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Interdenominational Church Ushers Association of Washington, DC & Vicinity Inc.
1923 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

  President: George J. Irick
"The LORD is the strength of His people;
He is a stronghold of salvation for His anointed."
Psalms 28:8 [HCSB]
"Anointed Doorkeepers Making a Difference"

REGIONS








HISTORY






HISTORY OF THE ICUA


In 1912, Brother John W. Evans of Zion Baptist Church issued a call and invitation to the Usher Boards of D.C. and Vicinity to meet with this group for organizing an Ushers” Union. The committee met at the Zion Baptist Church located than on “F” Street, SW between 3rd and 4th Streets. The late Rev. William J. Howard was the Pastor. Until his death, Rev. Howard was one of the most staunch and ardent ministerial supporters.

At the first meeting a total of approximately 200 ushers laid the groundwork for the organization. The purpose was to create, foster, and maintain a uniformed method of church ushering, and to bring among the ushers of the District a closer spiritual, friendly, and common social bond, wherein all might be helped.

Bro. John Evans was elected President and Bro. William H. Davis was elected Secretary. Thus, this organization was born. It adopted the name of the Interdenominational Ushers Union of D.C. and Vicinity. The membership was to be completely free of any denominational barriers and requiring only that Boards seeking admittance be in good standing from a regular church.

Upon this basis, the organization set about seeking new members and spreading the gospel of “Christian Church Ushers Unity.” After one year, Bro Evans relinquished the Presidency to Bro. John Martin of Metropolitan Baptist Church who also served one year.

Bro. Charles Harris of Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church succeeded Bro. John Martin. During this period, progress was very slow and almost discouraging at times, as the group met with increasing opposition from unexpected sources. However, believing that ours was a Godly inspired organization, and depending upon God for guidance, wisdom and strength, the group struggled on. Bro Harris served one year.

Bro. William H. Davis of Zion Baptist Church succeeded Bro. Charles Harris. Bro. Davis served the organization for several years, and under his leadership the body seemed to prosper and flourish. During Bro. Davis’ first term the Ladies Auxiliary was formed under the leadership of Sis. Josephine Bealle of Galbraith A.M.E. Zion Church. We were known then as, “The Interdenominational Ushers Union and Ladies Auxiliary of D.C. and Vicinity.” Subsequently, it was incorporated. Struggling and striving through the years, but always growing under God’s divine guidance, various units and departments were added, thereby making for new and greater interests among the membership.

Bro. Thaddeus Chase of Galbraith A.M.E. Zion Church was elected president. He served for several years and his work was outstanding. He succeeded in strengthening the walls of the building through his sincerity and devotion to the office. The organization formulated teams to demonstrate ushering at meetings. A financial system between church and organization was adopted. A “Look out Committee” was organized to solicit new members and the organization grew. Bro. Chase was the first delegate to organize a national body and Bro. William H. Davis was the second delegate. Bro. John Robinson and Bro. Thomas Carter were charter members of the national body. Bro. Chase was elected as the first secretary of the National.

Under Bro. Chase’s administration, Sis Mary M. Johnson and Sis. Jennie Hyder served as Vice Presidents, and Sis. Jessie Burnett, Recording Secretary. Correspondence secretaries were Sis. Minnie Minor, Zion A.M.E.; Sis. Matilda Harris, Macedonia Baptist Church and Sis. Mary Johnson, Vermont Avenue Baptist Church. Bro. Thomas Carter was Sergeant-At-Arms and Bro. George Clarke of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church was Chaplain. Sis. Josephine Gill was the person responsible for notifying the local body of Bro. Hamilton’s plan to form a national usher’s body. The ICUA grew to 1,082 members and a plan was established whereby notices were sent to the churches noting the dates for sermons and where they would be held.

Bro. Michael Lewis of the Liberty Baptist Church followed Bro. Chase as President. For two years he worked ardently, but failing health caused him to relinquish his office.

Bro. William H. Davis was again called to head the organization. He was given full support of the loyal Christian workers for they saw in him an opportunity to help in Kingdom building. IN 1927, a memorable year, a new unit was added, namely the Ushers Chorus. This group has won and merited much acclaim in the musical world and has rendered service from coast to coast. Under Bro. Davis, we began the annual exchange of visits with the Maryland organization on the occasion of their Memorial Service. After having served for a quarter of a century or more as President Bro. Davis was called from labor to reward in November of 1948.

In 1949, Sis. Alma Cooper Hawkins of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church was the next and first female President of the Organization. With her inspired intelligence, the architectural plans of Bro. Davis, and God’s leadership, the organization began a steady march to greater heights. The President’s Officers Council was initiated in 1949. there was a need for officers and Board Presidents to meet at regular intervals to discuss problems and to devise ways and means to better serve the interests of the membership.

A credit union was organized and the membership was able to save as well as borrow from this intricate part of our organization. We have been host to the national body on three occasions, the last in 2001. The 1992 convention was said to have been the finest and best convention in the history of the National United Church Ushers Association of America.

During Sis. Hawkins administration, the Ushers Headquarters was purchased and is located at 1923 16th Street, N.W. Sis Hawkins was the Correspondence Secretary of the National under President William H. Davis. She was the organizer and Past Chairman and Chairman Emeritus of the Public Relations Committee and Secretary of the R.E. Harshaw Scholarship Committee. Sis. Hawkins served greatly and made many great accomplishments.

To continue reading the history, please go to Part 2