Church of God was started in 1928 by evangelist Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux (1885-1968). Then located in a storefront across from the Griffith Stadium, Michaux and his church appealed to many of the poor and working-class residents in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Church of God, like Daddy Grace's United House of Prayer for All People, provided an alternative to traditional Protestantism during and after the Great Depression. In addition to religious instruction, Michaux offered his congregants free or inexpensive housing and food.

Michaux also spread his message through his national "Happy Am I" radio show and local Happy Am I newspaper. He used Griffith Stadium, the city's main sports stadium, for mass baptisms and sermons. At the southwest corner of Seventh and T streets, NW, Michaux provided a home for evicted families, and at 1727 Seventh Street, he opened the Happy News Café, where all were welcome to enjoy "vital foods at bargain prices."

In collaboration with architect Albert I. Cassell, Michaux invested in Mayfair Mansions, one of the city's earliest garden complexes. Completed in 1946, it was a welcome housing opportunity for working- and middle-class blacks who were excluded from housing because of racially restrictive housing covenants.

The current church was completed in 1958.


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