Our Church History






THE BEGINNING (Researched by Rev. E. B. Harris- Triumph's Constitution

Page 10)


Rev. Elias D. Smith, a minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church,

who had fulfilled the aspirations of its curriculum, sought a deeper truth in

the year of 1897.


His inner soul longed for something he knew not what.  He asked for a

transfer of another conference thinking that a change of scenery and

people would suffice, but it did not.  The unrest remained in his soul.  He

then resorted to studying the Holy Bible.  Many new interpretations, revelations,

and visions were given on the scriptures.  It was during a trip across the

Mississippi River in a row boat that a strange phenomenon happened in the

middle of the river.


While rowing and conversing with his friend, Brother Eliasha Bailey, a fellow

minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the boat started twirling

around and around out of their control, yet the wind was still.  At that point,

he prayed to have his life spared and vowed to preach and teach the truth

as God had and would further reveal to him.


THE VISION (Excerpts - Constitution Page 11)


In Father Smith's meditation he saw a vision.  There appeared unto him an

eagle, lion, and a brown skin damsel, dressed as a bride adorned for her

husband, whom he married.


The spirit of God told him these were only a figure of speech having a divine

message.  The characteristics of each symbol was revealed to him as follows:

God told him the truth revealed to him would be like an eagle, higher than

any other religion or sectarian church thought and that nothing would ever

stand between a mind in tune with God and the illumination of divine substance.

It would be strong like the strength referred to in the lion mastering every

previous limited idea of God by wisdom and power and not carnal ordinances.


The brown skin damsel dressed as a bride, whom he married represents

the church and the entire black world having the ability to birth all its needs. 

Triumph came to gather all sanctified and Holy Ghost filled persons and carry

them into the glorious liberty of The Sons of God and Eternal Life.  Father E.

D. Smith, journeyed to New Orleans, LA where he organized his Church called

Triumph the Righteous Church, organized January 20, 1902.  The doors were

opened January 20, 1904.  The first member of the church was Mrs. Hanna Peters. 

The first national congress was held in Birmingham, AL in July 1915.  He

was named apostle, priest, and king and here the name of the church was

changed from Triumph the Righteous Church to Triumph the Church and

Kingdom of God in Christ.


In January of 1920, Father Elias D. Smith and Prince J.D. Barbar sailed for

Addis Ababa, Abyssinia, Africa.  At that time Ethiopia was ruled by Empress

Waizero Zandita and her nephew, Ras Tafari was co-ruler.  They were met

by Ras Tafari Jerry Haptigaus with ten thousand soldiers.  He was given the

reception of a king.  After a banquet, he took ill and complained of stomach

pains and died the next day.  He was buried on Mont Tach La Hammont.

His death produced a dramatic change in Triumph the Church and Kingdom of

God in Christ.  The supreme authority shifted from one person to a board

of seven. 


Father Elisa Dempsey Smith, our founder, truly had the triumphant vision,

but its implementation and present realities are with us today.