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Daddy Grace collection

Identifier: Manuscript Collection No. 968

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains material related Daddy Grace and the United House of Prayer from 1953-2000. Although many items include photographs and references to Daddy Grace, the bulk of the collection was printed after his death and concerns his successor Bishop Walter McCullough. The collection includes printed programs, periodicals, a songbook, postcards, letterhead, church fans, and other items produced by the United House of Prayer.


  • 1940-2001

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Restrictions on access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Special restrictions apply: Printed or manuscript music in this collection that is still under copyright protection and is not in the Public Domain may not be photocopied or photographed. Researchers must provide written authorization from the copyright holder to request copies of these materials.

Biographical Note

Charles "Sweet Daddy" Grace (1881-1960), evangelist and founder of the United House of Prayer for all People, was born Marcelino Manoel de Graca in Brava, Cape Verde Islands, January 25, 1881. His family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts in the early 1900s. Grace worked on a railroad line as a short-order cook, salesman, and grocer. He married Jennie J. Combard on February 2, 1909, divorcing her in 1920. A year later he opened a Pentecostal Church, the United House of Prayer for All People in Wareham, Massachusetts.

Grace opened new Houses of Prayer in Egypt, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. from 1923-1926. Other United House of Prayer congregations are scattered along the East Coast from New York to Florida. House of Prayer converts came from a variety of other sects and the general population, but the majority of Grace's followers came from economically depressed black ghettos. They perceived "Sweet Daddy" Grace as a healer, miracle worker, and, to some even God Incarnate, the second Christ. He was known to have baptized the faithful with a fire hose. Services were ecstatic experiences, beginning with congregational singing and progressing to stomping, speaking in tongues, and other emotional expressions.

"Sweet Daddy" Grace quickly became wealthy from the contributions of his followers as his church grew. He also earned a substantial income from the products he created including Daddy Grace soap, toothpaste, face powder, and cookies, and a number of emblems, badges, buttons, banners and other items for the faithful. Grace's empire did not last, however, and the IRS seized much of his estate for back taxes after his death on January 12, 1960.


.75 linear feet (2 boxes) (2 oversized papers box (OP); 7 bound volumes (BV); AV Masters: .25 linear feet (CLP))


Materials relating to African American evangelist Daddy Grace and the United House of Prayer from 1953-2001.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.


Purchase, 2001 with subsequent additions.


Processed by Elizabeth Russey, June 18, 2005.

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Daddy Grace collection, 1940-2001
Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University
December 9, 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library Repository

540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta Georgia 30322 United States