The Temple of Freedom Under God, Church of God, is one of the oldest religious organizations located in the District of Colombia, whose congregation is currently being led under the supervision of Elder Walter D. Roman, Sr. Like many of the Pentecostal churches in this day and age, the Temple of Freedom Under God’s practices and beliefs coincide with the traditional practices of the earlier Pentecostal African American churches, holding tightly onto the doctrines that were instilled in The Gospel Spreading Church during the 1900s.
The Gospel Spreading Church was founded by a man by the name of Elder Solomon “Lightfoot” Michaux, who was born, raised, and educated in Virginia. In 1906, Lightfoot came to Mary Eliza Pauline, a woman one year his junior, was born and raised in the church. With hard work and dedication, by the age of 34, Lightfoot, had become “a prosperous business man, securing large government contracts to furnish food to defense establishments.” Mrs. Michaux prayed for the salvation of her husband daily, and one day, “God saved him and from that time forward, they worked as a team in gospel ministry.” One year after finding salvation, Elder Michaux was ordained and licensed. He then began preaching at a small church called “Everybody’s Mission” which he had built up from scratch. Moving from Everybody’s Mission, Michaux began once again to build a church, this time starting from a tent. It was here, in this tent, that one hundred and fifty people would come to accept the Lord as their Savior, and would join the Michaux family in becoming the foundation of the Gospel Spreading Church (GSC).
After years of expanding the GSC, Elder Lightfoot, later established ten more churches in various locations, each of which would congregate under a different pastor. Along with this milestone in his lifetime, the Elder came to accomplish two more advancements for his church. He came to start a radio ministry known as the Radio Church of God in 1929, as well a newsletter publication known as “The Victory Cry,” which would serve as a sort of forerunner to “The Happy News” Newspaper that came about in 1933. Elder Lightfoot Michaux was a very charismatic to say the least, what with the many extravaganzas he staged during his lifetime. An example of his extravagance is best illustrated when he “imported water from the River Jordan, [and] Grace baptized two hundred and eight converts in the middle of M Street with water provided by special D.C. fire company equipment before a crowd of 15,000.” Despite the controversy surrounding his extravagant nature, The Elder and his Church attempted to give back to the community in many ways. For example, “in addition to religious instruction, Michaux offered his congregants free or inexpensive housing and food.” The Elder died at age 83.
Pentecostalism started out of the Holiness Movement, a movement created to enliven devotion to God. Within this movement, members believed that salvation,...