Upper Room of Prayer started as a prayer group with only two obedient and willing souls. The seed was planted when a new vision came to Pastor White’s spirit twelve years ago. Acting upon this vision, Pastor White began weekly prayer meetings in her apartment. This small prayer group of only two members soon grew like wild fire. As we continuously sought God’s face for direction, more people were drawn to the Healing and Giving Ministry. Seeing Pastor White in action, those around her knew that she was destined for greatness in God’s vineyard. As we labored in prayer daily, direction came on March 12, 1996, when a prophecy came forth declaring that Pastor White is a chosen Leader and her spiritual name is DEBORAH. This was confirmed on numerous occasions by Pastor White and others. She is indeed a chosen vessel of honor for God – this is evident through the mighty works God has wrought through her hands. God designed and skillfully hand –crafted her to wear many titles of not only Shepherd, Mother, Daughter but also, Preacher, Overseer, Healer, Discerning and yes, a Project Manager. Therefore, there is nothing that anyone can do to stop the ministry that God has entrusted in her hands.
On August 3, 1996, during one of our anointed services, the Holy Spirit declared that Pastor White will give birth to a deliverance church called the Upper Room of Prayer. With no prospect of financial security or a place of their own, but just a word from the Lord, the prayer group continued to prosper and like the early church in Acts, our membership grew. Our evangelistic ministry led us to the street and the subways of Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. Each week souls were saved, delivered and revived. We visited the sick in hospital and nursing homes. As the small group grew larger and larger, God told us to start buying chairs. Pastor White jokingly asked, “God are you going to turn my living room into a church?” Nonetheless, she obeyed the voice of God and we bought twenty-five chairs.
On November 30, 1996, the prophecy was fulfilled and God took the group from Pastor White’s apartment to a basement on East 34th Street in Brooklyn. He also encouraged His servant to “Ride on” without fear. On September 20, 1997, Upper Room of Prayer moved to Winthrop Street. Despite all the persecution and satanic attack, Pastor White did not give up. She knew that God was her deliverer and her strength. The church marched on and prevailed because she had a firm foundation. As Upper Room of Prayer sailed on, she ran into many icebergs and reefs, but God, the Master and Creator of the seas, was always there to pilot her safely to harbor.
With much prayer, fasting, hard work and various fundraising and giving to our community (i.e., distributing clothing and turkey for Thanksgiving), God blessed us and enabled us to purchase our first permanent home on Carroll Street. We took possession of the premises in August of 1998 and began having our services on the top floor with renovations commencing on the lower floors. With construction completed, we extend ourselves even more for God’s use by feeding and clothing the needy, visiting nursing home, arranging Community Block and Health Fairs and outreach street meetings. By 2002, God was not only adding to the church and pouring out His Holy Spirit, He also directed our Pastor to purchase 1696 Carroll Street, wherein they approached us and asked if we wanted to purchase the building (just as Pastor had asked God to direct the owner to do). In 2006 we were well on our way redesigning and re-constructing God’s new temple and subsequently, relocated to Remsen Avenue for service
At Remsen Avenue, God’s presence continued to tabernacle with us. There were numerous healings and deliverance from end stage cancer, stroke, and cyst and others who were hospitalized were released after receiving prayer. It was also at Remsen Avenue that our Bishop completed and was ordained as Dr. Sylvia White.
While at Remsen Avenue, construction of our new temple at Carroll Street progressed with much prayer and fasting as the devil tried on every angle to hinder its completion. Though the road blocks came in many forms – from the city, criticizing neighbors, architect, contractors and financial problems – it was still the same devil at work, but like Nehemiah, Pastor white declared in the name of JESUS – that she is doing a good work and cannot come down. When the obstacles came one behind another, God will lead Pastor and the church to not only pray and fast, but at one point, God directed Pastor to do a victory dance. This did not make sense, but when God does not make sense, listen, because he makes “ah whole lot ah sense” and on March 22, 2008, the doors of our new home was opened for our unveiling and dedication service. This was indeed a time of victory, celebration, and dancing in our beautifully decorated temple adorned in royalty of purple and gold. It is finish and the battle was won.