Our Church History

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Reverend Albert McKinney desired to devote his life solely to the building of GOD’s kingdom, so in 1935 under his leadership a group of nine (9) persons met and organized St. Paul Holy Church in Baltimore, MD. He believed GOD’s will for him was to organize a local body and serve as Pastor of its members.

The Church grew for a while, but eventually disbanded leaving a faithful nine (9) persons. United as a Church, they joined the United Holy Church of America (Northern District) in 1938. The following are the names of the faithful nine:


  • Bishop Albert McKinney (Founder)
  • Sis. Cora McKinney
  • Mother Ethel Johnson
  • Deacon George Knockett
  • Sis. Dorothy Knockett
  • Sis. Clara Walker
  • Deacon Robert Walker
  • Sis. Mildred Baskerville
  • Sis. Pearl Davis


In the summer of 1938, the Church purchased a tent. The Lord blessed in the tent services. In 1939, the Church moved to Lafayette Ave. In 1942, it moved to 1337 Gilmore Street and from there to Winchester Street. Though this was during the “Great Depression”, GOD moved and sent a friend to pay the rent on the building for three (3) years. The Church remained at the Winchester address until August, 1962. At that time, the Lord blessed the church to purchase the lots on which the Church building now stands (1340 N. Calhoun Street).

In the month of August, 1961, ground was broken and the foundation was laid for the Church building. By the grace of GOD, Bishop McKinney and several others functioned as architect, contractor, and laborer. Through their combined effort, the work was completed in 1962. The Church was renamed New St. Paul Holy Church. On opening day, the Church marched from Winchester and Parrish Streets to the new building singing “We’re Marching to Zion”. Bishop J. M. McLaurin, President of the Northern District, presided over the dedication services.


In the late sixties, Bishop McKinney founded the Extension Course Branch of the United Christian College (United Holy Church) which was located at New St. Paul for approximately four years. 

For approximately sixty (60) years as Founder and Pastor, Bishop McKinney continued leading the Church onward until he transitioned into eternal life on February 8, 1995.

In the month of July, 1995 General Bishop H. W. Fields (President of the Original United Holy Church International (OUHCI)) appointed, Reverend Sigmond Davis as Interim Pastor. He served from August, 1995- October, 1997. Soon after Bishop Lindberg Edwards (President of the Virginia District, OUHCI) and members of the Church appointed Elder Nancy A. Wheeler as Interim Pastor from October, 1997- September, 1998. On February 25, 1998, after long determination and dedicated planning, New St. Paul was renamed McKinney’s Memorial Holiness Church after the Founder, Bishop Albert McKinney. On September 20, 1998, Bishop Edwards ordained Eld. Nancy Wheeler as Pastor. She served as Pastor for six (6) years.

In May of 2000, the Original United Holy Church International denomination, in which the church was affiliated (from 1977), reunited with the United Holy Church of America.


In 2004, District Elder Clarice Chambers oversaw the Church until the appointment of Elder Thomas Shields as Interim Pastor from June, 2004- March, 2005. The Church was blessed to received Reverend Joy Carson as Interim Pastor from April, 2005- May, 2007. During her tenure the Church stood steadfast as the upstairs sanctuary underwent major construction. Still walking together in unity, the members began their journey of seeking a permanent Pastor.

When the process was completed, the members appointed Elder Alvin Thorne Jr. as Interim Pastor in May, 2007. Once the Church moved upstairs and all members in agreement, Bishop Kenneth O. Robinson (President of the Northern District) installed Elder Alvin Thorne Jr. as Pastor in September, 2008. Pastor Thorne served as Pastor for 10 years until he was called home on March 1, 2018. He is the second longest serving Pastor in the church’s history.

In March of 2018, District Elder Anthony Gilmore began overseeing the church. District Elder Gilmore continues to lead the church as he and the church members search and pray for a new Pastor.

As we walk together in the unity of the spirit, in the bonds of peace as a faithful people, and by the grace of GOD, McKinney’s Memorial is still marching on to Zion!