WASHINGTON — The United House of Prayer for All People held its annual Memorial Day weekend parade in Washington Saturday, and it is awesome.
UHOP was founded in 1919 by Cape Verdi immigrant Bishop C. M. “Sweet Sweet Daddy” Grace, who first settled in Massachusetts before eventually moving the District of Columbia.
One of the church’s most unique characteristics are their mass baptisms, in which hundreds of congregants dressed in white are baptized at once with a fire hose.
The church’s headquarters in Northwest Washington is also famous for its cafeteria, which serves inexpensive soul food.
For decades the parade has been a central part of Memorial Day for the Shaw and Logan Circle neighborhoods, even during the decades when the area was ravaged by crime and drugs. In fact, for many years UHOP’s parade was one of the few times neighbors would congregate without the flashing red and blue glare of police lights.