While visiting Washington, D.C. on a business trip, Dr. Oscar Dowdell-Underwood wondered what church he and his family would join upon his return home. He had just resigned from a temporary pastoring position and had no interest in continuing to pastor. After praying for direction, he received this response from God: “If you don't want to make a difference by starting a ministry and pastoring, never complain to me about what type of ministry is not available.” Dr. Dowdell-Underwood interpreted this message as a call to action. One month later, on Sunday, March 3, 1985, the first church service was held in a small elementary school library; 35 people attended.
Over the following years, the ministry expanded in size and impact. In 1991, it opened Cornerstone Christian College Preparatory School International (CPREP), which is nationally recognized for its curriculum and defying dismal statistics in urban education. In 1993, the ministry purchased a 46,000 square foot building to house CPREP and multiply the seating capacity for worship services. In 2000, the ministry opened Cornerstone Christian Bible College International, which serves to retool and reskill post-secondary students.
GOD continues to bless DDE@COPI. In 2011, it purchased the Destiny Dome Embassy, a 35,500 square foot complex that sits on five acres of land in northwestern Fort Wayne, Indiana. The expansion enables the ministry to have a larger imprint on local, national and global communities for the advancement of GOD’s Kingdom.
Entrusted with the gospel of JESUS CHRIST, the gospel of grace, which is the unmerited favor of GOD available to humanity through JESUS CHRIST, Dr. Dowdell-Underwood and Destiny Dome Embassy at Cathedral of Praise Ministries International (DDE@COPI), a radical grace ministry, endeavor to share the message of GOD’s unconditional love, mercy, and grace. This message informs every believer that he or she “can still do it!” Mistakes and shortcomings are powerless against the atoning blood of JESUS CHRIST and the New Covenant it introduced. Through JESUS CHRIST - grace personified – believers are empowered to live the life purposed and destined for them by GOD.
Accordingly, DDE@COPI is a New Covenant ministry of compassion that seeks to channel healing, restoration, deliverance, reconciliation, and prosperity to humanity through the ministry of JESUS CHRIST. Every person is empowered to live loved and live relationally. Mutual acceptance and sacrificial love for GOD, self, and others is the protocol for living everyday life, and the code of mutual honor and respect cultivates and maintains vibrant personal relationships among members – the ambassadors at DDE@COPI.
At DDE@COPI, ambassadors are connected, shepherded, and cared for, but also challenged to effectively advance the Kingdom of GOD. Through the teaching of the Word of GOD, ambassadors experience spiritual, mental, social, emotional, and physical transformation that enables them to fulfill their GOD-given assignment in the world and thereby give GOD maximal glory and influence in the day-to-day affairs of humanity.