Answering the call of God to minister, Apostle James E. Smallwood was directed to start a church in Washington, D.C. for the purpose of preaching and teaching the word of God to the saved and unsaved.
From August 1988 to August 2003, Upon This Rock Tabernacle’s ministry was birthed while Apostle Smallwood was toiling in the vineyards. Primary goals was to reach the addicts, alcoholics, homeless and the general public.
Upon This Rock Tabernacle was established in August 2003 and held its first service on Sunday, September 28, 2003, in the Bloomingdale area of Washington, D.C. Since that time the church’s membership has grown to over 200 members.
In the beginning, worship services were held every Sunday in the lower level of the Carillon House located at 2500 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. The church was conducting Bible study classes on Wednesdays and discipleship and family enrichment classes on Saturdays at the Apostle’s home.
Since the inception of Upon This Rock Tabernacle, there have been several ministries initiated: The Deacon and Deaconess Boards, Men’s and Women’s Ministries, Culture Ministry consisting of dance, illustration and acting,
The Education Ministry, Fund Raising Ministry, Marriage Ministry, Missing Members Ministry, Missionary Ministry, Music Ministry which consists of Adult and Youth Choirs and The Praise Team, The Prayer Ministry, Public Affairs Ministry, Recovery Ministry, Shepherd's Support Ministry, Sunday School, Young Women’s Ministry and the Youth Ministry.
In 2005, prior to its’ second anniversary, the church was beginning to outgrow the space at the Carillon House. After much prayer and meditation, Apostle Smallwood was directed by God to seek an edifice. One was found at 513 M Street, NE, Washington, D.C. where on Sunday, August 7, 2005, the first praise and worship service was held and Apostle Smallwood preached an appropriate sermon titled, “In Transition” from Colossians 3.
In April 2020, with the inception of the COVID-19 restrictions in D.C, Apostle Smallwood envisioned the continued success of Upon This Rock Tabernacle and moved the ministry to Prince George's County, Md.
Upon This Rock Tabernacle opened its doors again the first Sunday in July 2020. Upon This Rock Tabernacle is currently sharing space at Our Saviour's Lutheren Church at 4915 Saint Barnabas Road, Temple Hills, Md. Praise and Worship service is being held at 11:00 AM each Sunday.