Welcome to The Temple Experience!
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain to build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. Psalm 127:1
The Rev. R. H. Collins Lee founded Martin Temple in 1946, named in honor of the Presiding Bishop John W. Martin. Originally located at 5733 South State Street, the new church was warmly welcomed by the community and soon outgrew its quarters. Rev. Collins Lee remained with Martin Temple from August 1946 to June 1956, seeing the church through many trials and tribulations during its first decade. Rev. Lee was succeeded by the Rev. William T. Kennedy. He succeeded in convincing the congregation that a new church would be built, regardless of the great financial losses that the church had sustained. On September 29, 1957, ground was broken for a new church home at 7158 S. Indiana. During the construction of the new church, the pastoral leadership of Martin Temple included the Rev. William T. Kennedy, the Presiding Elder Wallace H. Jackson and the Rev. M. Poe. The congregation entered the new church in 1959 under Rev. Poe’s leadership. He served as pastor until February, 1960. Presiding Elder Jackson again led Martin Temple until June, 1961.
In June 1961, Rev. Richard Fisher was appointed Pastor of Martin Temple. In spite of a dwindling membership and heavy debt, through Rev. Fisher’s faith and efforts the church membership grew to over 400, purchased a new parsonage and burned the church mortgage in February of 1970. In June of 1972, he was sent to St. Louis, Missouri to pastor the Washington Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church where he was elected to the Episcopacy in 1984.
Rev. Fisher was succeeded by the Rev. Nathaniel Jarrett, Jr. Rev. Jarrett strengthened the bonds within the Martin Temple family, as well, as fortifying the ties between the church and the community. Under his leadership the church became more financially viable than ever before, grew in membership and expanded its educational and outreach programs. On January 12, 1992, Martin Temple marched into its current home, at 6930 South Cottage Grove Avenue; a $2 million sanctuary and service center. In July of 1996, the Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Jarrett, Jr. was elected as a Bishop in the A.M.E. Zion Church.
Bishop Nathaniel Jarrett was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Dennis Haggray. He served the Martin Temple church from 1996-1998. Rev. Lester A. McCorn was appointed pastor of Martin Temple in 1998 and served until 2005. Under Rev. McCorn’s pastorate a new parsonage was acquired. Rev. McCorn founded the Martin Temple Community Development Corporation (MTCDC) for the purpose of serving surrounding neighborhoods. February, 2000 marked the opening of the Spoonful of Hope Soup Kitchen. In 2002 Rev. McCorn launched the “Lifestyle Stewardship” campaign for the purpose of retiring the mortgage on the church and service center.
In 2005, Bishop Milton A. Williams, Sr. appointed Rev. Jimmy Allen Thomas to lead the helm of Martin Temple. He has been acclaimed as a pastor, preacher, musician and visionary.
Throughout the years, Presiding Elder Claude Christopher has served as interim Pastor during periods of pastoral transition. In October, 2009, Bishop Roy A. Holmes appointed Rev. Dr. Eric L. Leake to pastor Martin Temple. In March of 2010, the $2 million debt on the building was liquidated! So the journey continues………….
O magnify the Lord with me. Let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:3
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