the Lord for direction and maybe read this note and see that it is Jesus we all need in our lives and allow Him to put mentors in our lives who will help us along the way and most importantly, to read and study the Word of God, beginning in the gospel of St. John. I believe they will find just what they are looking for, because it will not be found in man…No earthly man. Only Jesus.

  13. First,As salaam al likum to the author of this piece & condolences to the House of Prayer membership. I am not a member of the House of Prayer but i have attended services and i do appreciate all the good & wonderful things the UHOP has done & continues to do for the community .Now i most answer the post immediately above mine by ‘Loretta’.It is fine that you, ma’am, have theological differences in your understanding of the christian walk. It would also have been common courtesy to ASK about things that you don’t understand or are unfamiliar with. That is the polite thing to do. But to state & imply that the UHOP members & Leaders ‘need to recognize’ Jesus as if they don’t is rude, presumptuous, insulting & more than disengenuos. According to ALL i have EVER seen, read, asked about & observed of the UHOP has been a ringing, living & profound witness to the lordship of Jesus Christ. I would be a liar to say otherwise. Is it the christian walk as was exposed to me from birth & young adult hood? Not exactly as i was taught or understood it. But i don’t know everything, but i do know that the UHOP mission(Daddy Grace’s life mission & those who have been blessed to succeed him)statement says”to worship the Almighty God in spirit & truth…and..maintain the Faith of the lord and savior, Jesus Christ” And i have not witnessed ANYTHING, personally, in my observation of the UHOP to contradict this. UHOP members have been kind, courteous, humble& patient with me to a fault By their actions they have shown me they LIVE their beliefs in Jesus. My humble suggestions to the ‘Lorretas’ of the world is they confess Jesus in their hearts, let his light shine in their lives & let God do the judging of his Children.

  14. people say that we are worshipping a man,we honor the man,because of what he do for us and giving his life for we thank god for him,because he was gods choice anyway.If you search the scriptures very closely,you’ll find gods will in them.thebible said in the scripture that they read of me,and they think they know me.It also whorship me with there lips,but there heart is far from me. you see,the house of prayer is a spiritual kingdom,the bible say when jesus was being question by pilate,it was because of the accusations by the jews,he spoke and said, his kingdom is’nt of this world,{Jn.18:36}jesus was speaking spiritually to them.So when we say thank you daddy , were thanking god for the man he fixed up, to do his will.The bible is is a two fold gospel, it’s spiritually,and natually,you have to be able to spiritually decern when the scriptures talking{sp./nat.}. pray that god open your eyes,heart,mind,and soul to the truth of gods words dea. spfld. ma.

  15. Hi folks. I didn’t know Bishop Maddison. What brings me to this site link, and to have read and know what I do now from the past hour, I have some collectors pins, photographic pins, with this Bishop Maddison on them, and I wanted to put them into auction, But didnt know anything about this man, no dates nothing, never heard of him. So I had to find out some history if I was to post them. I came across many sites but couldnt fing Bishop Maddison, but the others before him, like Bishop Grace I think, which then led me to Bishop Maddison.
    But now I do know something about him, and to find out he was a Bishop, in Washington , and I find out that alot of people out there love him, and did think alot about him. Just wanted to post here, I have read your comments and postings, and he seemed to be a good character , man of God. Your thoughts nad comments I found was loving , sincere. thanks for writing, because you never know when someone you know, another may not, and come across something, with just a name, and picture, and if they cant find nothing out of that person, because no one takes the toime to respond, care to writew thoughts of someone dear to them, to telkl the world, then another would never have known of them. That is how I see you folks keeping someone you love dear , keeping them alive, not only in memory, but in heart to, enough to tel l others about a kind loving human being, of God.
    This is how you keep another’s spirit alive. I’d never know this much had I not come across these pins and badges I have of him, photographics. thanks

  16. im not a member of the house of prayer but the house of prayer is inspiring to me because daddy mccollough said it is not me it is the man that you dont see which is jesus christ i love daddy mccollough

  17. im truly thankful to be a member of HOP in i give god thanks for daddy madison in all he done for this great kingdom thank you dad in may god bless all the readers

  18. I am a member of this great kingdom. if it wasnt for my parents i wouldnt have experience this great kingdom. I love Daddy Madison. he was a major blessing in my life. Thank u for the positive feed back faith.

  19. all of our profits are men of good faith. all our profits made it clear to us that its not what u see….its what u dont. Jesus did die on the cross for our sins and that we might partake in this life.
    Without him we would b nothing…..without God we would be nothing
    Its all apart of what i call the spiritual chain of command.
    All profits preached in the scriptures”ye are the children of the profits” thats why we call him Daddy
    I have also read through scriptures that Jesus has gone and prepared a place for us…..and he said he would send a comforter in his name
    and whosoever will except him can be saved
    So we do preach Jesus…..we just used the term Daddy to draw that connection we have in spirit with our many fathers in christ
    Is Jesus not a father to us?……someone who pays in sacrifice for us? someone that prepares a place for us?
    Is God not a father to us?…..didnt he create us….didnt he plan a place for us to go….DADDY is the connection

  20. If anyone has a question to b answered…..just go in the church and ask a preacher
    im sure they would answer any questions backed up with scriptures UNITED HOUSE OF PRAYER “FOR ALL PEOPLE”
    so dont assume or listen to what other bad things others have said
    u got to know God for yourself

  21. Hello to all, I am a witness to the HOP. Before I even Became a memeber I thought they worshiped theses men they called Daddy. I did not understand the meaning of it. I fell inlove with a memeber of the HOP and I started to attend. The apostle at the Mother House I attend is so spiritural and Broke down the bible to me that no one ever has. So I relalized that we as people down stuff that we dont understand. Once you understand the HOP that we worship GOD not Man you will love to attend and hear Sweet Daddy Bailey speak the word of GOD not of himself GOD. Sweet Sweet Daddy Grace was a servant of GOD and he built a place where we can hear and praise GOD words. GOD choose all of the Hop man servants not Man. So before you get a negative feeling of Down the HOP try to understand GODS word.

  22. Well, I was born and raised in the HOP and many of them do worship man.

  23. Hello all,

    Truly God has blessed me to come across this inspriring website today. The comments that I heard from our members and also the non believers are very interesting. I think it has been summed up beautifully be the members. God is a spirit and everything in the House of Prayer is in His word. Go, see, and ask questions.I promise that you wont leave without a understanding. I have been a member for 31 years now and I had to get a understanding for myself. My parents told me in a positive way. But some people have parents that talked to them in a negative way against the H.O.P. My advice to those people is to bring your parents with you and you both will learn the truth. How can something against God prosper for 90+ years. Truly God is there. Hats off to all 4 of my Bishops. 3 in which I have seen in my lifetime. Daddy Bailey is teaching me that the only way I can see Jesus again is to be born again of the Holy Ghost and with the Fire. Christ lives today he did not die on the cross, but Jesus did and I know that Christ’s spirit resides in the House of Prayer for all People. Read Isaih 56:7 and then find the place that he called his. 3 cheers for Daddy Bailey!

  24. Also to Carmen Sandiago. It is people here in the H.O.P that have been here for years that may not understand. You was one of those people. I worship Christ. The same Christ that was in Jesus from the time that he was baptized by John the Baptist until the time when he hung on the cross for you and I, to forgive us for the sin that we were born with. Jesus went away to prepare a bless for his children that where he went we can be there also. The man you are referring to, is teaching us how to see Jesus one day. I want to be in that number!

  25. This was and is a cult,and unfortunately blasphemy. But The God of THE BIBLE shall reveal it…if not to ALL NOW,then the REST LATER,in JESUS’ Name,Amen.The Book of John,and many OTHER Scriptures prove It!

  26. No matter HOW MUCH someone tries to help those in the house of prayer,they WON’T listen.See,GOD is The ONLY Father of The Christians,and we CAN’T call HIM “daddy”,because there is NO Hebrew OR Greek Word in Scripture that addresses OUR God as such. We call Him “Abba”,which means Father.”daddy” grace,McCollough,Madison and all who follow are cult leaders. In Ct,where I live,there is a picture in the basement of the hop,which labels “daddy” Grace as “the king of kings,lord of lords”,and that is pure,pure blasphemy!I saw a video recording,(shown to me by the “apostle” there),of “daddy” madison “coming off of the mountain and blessing the children”,AFTER the “mountaineers” gave him the monies,which some,he put in his pocket,and the rest he “blessed” the people with.And what about the soldiets there? It has been known here,in CT,that guns are carried in the house of prayer. JESUS IS THE ONLY KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS! HE IS The ONLY Way to The Father…and NO ONE can get to HEAVEN APART FROM Him.In the hop,their SONGS even bear tje name of “daddy”,and “daddy” is even mentioned among THEIR trinity! This movement is a CULT! It always WAS and always WILL BE! Dfurtherreseresearch…even “daddy” grace said HE was God…he even said GOD COULDN’T save you FROM Grace(him)

  27. Do further research…even “daddy” grace said HE was God…he even said GOD COULDN’T save you FROM Grace(him). Excuse the typos in the prior writing.Again said,guns are carried in the h.o.p. The products sold in the basement here in ct,such as facial creme,and products like that have witchcraft worked over them to keep the users in SPIRITUAL bondage. Again do RESEARCH,Saints of God. Ask ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN SET FREE FROM the h.o.p.,and THEY shall tell:”the h.o.p. Worships a MAM and NOT God!” all of these “daddy’s”,starting from “SWEET daddy” Grace.notice how all of the “daddy’s” resemble…be NOT deceived,because JESUS is coming back SOON to get HIS people,and the h.o.p. Will be disappointed when THEY see that “daddy” Grace ISN’T the king of kings and lord of lords”!

    • Dan: I understand your pain but we all gotta stop wnihing and start doing. Go to internet and join groups that are doing similar things, chaning family laws so that loving dads are not easily displaced from their kids lives.Do not give up cause the feminist movement has totally taken control of the family courts and we must fight back.-Sid

  28. I love IHOP and all the people there. The pancakes are wonderful and they will heal you if served with butter. Thank God for IHOP………

    But if you’re looking for Salvation, look to Jesus Christ and Christ alone…….there is no “middle man” but Jesus Christ the very Son of God who bore our shame at Calvary, rose again the 3rd day and sits now at the right hand of the Father as our Intercessor………he is the only one between us and God…..No Hope in the Pope….No “Daddy” in your Spiritual Leaders… hope in fellow man when it comes to things eternal.

    You have “Individual Priesthood” with Christ being your “High Priest”…….Be not Deceived!

  29. Thank God for the United House of Prayer for All People and its members. Thank God for providing us with our current day leader and prophet, Daddy Bailey. When we speak of “Daddy” we are not referring to the flesh, but the “spirit” that dwells within the man. Again, I say Thank You Daddy! The UHOP will always look to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…Daddy!

  30. prayer that don’t under stand us do critisize us all the time so thnk you for showing us how we need to feel after what happened when he triyed to keep the house of prayer a live

  31. Blasphemy??? U r a liar..I don’t know what bible you’ve been reading, but trust, its not the King James Version. Coming from a family of qualified preachers unlike urself…I know what’s true and what’s not. If u don’t know about our faith, and have no understanding what our church really stands for, then keep ur mouth shut. Apparently, we’re doing something rite, ur on our website. If we we’re suppose to be everything u say we r. Why r u on this website reading about our church…the h.o.p. is still standing now and forever…if we were so much in the wrong, God would have destroyed us and the h.o.p along time ago. Ppl like u just need to stay in ur lane. If its God’s will, he’ll give u understanding…if not, well, you’ll just be lost like everyone else that tries to analyze our faith.