How We Started

Cathedral of Praise Church of Memphis, Inc., founded in August 2012, has evolved to become a welcoming and diverse church that’s filled with praise, power, and progress under the guidance of their undersheperd, Dr. Darnell Gooch, Jr., who serves as the senior pastor. The Cathedral of Praise Church is geared towards “Transforming the Memphis Culture” and ministering to the whole total man/woman, regardless of who they are and right where they are in life. This ministry transcends religious and cultural barriers and reaches out to those individuals who are wounded and to those individuals who are lost and in despair. We seek to console and comfort those who are hurting and touch the lives of those who are downtrodden, confused, bound, and afflicted. Many individuals that enter the doors of this church have experienced church hurt and they have been longing to be reconnected with God and shown unconditional love by the Body of Christ.

“First G” Elder Davin D. Clemons, Elder Vance Stacks, Jr., Elder Edgar Gaines, Trustee Winston Shephard and Bruce McClain who are friends of Dr. Gooch, joined with him in the birth of the Cathedral of Praise Church of Memphis, Inc. Through much fasting and praying, after twelve years of being in ministry, Dr. Gooch envisioned the Cathedral of Praise as a safe haven where the Holy Spirit empowers all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class or background, which was similar to that of the Vision Church of Atlanta, Georgia. After meeting Bishop O.C. Allen, III, pastor of the Vision Church and presiding prelate of the United Progressive Pentecostal Churches, who later became friends and a mentor to Pastor Gooch, he stepped out on faith with no financial resources and launched the beginning of the church’s first worship service on August 12, 2012 at the Double Tree Hotel located at 5069 Sanderlin Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee.

​With only the first payment for renting the space at the hotel and two weeks of passing out church flyers, there were at least 100 or more so people in attendance the church’s Official Opening Day service. Within four months of the church’s inception, the services average between 50-70 people, of which 25 people had officially became members of the Cathedral of Praise. His first sermon as pastor was entitled, “Stop Worrying about them Lions” taken from Daniel 6:10-23. The hotel became its worship facility until the church was able to save money and purchase its own worship center. The Buntyn Presbyterian Church located at 561 S. Prescott, Memphis, Tennessee was so gracious to lease the Cathedral of Praise some space inside their worship facility on April 13, 2014, which has been their current worship location.

In June 2013, the Cathedral of Praise became affiliated with the United Progressive Pentecostal Church Fellowship under Bishop O.C. Allen, III. The UPPC is an international network of churches and ministries. The UPPC reflects a diverse group of leaders engaging and pioneering spirit compel us to take appropriate Kingdom risks for Christ’s sake and cause us to birth ministries where renewal and revitalization take place. The UPPC is Pentecostal, Episcopal, inclusive, intellectual, and active in social justice.