Our History

The United Prayer Movement was founded in 1970 by the Reverend David L. Gray, of the Pleasant Green Baptist Church, and his colleague, Ms. Bernice McKinney. Their passion was to help feed the less fortunate, and to bring people together from all walks of life. What started as a meal for 65 people, served in a small restaurant in downtown Kansas City, Kansas has now grown to 3,000 meals, assembled at the Pleasant Green Baptist Church, and delivered to virtually every community in the Kansas City area.

The United Prayer Movement (UPM) is a primary sponsor of the Holiday Dinners program.

Holiday Dinners

Volunteers from community organizations, churches, and synagogues deliver almost 3,000 meals to approximately 850 families during the holiday season. Many of our patrons are elderly or they don’t have the means or transportation to purchase meals during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. In addition to meals, Holiday Dinners provides sacks of dry food items and canned goods to our patrons for additional assistance during the holiday season.


Hope Davis has been the Program Coordinator for the Holiday Dinners program of the United Prayer Movement since 2017. In her role as coordinator, Ms. Davis oversees all facets of the organization including planning, operations, staffing, and fund raising. In addition, The United Prayer Movement is a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) organization, and Ms. Davis is responsible for all governance as overseen by the UPM Board. Ms. Bernice McKinney serves as Trustee Emeritus after retiring from her full time position at Pleasant Green Baptist Church in 2014.

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