The History of Chautauqua




Fifty one years ago, in 1963, after attending the National Quadrennial Religious Congress, the late Mother Esther Bernice Harris, pondered about the growth of the entire Triumph Church.  She began to express and share a revelation that God had given her with Bishop D. H. Harris, and his staff who were with her at the time.  She saw three National Departments coming together for a one week convention.  At the time, the national departments consisted of the Youth, Music, and Advanced School of Wisdom.  Bishop Harris soon asked the question, “What would you call this session?”  Immediately several suggestions were rendered by Reverend Clinton LeVert, Mother Harris and others.  After much deep thought she suggested that this convention should be called Chautauqua.  She began to explain that the etymology of Chautauqua was an Indian word, which refers to seminars and assemblies integrated for education, songs, and lectures, spiritual and recreational purposes.


In 1964, in Washington, D.C., the first Chautauqua of many to come was birthed.  The Evangelistic Department was added to this prestigious convention in 1972, in Miami, Florida, at the first Chautauqua to be held in a hotel setting – The Everglades Hotel.


The National Chautauqua convention, which convenes every two years, has become one of the greatest assemblies of people ever.  The power and explosion of God’s Holy Spirit is demonstrated on a level unlike any other.  Since the conception of Chautauqua, many youth have been afforded the opportunity to receive educational scholarships.  Institutions of higher learning have been established, renowned speakers and businessmen have been invited, and workshops, seminars and forums have been conducted.  There have been several gospel groups, choirs, soloists, and religious entertainers who have blessed Chautauqua services abundantly.


The Chautauqua has traveled to many locations throughout the United States. 

They include the following:


1966 Miami, FL             1968 Pittsburgh, PA      1970 Los Angeles, CA   1972 Miami, FL

1974 Dallas, TX            1976 Buffalo, NY           1978 Southfield, MI      1980 St. Louis, MO

1982 Miami Beach, FL   1984 Flint, MI               1986 New Orleans, LA  1988 Oakland, CA

1990 Tampa, FL            1992 Atlanta, GA          1994 Irving, TX            1996 Cherry Hill, NJ

1998 Charlotte, NC       2000 Indianapolis, IN     2002 Orlando, FL         2004 Los Angeles, CA

2006 Cincinnati, OH      2008 Houston, TX          2010 Atlanta, GA         2012 Atlanta, GA

2014 Dallas, Texas        2016 Miami, FL


This year the National Chautauqua is still respected and holds great acclaim among members, friends, community and spiritual leaders throughout the world. District Apostle W. R. Malcom, the First District North, the state of Florida, and the city of Tampa are proud to host Chautauqua 2016.


Thankfully, Mother Harris allowed God to use her to conceive and bring to fruition such an extraordinary idea that has touched the lives of so many.  She was truly thinking ahead and she blazed a trail that will last unto eternity.


The members of Triumph The Church And Kingdom Of God In Christ thank God for the vision of Mother Esther Bernice Coleman Harris.  May God continue to bless the National Chautauqua convention to prosper, grow and be a blessing is our prayer



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