The History of Triumph the Church





Church History

Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ is a revelation by God to

the late lamented, Brother Elias Dempsey Smith, who, in 1915 became the

Apostle, Priest, and King of the Church. January 20th is known as

Founders' Day and is observed as Triumph's holiday in commemoration

of the birth of the Church. On this day, we celebrate the advent of

Triumph in all day services, feasting and gift giving.


Elder E. D. Smith, a minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church,

had fulfilled the aspirations of its curriculum and, in 1897, sought a

deeper truth. His inner soul longed for something but he didn't know what. 

He asked for a transfer to another conference thinking that a change in

scenery and people would suffice. But it didn't. The unrest remained in his

soul. He then resorted to a deeper study of the Bible namely, Isaiah,

Revelation, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Daniel in that order. Many new

interpretations, revelations, and visions were given to him on the 

Scriptures.  It was during a trip across the Mississippi River in a rowboat 

that a strange phenomenon happened in the middle of the river. While

rowing and conversing with his friend, Bro. Elisha Bailey, a fellow minister

in the AME Church, it appeared that the boat started twirling around and 

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

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.


In his meditation he saw a vision. There appeared unto him an eagle, a lion,

and a brown-skinned damsel, dressed as a bride adorned for her husband.

The spirit of God told him that these were only figures of speech, but had

a divine message. The characteristics of each symbol were revealed to him

as follows. The truth revealed to him would be:


     - like an eagle, higher than any other religion or sectarian church

       thought and nothing would ever stand between a mind in tune with

       God and the illumination of divine substance. 

    -  strong like the strength of a lion, mastering every previous limited

       idea by wisdom and power and not by carnal ordinances.

 -  like a brown-skinned damsel dressed as a bride adored for the

    bridegroom, representing the church and the entire world, whom,

    when he married her, holds the ability to birth all of her needs.


Some say that the Apostle also envisioned a lamb, which would represent

the humility of man, acknowledging God in all his ways.


This message was given to other ministers of various denominations, each

of whom became leaders of their respective organizations. They thought

the message was good, but refused to accept it, saying it was too soon. The

message was carried to them because 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.


Bro. E. D. Smith journeyed to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he organized

this Church called Triumph The Righteous Church on January 20, 1902.

According to Triumphant historians, this concept was known as Triumph

Methodist Church.  It reigned on the earth for two years while God

continued to prepare Father Smith for his ensuing life-giving ministry. 

God was preparing him to share with all humanity a life-giving word in the

midst of a dying world.  A new message was on the way; a message of

redemption without bloodshed and a challenge to become the “Second Adam”

and live as God intended for man to live in His image.  It was not popular

in that day and time.  At the turn of the twentieth century much was

happening in our history.  The black man was not given a fair chance in

this country.  Many other church organizations were being birthed, yet

none with the message that God had given Father Smith.  Many talked

about holiness and righteousness, but with an end to life, as we know it. 

This time in religious history was known as the Pentecostal Movement.


The doors of the church were opened to the world on January 20, 1904.

The first member of the church was Mrs. Hannah Peters. The original

message was for the black man of that day.  According to Triumphant

historians, in 1907, Father Smith joined forces with Bishop C. H. Mason,

founder of the Churches of God in Christ.  This union lasted until 1912

when Father Smith dismissed himself from that order.  It is said that the

message of Body Redemption, as given to him by God, was too strong

for Bishop Mason and his followers.  Father Smith then re-implemented

Triumph the Holy Righteous Church.


The first National Congress was held in Birmingham, Alabama in July

1915. At this assembly Father Smith was named Apostle, Priest and King

and the name of the church was changed to Triumph the Church and Kingdom

 of God in Christ. The first International Congress was held in Indianapolis,

Indiana in July 1919, where over 1500 delegates registered.  The meeting

lasted for 50 days.


In January 1920, Father E. D. Smith and Prince J. D. Barbar sailed to

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

Empress Waizero Zandita and her nephew, Ras Tafari, co-ruler. 

They were met by Ras Tafari Jerry Hapigaus with ten thousand soldiers. 

Father Smith was given the reception of a king.  After a banquet, he took

ill and complained of stomach pains.  He died shortly afterwards.  It is said

that he was buried on Mount Tach La Hammount.


Father Smith’s 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 Bishops.