satalite1During the mid-1960’s, Bishop Clarence Groover worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a Mathematician and Assistant Data Processing Engineer for the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory Satellite (OAO-A2).

satelite2The OAO-A2 was an unmanned spacecraft including 11 ultraviolet telescopes. One objective of its mission was to obtain scientific data over a range of star magnitudes and ultraviolet wavelengths. The ultraviolet light emitted from stars was of more interest to astronomers in studying the formation and composition of stars. However, ultraviolet light from stars is absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere and never reaches the ground observatories. To overcome the veiling affect of the earth’s atmosphere, the OAO-A2 had to be placed in a circular orbit above the earth’s atmosphere. Observations of the selected stars were then made, the data were transmitted to a ground-recording site, and final, acceptance of the processed data was completed by participating experimenters. The spacecraft had six solar panels that recharged the batteries that supplied the power to the electronic equipment on board.


Little did Bishop Groover know, that one day 46 years later, the Fisherman of Men Church would be powered by solar panels similar to those found on the OAO-A2! The low-cost, high-efficiency advanced solar converters turn sunlight into electricity for immediate use. In March 2014, after a decade of building renovations, the Fisherman of Men Church installed a 52kw Solar Photovoltaic System to produce its own electricity using clean renewable energy from the sun. Solar energy is captured by the PV panels and fed into the invertors. The invertors convert DC energy into AC and distribute it into the church. The Fisherman of Men Church now use God’s sun to power its facility, while still relying on God’s Son Jesus Christ to power their everyday lives. With the light from the sun, the Fisherman of Men Church shines as a light for Washington, DC!

solarpanelsThe two main benefits for installing solar panels in a church are financial and environmental.

Financial Incentives include:

  • The elimination of the current electric utility bill and any increases that would be taking place in the next 25 years.
  • State Grant – State Rebate Program
  • Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) – Every time the system produces 1000 KWh this is 1 SREC. The value of 1 SREC in DC is approximately $400.00. Our 52kw system produces approximately 6 SRECS per month
  • If the amount of solar energy captured exceeds the amount of energy your church needs, the difference will be sold back to the grid
  • The system pays for itself in 3 years


Environmental incentives (which reduce the carbon footprint of our church over the life of the system) include:

  • The elimination 1,280 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the church’s footprint
  • 1,280 tons of CO2 is equivalent to planting 29, 824 trees
  • 1,280 tons of CO2 is equivalent to driving reduced by 2,560,000 auto miles, or 130,560 gallons of gasoline
  • 1,280 tons of CO2 is equivalent to recycling 4,045 tons of waste instead of sending it to landfill
  • 1,280 tons of CO2 is equivalent to displacing CO2 emissions from the annual electric use of 145 homes
  • 1,280 tons of CO2 is equivalent to 2,029.22 light bulb hours
  • 1,280 tons of CO2 is equivalent to 420.4 bushels of crabs
  • Every kilowatt of installed solar generation prevents 14,000 pounds of CO2 (associated with global warming) and 30 pounds of NOx (one source of smog) during the operating life of the system


The ribbon cutting and dedication services for the modernized facility took place on April 5-6, 2014, and included keynote speakers: Presiding Apostle Robert Sanders, Sr., and District Elder Christopher Goode, respectively.


The Washington Post Newspaper was on hand for the celebration, and published an article on April 12, 2014 entitled “From House Church to 1,000-seat Solar Powered Sanctuary” See link below:

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