Our Bishop

Bishop James E. Smallwood is the Pastor and Founder of Upon This Rock Tabernacle. He is also the overseer of Impact Ministries, with churches in D.C., Maryland, and North Carolina. He was licensed to preach in December 1999 while serving at Anna Johenning Baptist Church, in Washington, D.C. by Reverend Dr. Glen A. Staples, now Bishop Staples. He served as an associate minister preaching and witnessing in the community, nursing facilities, and at outreach activities. He also served as Coordinator of the Men’s Ministry, Marriage Ministry and Serenity for Addictions Ministry until August of 2003 at which time he became pastor of Upon This Rock Tabernacle.


He was ordained as elder by Bishop Landon O. Burney of the Family Worship Center, Ministry of Restoration in Kinston, NC in February 2004. On September 25, 2005, Bishop Burney elevated Pastor Smallwood to Bishop of the Northern Region. At the passing of Bishop Burney, Bishop Smallwood has now become the national Bishop for Impact Ministries.


In March 2005, Bishop Smallwood founded RELAY, Inc., designed to meet the various needs of God’s people. RELAY (Relief, Empowerment, Lifting, Adults, Youngsters) consist of seven individual ministries; each ministry consists of three or more departments enlisting a wide range of needs pertinent to our local community.


In July of 2009, Bishop Smallwood founded PREACH (Pastors Responding Encouraging Accommodating Constructing Harmoniously), an organization that was developed for smaller ministries to come together in fellowship.  The aim of the fellowship is to work with other pastors to help meet their needs in workshops, annual days, fundraisers, as well as help their ministries reach new areas of ministerial growth and service.  Pastors lend their ministerial and other experiences to one another in the spirit of love.


After the passing of Bishop Burney in July of 2008, Bishop Smallwood began seeking the Lord through prayer for a new spiritual father.  After a year and a half, Bishop Smallwood met Rev., Dr. St. Clair Mitchell, Senior Pastor of Evangel Assembly in Temple Hills, Maryland, at a ministerial network hosted by Pastor Mitchell at Evangel Assembly.  As the Lord confirmed this meeting, it was apparent to Bishop Smallwood that his prayers had been answered.  On February 17, 2010, Bishop Smallwood received additional credentials of ordination from the International Fellowship Of Ministers, a non-denoninational organization.  This organization was founded by Rev., Dr. St. Clair Mitchell at just the time when Bishop Smallwood was seeking a pastoral covering and fellowship with other church leaders. Bishop Smallwood is a charter member. 


Bishop Smallwood is a native of Washington, D.C., graduating from Archbishop Carroll High School in 1968. He holds an Associate Degree in Biblical Studies and a Bachelor of Theology Degree from Andersonville Theological Seminary. He holds a Master's Degree in Pastoral Theology. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate Degree. He has also attended Dale Carnegie Leadership for public speaking. He also has over 20 years of corporate experience ranging in positions from Supervisor to Vice President of Education, QA, Safety in the communications industry.


Bishop Smallwood is married to Deaconess Mary L. Smallwood and they reside in Washington, D.C.