The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) was formed in 1977, in Brazil. It owes its origins to a successful evangelistic programme conducted by Bishop Robert McAlister, a Canadian missionary in the Pentecostal tradition.
Edir Macedo – who went on to found UCKG – was one of the early converts. With the blessing of Bishop McAlister, he started to hold services under a small park shelter in Rio de Janeiro. His passion was to reach out to needy, less privileged people who were often excluded by established religions. As Pastor Macedo’s services grew in popularity, he used cinemas and local halls to accommodate growing congregations, attracting people from the streets to the expanding movement. Shortly afterwards the UCKG officially opened its first church inside a funeral parlour.