Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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United House of Prayer for All People
Mount Vernon Square

Pastor: Apostle H.L. Whitner

Attendance: About 45

Service Length: About 150 minutes

Sample Worshipper Dress: White jacket, white dress, white nylons

Baptismal Font/Swimming Pool/Fountains: 1

Trombones: 3

“Grace Products” Available: Olive-oil soap, lemon cream, cocoa-butter lotion

Congregational Fervor

Perhaps due to the weekend snowstorm, only seven worshippers were in attendance at the start of an 11 a.m. service at the United House of Prayer for All People. The early birds solemnly rattled tambourines and mumbled hymns until both the band and the majority of the congregation rolled in about an hour later.

Food for the Soul

When called to give testimony, worshippers at the United House of Prayer were driven, passionate, and entirely rational. Many came forward to thank and praise the Lord for health and good fortune. Only one woman skewed toward the surreal when she described the banishment of an evil spirit from her forehead through the use of a topical cream.

Food for the Body

After the two-and-a-half-hour apostolic workout, hungry worshippers can stop in for soul food at the House of Prayer-owned Saint’s Paradise Cafe. Around $6.50 will buy pretty much anything on the menu, from a pork chop sandwich to a plate of mac and cheese with collard greens and yams.

Overall Worship Power

The chapel might have been chilly at the beginning of the service, but when the House of Prayer’s shout band finally arrived, things got a lot warmer. The traditional trombone-and-tuba ensemble blew through old-time hymns with such fervor that it sent one worshipper into a fit of tongues-speaking that lasted nearly 10 minutes.