Our History – Before Awakening
Prior to our “Awakening”, as with other people around the world, we accepted the gospel of Je__s as it’s “face value”. We recognized every pagan celebration and ate everything that is considered consumable.
However, THE MOST HIGH YAH revealed himself; a fulfillment of scriptures to know who we are as a nation, a race of people; cursed but not forsaken, punished but not utterly destroyed. For THE MOST HIGH YAH declared that “we would remember ourselves….” (2 Baruk Chapter 2: 30 -35, I King 8:47 – 48 and Ezekiel 6:9) More of the true Children of Israel are waking up in all four corners of the world.
Our History – After Awakening
Because our ancestors, Children of Israel, disobeyed THE MOST HIGH, not once, but numerous times, refused to follow his commandments. Even after THE MOST HIGH sent His Son, our ancestors did not believe YAHUSHA and his warning of the coming destruction of the temple Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). Rome attacked, over a million killed and many fled west, central and south further into Africa. Ancient African maps dating back to 1700’s reflect a territory named Tribe of Judah/Slave Coast. Google: 1700 Map of West Africa. Magnify the image and you’ll find Judah bordered by The Gold Coast, Kingdom of Benin and Negroland)
Europeans and other foreigners were complicit, to say the least in our ancestor’s capture and transfer to The Gold Coast West Africa for deportation as slaves, to America, Americas and other regions around the world. Thus fulfilling the scriptures foretelling of the loss of our heritage, culture and identity and taken as slaves to a foreign land (Jeremiah 17:4) European’s influence of slavery and colonization introduced Christianity and their transliterated ‘Jesus’ for whom most of the world serves and worships today.
The more THE MOST HIGH warned our ancestors not to practice what the Gentiles do, the more they continued. And those of us as descendants, African Diaspora, the Children of Israel, Tribe of Judah continue disobedience against THE MOST HIGH with Sunday worship, graven images, pagan holidays and consumption of forbidden foods.
THE MOST HIGH punishes us, yet, He has not forsaken us. Our punishment is for a season and he promised to keep His covenant with our founding fathers Avraham (Abraham), Yitschaq (Isaac) and Ya’aqov (Jacob), (Genesis 15:13-14, Jeremiah 30:3, Ezekiel 11:17, 37:21 and Matthew 24:31)
In 1926, THE MOST HIGH sent an African Princess, Laura Adorka Kofi to America to deliver His Program of deliverance, salvation and to return back to Him, into the land of our ancestor’s last dwelling place, West Africa. Through dreams and visions, THE MOST HIGH told the Princess and her father that, He wanted to use the Princess until he could find a man to do the job. The Princess’s father, King Knesiphi along with African chiefs and the 7 Kings of the Gold Coast endorsed her plan and provided her with legal documents to represent them.
During 1926 – 1927, the Princess was respectively known as “Mother Kofi”. Yet, she encountered opposition from ministers and prominent African American leaders who refused to accept THE MOST HIGH’s program. Influential ministers were upset because their church houses were empty while their members flocked toward Mother Kofi. In other words, “their gravy (money)train dried up”. The program included:
- Salvation – Accept YAHUSHA as the Savior and discontinue sinful ways.
- Redemption – Return back to the “Old Land Mark” return to Africa to serve THE MOST HIGH YAH, as a race of people.
- Dignity and Pride – Not ashamed of your culture, origin, the motherland Africa and love one another.
- Empowerment – Self-help, stick together and save your money. Promoting education, economic development within and for Africa and between America.
The ministers and community leaders in New York City and Detroit would not accept the program that Mother Kofi brought to America. She connected with Marcus Garvey until he was arrested. Disagreements with Garvey followers and opposition from religious leaders let her to realize that she would have to start a church and run THE MOST HIGH’s program through the church. Mother Kofi named the church, The African Universal Church and Commercial League. Mother Kofi established the church with the term “universal” because as being part of the name of her church in Ghana. She reaffirmed the establishment of a Universal Church as did the Apostles and the men and women from other nations around the world (Acts 2: 5 – 11).
In 1927 – 1928, Mother Kofi visited the southern states of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. Thousands of people who heard her speak enrolled their names into the church. Mother Kofi knew from THE MOST HIGH that she had to give up her life for the cause of The Program. Mother told her followers that she said to THE MOST HIGH that she did not mind dying and asked in return, for Africa be redeemed and her children back into Africa.
On March 8, 1928, Mother Kofi was assassination in Miami, Florida, preaching the gospel. Prior to her death, Mother Kofi prophesied of a man that was little but “mighty loud”, would establish the governmental (administrative) affairs of her program. His name was Rev. Nyombolo, a/k/a, Lil’ Brother.
In early 1930s, Rev. Nyombolo became associated with the African Universal Church, after being invited by officers to visit the church. He pledged to continue the works started by Mother Kofi. He created the governing foundation and organizational structure of African Universal Churches. He was instrumental in developing Christian and cultural programs for the African Universal Church. He established a bi-lingual order-of-service of English and Bantu. He also worked as an instructor at Walker Business College. Rev. Nyombolo held several college degrees and spoke at least six different languages.
After sending representatives to Ghana, a new church was started as the Missionary African Universal Church, Inc. Other African Universal Churches wanted self-autonomy and made it difficult for the Churches to act under one governing body. Ultimately, Rev. Nyombolo committed to leading the Missionary African Universal Church the way “YAH told him to do”. There were other individuals that dedicated themselves to the program. Bishop Eugene P. McCarroll, a/k/a “Tshaka”, John Townsend, Deacon Longmire, Deacon Nettles, Ernest Sears, and many others committed themselves to the Program that YAH entrusted to Mother Kofi.
Many years later, Rev. Nyombolo became ill and was hospitalized. He died on July 7, 1970.
Thereafter, Assistant Pastor, Rev. Oliver Lewis became pastor of the church. Rev. Lewis was successful in the creation of the Mandarin “Oak Tree” Mission Ministry many years before he became pastor. Rev. Lewis led the church similar to Rev. Nyombolo. Rev. Lewis died unexpectedly in October 20, 1974.
Lifetime member, Rev. Robert Ervin Keyes, II became pastor of the Missionary African Universal Church on July 17, 1977. Rev. Keyes continued the ministry and encountered numerous struggles and challenges. The State of Florida required all churches that were incorporated prior to 1970 to be re-incorporated, with by-laws. Franklin Ajaye, a former, but distant member of the African Universal Church family coerced members and officers to nullify the church doctrines and resign their positions. Faced with an ensuing division of the church body, Rev. Robert Keyes ‘stood fast’ and was successful in preserving the principles and doctrines of the church. Opposing members living on church property refused to comply with county tax assessment on non-sanctuary church properties. Opposing members elected a new board to manage the church. Before the issue could be resolved, Rev. Keyes died November 26, 1985.
Rev. Elbert Moreland, Jr. served as associate pastor in December 1985 until he became pastor in December 1986. By the spring of 1987, senior member and Trustee Matilda Horn Endorsed Rev. Moreland’s desire to “leave the past” and start a new church, at a new location. Leased buildings were used as a sanctuary until a permanent site was found.
On May 20, 1988, a meeting was held by the congregation to start a new church and select officers. Rev. Moreland named the church, Tabernacle African Universal Church; Inc. Tabernacle African Universal Church was established as the home office of Founder’s Program. The soon-to-be new church and Founder’s home office instituted the Princesses’ ministry and Rev. Nyombolo’s principles and teachings that were neglected by members of the original church.
The chartering officers of the founder’s home office, Kubini Keyes, Bertha Mae Moreland and Pauline Keyes, incorporated the church, in the State of Florida. Under Rev. Moreland’s pastorship, the church started a fellowship program, obtained a new church building and increased the membership. THE MOST HIGH truly blessed the ministry so that many young people found the church to be a true inspiration to their lives. In June 1999, Rev. Moreland left to pursue his ministry elsewhere.
In December 1998, Pastor & Prophet Robert E. Keyes, III was called into the ministry. He became pastor in September 2000. Under the current leadership, Rev. Keyes expanded the existing church fellowship program, started a Christian media relations program and made structural improvements to the sanctuary and established a multi-purpose building. Under Rev. Keyes leadership, the church has:
- Paid off mortgage 18 months early
- Transportation for pick-up of members and guests.
- Launched semi-annual youth bible and history contest
- Encourage and promote healthy eating and living lifestyles
- Annual spring revival and workshop
- Launched new website
- Update Founder’s website
- Develop educational/historical videos
- Celebration of THE MOST HIGH’s festivals
In 2012, Pastor & Prophet Robert Keyes established prison and overseas ministries. The prison ministry provides assistance to those in need of spiritual and social support. The overseas ministry started with one church in the Philippines. However, the need for the Word was so immense until a second church was established. In the same year, Pastor Robert Keyes begin his studies in Hebrew faith. In 2016, Prophet & Pastor Robert Keyes was given an additional title of ‘Overseer’, as a result of expanding the gospel into the countries of Philippines and Kenya.
In early 2018, both Pastor, Overseer, Robert Keyes and Trustee Chairman and Deacon Kubi Keyes were in key positions of leadership and responsibility over the Program and only at this point and time they realized the fulfillment of passing the Spirit of the Program anointing in early July 1970 placed upon them by the late Rev. Eli B. Nyombolo, a/k/a “Little Brother”, before his passing. (For complete story visit: https://lauraakofi.org/?page_id=216)
THE MOST HIGH opened the eyes of the “elects” and we asked for discernment to know more of the truth. The truth came first through a spiritual awakening of Rabbi Robert Keyes in 2012. After earning a degree in Christian/Jewish Religion, Rabbi Keyes continued self-study, meditation, personal discussions, dreams and visions all orchestrated by RUACH HA QUDESH (Holy Spirit).
In September 2018, Pastor Robert Keyes asked the officers to study all of Deuteronomy chapter 28. Without additional guidance or instructions from Pastor Keyes, the officers were “Awakened” by THE HOLY SPIRIT to understanding of themselves as descendants of the Children of Israel and realize the Program brought to America by Mother Kofi as the “hidden link” as we were instructed by our elders to “sit still and maintain the Program, for Glory knows where we are”. In hindsight, as teenagers at the time of his passing, we recall signs of perhaps, Lil’ Brother may have been Hebrew and kept most of his ways to himself. However, we do recall a few actions we learned or observed during his life time that were not always consistent with other churches. They were:
- All funerals were graveside, including Lil’ Brother. Dead bodies were not allowed in the sanctuary. Other African Universal Churches not under his leadership did allow such practices.
- Wearing of a black knitted kippah or cap (emblems excluded). He was rarely seen not wearing his kippah. At his wake, a photo was taken (on file) showing Lil’ Brother wearing a kippah on top of his head. When he traveled outside of the church community, he’d wear a hat on top of the kippah, therefore, invisible to the public. The only minister besides Lil’ Brother who occasionally wore a kippah or similar, in the colors of Ghana’s flag, was the late Rev. E. P. McCarroll, St. Adorkor’s African Universal Church, Daphne, Alabama
January 2019, after undergoing several years of spiritual preparation and readiness, Rabbi Keyes led the membership in transitioning from Christians to Hebrews. Prophet Keyes shared his spiritual journey and years of studying with the members to help them understand and his personal transition. As a result, the members accepted his experience and decided to accept and serve as true believing Hebrews. This action is consistent with the biblical teachings and prophecies dating back over 95 years ago from the late founder of the African Universal Church, Princess Laura Kofi, saying
“You’ve got to go back to the old land mark, that is back to Africa, that is back to YAH” (ELOHIYM). Therefore, as believing Erhverhs i.e. Hebrews of YAH (YAHWEH) and His Son, YAHUSHA, a transition plan was developed to inform all concerned and interested parties of our transition from Christianity to Erhverhs or Hebrews. by taking the following actions:
- Notification by letter and/or email to interested parties
- Changed name to African Universal House of Worship, Inc.
- Use eth CEPHER as a biblical source reference
- Removed cross from premises, interior and exterior
- Removed and discontinue church creed
- Updated songs and literature to reflect THE MOST HIGH and HA MASHIACH’s appropriate name and title
- Discontinue Sunday worship
- Started Saturday worship
- Updated/notified government agencies
- Updated vendors and suppliers
- Updated logo
- Launched new websites under new name
- Updated Princess Laura Kofi’s website
- Continuously support transition of African Universal churches in Kenya and Philippines
Spreading YAH’s Program brought to America by Princess Laura Adorka Kofi to four corners of the world is one of our highest priority.
Rabbi Robert E. Keyes, championed the roll out of the “Awakening” as did other leaders near and far. He proclaimed the truth about our heritage as descendants of the Children of Israel. He led the transition of the overseas ministry to followers and believers in THE MOST HIGH YAH and his Anointed One, YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH. The Philippine Ministry requested copies of all material used to promote the transition. Booklets were created and distributed containing the “Awakening” information that was not embraced nor considered by those whom we considered close relations with us in America. The ministry in Kenya adopted the “Awakening” with great interest and appreciation. There are numerous ethnic and family clans in Kenya who identify themselves as descendants of the original Hebrews which fled from Jerusalem into Egypt and onward across central and West Africa.
Rabbi Robert Keyes continued to share and reinforce the understanding of prophetic visions and dreams THE MOST HIGH placed into his spirit. On April 23, 2021, Rabbi Robert Keyes informed us that we will face tests and trials for several months and afterwards, we will celebrate. Starting in late June 2021, members and their families became ill, loss of an associate member in August and faced unseen financial difficulties. Rabbi Keyes became ill and hospitalized 4 times, covering a 6 month period. From April 2021 to mid August 2021, Rabbi Robert Keyes instructed Deacon Kubi Keyes to lead worship services.
By mid-August, Rabbi Robert Keyes informed the deacon to perform a series of trial sermons, as commanded by THE MOST HIGH. The deacon prayed for a spiritual confirmation of his own; for this was a move not to be taken lightly. The deacon obtained spiritual confirmation from THE MOST HIGH, at home during the first week of November 2021. By the end of August 2021, the officers met with Rabbi Keyes to finalize plans for a possible transition of leadership (Due to his failing health) and ensure all plans were in accordance with THE MOST HIGH’S approval.
On November 13, 2021, Rabbi Robert Keyes ordained Elder Kubi Keyes as qualified and full of the Spirit and wisdom and capable to carry out the Work of the TORAH for THE MOST HIGH. Rabbi Robert Keyes passed away December 16, 2021. He left behind two sons, one daughter, 4 grandsons, and 2 great grand children. .
On December 18, 2021, African Universal House of Worship officers and members unanimously voted Elder Kubini V. Keyes to serve as the new “Shepherd” (Pastor/Rabbi) and Overseer.