Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen, III is the Presiding Prelate over the United Progressive Pentecostal Church Fellowship, also the pastor and founder of the Vision Church of Atlanta, GA.
Foreword by Bishop O.C. Allen:
Preachers are known for giving illustrations, so I will use one: Every piece of clothing is held together by a series of threads culminating in a masterpiece that can be worn comfortably and tailored to any size. The same phenomenon appears to be underway with a new affirming African-American spiritual leadership throughout the country. The threads of a young burgeoning inclusive leadership are weaving together the fabrics of spirituality and social justice. What has finally begun to emerge from this artistry is a beautiful tapestry of social progress, pursuit for equality, and religious fervor paralleling that which characterized the early history of the Black Church.
The United Progressive Pentecostal Church Fellowship is leading the challenge to do as the scripture admonishes: “Seek justice and defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17). Founded in 2007, the UPPC is committed to intertwining Social Gospel and Liberation Theology with the Pentecostal roots of spiritual gifts, fervent worship, and intense devotion to God.
Gathering in Atlanta, Georgia June 21-26, the UPPC will hold its annual Holy Convocation to inspire, motivate, and cultivate clergy and leaders who are committed to delivering innovative ministry to those on the margins and beyond. “Miracles, Signs, and Wonders” is the theme for 2016.
The “Miracles” simply refer to the abundance of people from different walks of life all gathered in one place and on one accord. The “Signs” refer to the conditions of inequality, oppression, and hopelessness in our world — signs which prove that our society is in desperate need of spiritual leadership to affect real, meaningful, and lasting change. The “Wonders” refer to all that can happen when people from the margins have the courage to stand up, be the change they want to see, and open their hearts to a living God.
My final thought returns to the illustration I began with: Clothes are held together by the threads along their margins. So it only makes sense that those who have been thrust to the margins of society are the ones now designated to mend its fabrics. In this respect, living on the margins comes not only with its own reality, but also with a duty. What a beautiful world this can be once we recognize our position in society as not only a gift, but also a calling to unite all the fibers of our world into a mosaic of love, compassion, and peace.
Black Tie Gala Tickets can be purchased at:
To view the entire schedule of activities go to