WHO WE ARE
We are an a cappella Church of Christ located in Hyattsville, Maryland, inside the Capitol Beltway and only a couple of miles from the College Park campus of the University of Maryland and the District of Columbia.
We fondly refer to our congregation as "U.P." Here at U.P., we are striving to love God, love our neighbors, and build each other up in faith. We come from all over the United States and countries such as Cameroon, India, Jamaica, Liberia, Nigeria, China, Sierra Leone, Trinidad, and nations beyond. We believe God desires to reconcile all people through faith in Jesus, and we want to be a congregation where all can come and be conformed into the likeness of our Lord.
Donald Ballard, III
Brother Donald Ballard III is a native West Virginian who obeyed the gospel of Christ at age 19 at the Harlem Church of Christ, New York City. Donald has been preaching his resurrected Savior for sixteen years. He is happily married and the proud father of two beautiful children.
Donald studied under the mentorship of Dr. O.J. Shabazz, Evangelist to the Harlem Church of Christ, and a personal student of the late Dr. R.C. Wells, Minister Emeritus and Elder to the Harlem Church of Christ. Donald has received degrees in Fine Arts and Biblical Studies for his formal education.
Donald and his family lived in the Tampa, Florida, area for nine years. During that time, Donald served as the Dean of Student Affairs and Bible Department Head at Foundation Christian Academy and High School in Valrico, Florida. In January 2022, Donald became the ministering evangelist to the University Park congregation.
"Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust." Acts 14:23 (NIV)
Scripture places spiritual and temporal responsibility on the elders of each congregation of the Lord's body. Each congregation has an autonomous existence. Scripture gives authority to elders only within the congregation they serve. The elders are chosen by the congregation from among its own membership.
"Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:3-4
Using the example from Acts 6, the congregation appoints deacons from among its own membership to assist the elders in various responsibilities.