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46 Years of The Universal Church

Today There Are More Than 12,000 Temples in Over 120 Countries on Multiple Continents

In this article, you will learn how supernatural faith was fundamental for a Church that began in a small kiosk to reach hundreds of countries and millions worldwide. The Universal Church will be celebrating July 9th, 2023, 46 years.

Early Life:

Edir Macedo was born on February 18, 1945, in the quiet city of Rio das Flores (Rio de Janeiro). He was the fourth son of Henrique Bezerra and Eugênia de Macedo Bezerra or Doña Geninha, as she was affectionately known.

Universal Church’s Beginning:

In 1963 he began his professional career. He worked as a researcher at the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) during the 1970 economic census. He left this to devote himself to the Work of God, which at the time, was considered by some to be crazy. Having been baptized with the Holy Spirit, Bishop Edir Macedo asked for the opportunity to preach the Gospel in the church he attended, “Nova Vida,” but his leaders at that time did not allow it. With the intense desire to save souls, Edir Macedo and his brother-in-law Romildo Ribeiro Soares, known as R.R. Soares, migrated to the Casa da bênção church. Still, once again, their call to preach the Gospel was denied.

But the urge to preach the Gospel continued to burn inside Edir Macedo, so he decided to go on his way. With the Bible and a portable speaker, he went to Méier’s kiosk in Rio de Janeiro, where he held his first meeting. He carried the Word of God to those who passed by. Now, 46 years later, we see the impressive growth that the Holy Spirit has made through this work for the glory of God.

“Those who passed the Méier kiosk knew something different was happening there… The kiosk was dirty and had an unbearable smell of urine. Even so, I stood up and continued the meeting with the teaching of the Gospel. I always spoke of salvation and prayed for those who wanted to welcome Jesus. Five, ten, fifteen, up to thirty people began to follow my preaching in the open air faithfully.” (Excerpt taken from the book “Nothing to Lose 1”).

Universal Church’s First Temple:

It was the morning of Saturday, July 9, 1977, the first temple of the Universal Church was born. The place chosen for this was the old shed of a funeral home. It housed about 225 people at the inaugural meeting. After the inauguration, the church received more than 400 people during the daily meetings.

Radio and Television:

In the 1980s, Universal carried out the work of evangelization. They would rent the radio and television because Bishop Edir Macedo needed this platform to preach the Gospel. It was then that the opportunity arose to acquire Radio Copacabana, one of the most popular and famous AM stations in Rio de Janeiro at that time.


46 years later, the Universal Church has grown and multiplied worldwide. Today there are more than 12,000 temples in over 120 countries on multiple continents. There are thousands of Bishops and pastors carrying their faith in the living God.

“There, at that time, in the resurrection of the dead in that funeral home, the Universal Church that we know today began. All this was tiny, something minimal compared to so many extraordinary situations that we would live in. Countless battles put us between life and death, but countless triumphs out of the ordinary. Now we are in hundreds of countries, there are thousands of pastors, millions of faithful assistants and members. A church is throbbing with faith and life. Souls won for the Kingdom of God.” (Excerpt taken from the book “Nothing to Lose 1”).

If you’d like to speak with a pastor for prayer and guidance, visit The Universal Church, which is open seven days a week. Click here for locations. Feel free to call our helpline at 1-888-332-4141.