Who We Are
People of Praise is a charismatic Christian community. We admire the first Christians who were led by the Holy Spirit to form a community. Those early believers put their lives and their possessions in common, and “there were no needy persons among them.”
Jesus desires unity for all people. We live out this unity the best we can, in spite of the divisions within Christianity. We are Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians and other denominational and nondenominational Christians. Despite our differences, we are bound together by our Christian baptism. Despite our differences, we worship together. While remaining faithful members of our own churches, we have found a way to live our daily lives together.
Our community life is characterized by deep and lasting friendships. We share our lives together often in small groups and in larger prayer meetings. We read Scripture together. We share meals together. We attend each other's baptisms and weddings and funerals. We support each other financially and materially and spiritually. We strive to live our daily lives in our families, workplaces and cities in harmony with God and with all people.
Our community life is grounded in a lifelong promise of love and service to fellow community members. This covenant commitment, which establishes our relationships as members of the People of Praise community, is made freely and only after a period of discernment lasting several years. Our covenant is neither an oath nor a vow, but it is an important personal commitment. We teach that People of Praise members should always follow their consciences, as formed by the light of reason, and by the experience and the teachings of their churches.
Like hundreds of millions of other Christians in the Pentecostal movement, People of Praise members have experienced the blessing of baptism in the Holy Spirit and the charismatic gifts as described in the New Testament. This is a source of great joy for us and an important aspect of what God is doing in our world today.
Founded in 1971 in South Bend, Indiana, People of Praise has grown into a community of about 1,700 members. We are now in 22 cities across the US, Canada, and the Caribbean.
In 1981, in response to a call from God, we established the Trinity Schools—private Christian schools in South Bend, Indiana, Falls Church, Virginia, and Eagan, Minnesota. These middle/high schools have received a total of eight Blue Ribbon awards from the U.S. Department of Education. Trinity students, the majority of whom are not members of People of Praise, learn to ask questions, engage in spirited dialogue and draw their own reasoned conclusions, while pursuing the love of learning for its own sake.
In 2002, inspired by the Holy Spirit, People of Praise members began moving into some of America's poorest neighborhoods. Since then, we have lived closely with our neighbors and worked together to help meet pressing neighborhood needs. Our efforts include running summer camps for hundreds of children, repairing neighborhood homes, hosting prayer meetings, growing healthy food on an urban farm and establishing a private elementary school, Praise Academy at Lakeside. Longtime local residents have credited these efforts with lowering the crime rate and making the neighborhoods more beautiful and peaceful places to live.