Each year members of the Universal Hagar’s Spiritual Church Association (UHSCA) gather from around the country for their Annual April Convention. The convention was held at their national headquarters located at 555 Oakwood in Southwest Detroit.
The UHSCA was founded in Detroit in 1923 by Father George Willie Hurley. This year’s celebrations mark their 90th anniversary as a church. The gathering includes prayer, preaching, worship, fellowship, food, and general revival for its members.
After the day’s services church goers are shown returning to their cars as the Marathon Oil refinery looms in the background. The contrast of industry, Sunday bests, spiritual health, and poor air quality illustrates some of the nuance residents and tenants of the community contend with.
The church building’s original occupant, Our Lady of Mt Carmel Catholic Parish (Detroit), left when the parish was closed in 2008 after 81 years of service. Soon after it was acquired by the UHSCA in 2010. In 2011 nearby Marathon Oil began its first phase of property acquisitions across the neighborhood that, to date, has largely affected housing and only slightly impacted commercial and business properties in the area.