The History of Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly
First Meeting Places
Christ Temple Apostolic "Faith Assembly, Indianapolis, Indiana, had its humble beginnings in 1908 at the "Old Tin Shop" located on West Michigan Street, just west of Blake Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is where our founding pastor Garfield T. Haywood first received the Holy Ghost. Services were held every night, and Bible reading every afternoon. Many would come in the afternoon, bring their lunches and remain until after evening services. The mission's overseer Bro. Glenn A. Cook was one of the persons involved in the Los Angeles revival that began at an Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles, California in 1906 that ushered in the Pentecostal movement throughout the country.
Bishop Garfield Thomas Haywood, a humble man who down played the title, became the founder of Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly in 1908. In 1911, the congregation moved to a vacant saloon at Twelfth and Missouri Streets. In 1912, the first church convention was held at the Penial Mission building located at Eleventh Street and Senate Avenue. The congregation continued to hold subsequent services at this location. Also in 1912, the Christ Temple Sunday School was formally organized.
In 1913, the Pentecostal Movement across the country split because of the revelation of the deity of Jesus Christ. Revealed by the Holy Ghost through the Scriptures, baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ rather than the Trinitarian formula of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost separated assemblies.
First Building Purchase
The Penial Missions building was purchased in September 1915. This was a very exciting time for Christ Temple, it marked the first time members would worship in their own building. The congregation now had a permanent home. This same year Bishop Haywood rebaptized 465 members of his congregation in the Name of Jesus. Because of his bold stance, Indianapolis quickly became the major international center for the "oneness" doctrine. Again, the building became too small, so in 1919, a second floor was added. The new building accommodated about one thousand people.
Ground Breaking at Fall Creek
Having outgrown their tabernacle in numbers at Eleventh Street and Senate Avenue, in December 1923 a new location was found at Fall Creek and Paris Avenue, which was then a city dump. Bishop Haywood designed and engineered the construction of the new church. Bishop Haywood taught the importance of evangelizing the world and through his profession as a printer; his literature became in demand throughout the United States and internationally. He used his own print shop to publish tracts, booklets, outlines, and charts as additional means of spreading the Gospel. Through its continued growth, Christ Temple became and remained the only genuinely interracial church in the city.
Despite the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana and the segregation that existed throughout the state, blacks and whites continued to worship together and the ministry of Christ Temple reflected the unified church. Nicknamed "The Mother Church," Christ Temple continued to be involved in the Home Missions Field of spreading the Gospel by supporting new assemblies throughout the city, state and country. As a mother nurtures her young, The Home Mission and Foreign Mission programs have specifically aided the struggling churches in the United States and abroad. Because of the teaching of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19), Christ Temple's Foreign Missions Department sent out and supported missionaries to foreign countries, continents and islands. Missionary blessings have gone out to Russia, Israel, Nigeria, Liberia, the Philippines, and other areas because of the foundational teachings of Bishop Haywood. Although Bishop G.T. Haywood died in 1931, each successive pastor continues to adhere to the fundamental belief of Holiness and the Oneness Doctrine.
Bishop Haywood at the Ground Breaking ceremony in 1923 marking the beginning of the construction of the new building on Fall Creek Pkwy. Second from left is a young Robert F. Tobin. He would later become Christ Temples second pastor. The brothers at second and third from the right are white - The signifigance of this is that there was extreme segregation by law in Indianapolis at this time. Never-the-less, Christ Temple maintained a multicultural congregation.
The use of mules for ground tilling was still standard practice during the construction of Christ Temple. The automobile itself had only been introduced fifteen years prior in 1908 - the same year Christ Temple was founded over at the "Old Tin Shop" on West Michigan St.
Establishment of the Sunday School Department
The Sunday School, which was started in 1912 continued to grow with Brother Edward King serving as Superintendent and with Brother William Webb serving as his Assistant. Both Brother King and Brother Webb went on to hold the national office of Superintendent of Sunday School of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (P.A.W.) Sister Hilda Reeder served as the 1st National Secretary for Missions of the P.A.W. and was appointed to the office by Bishop Haywood.
The Finished Product
Administration of Christ Temple
Served: 1908 - 1931
Bishop Haywood was a multi-talented person and a man of vision. He was a pastor, evangelist, teacher, an architect, and a prolific writer of tracts, journals, books and songs. He began Christ Temple's first monthly publication, "The Voice in the Wilderness" in 1910. Many of his songs can be found today in the Pentecostal Bridegroom songbook. Bishop Haywood traveled extensively, both in the United States and in foreign countries, preaching and teaching the Word of God. He owned his own printing shop and printed all of Christ Temple's literature and many tracts. When he could not travel, the tracts traveled for him. Many of his writings were translated into various foreign languages. They were sent to Russia. China, Japan, India, Africa and Israel.
Among his many accomplishments, he purchased a building to be used as a saints' home for those who were homeless. This home served as a home for elderly saints, and for visiting ministers and saints during their stay in Indianapolis.
Bishop Haywood remained the pastor of Christ Temple until his death in April 1931. His memory and his work continue to live on. His evangelistic effects are international. He was one of the charter members and first presiding bishops of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. His published works continue to be in demand and his prophetic songs continue to comfort and encourage the soul. Bishop Haywood was also an artist.
Legacy: Bishop Garfield Thomas Haywood was a born leader who presided with tact and dignity. He was an inspired man of God, not only a Godly force in this church and city, but throughout the nation and the world.
Served: 1931 - 1947
Tobin became the second pastor of Christ Temple and pastored for sixteen years until April 1947. Elder Tobin was known as an outstanding man of God that loved the elderly and was kind-hearted and gentle." In 1934, Elder Tobin was elected to the office of Secretary-Treasurer of the P.A.W. and served for over 12 years. His excellent stewardship kept the organization on financially stable ground.
Legacy: During his pastorate, the physical building was enlarged and five lots next to the church were purchased. The church's seating capacity was expanded to accommodate two thousand. Elder Tobin completed the architectural plans that Bishop Haywood began, including the addition of the baptismal pool and dressing rooms, choir stand, deacons' room, and the pastor's study. Under Elder Tobin's leadership, all church indebtedness was cleared.
Served: 1948 - 1953
Elder Morris E. Golder became the third permanent pastor of Christ Temple. He served from 1948 until April 1953. During his pastorate, modern glass doors were installed at each entrance, fluorescent lights replaced the light fixtures in the main auditorium, the Kilgen pipe organ was added to the main auditorium, and the business office and Pastor's study were remodeled. An eighty-acre farm was purchased for use of the saints and for providing food for the meals during conventions.
Christ Temple has its first radio broadcast under his leadership. Also during this administration, the Christ Temple Youth Choir was organized.
Legacy: Elder Golder was one of the original "Sons of Thunder", whose ministry was loved by all. He was affectionately named, "The Prince of Preachers", for his unique way of preaching the word of God. Elder Golder (later Bishop Golder) wrote the following books, The History of Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly, The Life and Works of Bishop G. T. Haywood, and the History of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc.
Served: 1954 - 1969
On June 27, 1954, Elder Willie Lee was installed and became the fourth pastor of Christ Temple. During Bishop Lee's administration, the church farm was sold and the proceeds were used to begin the construction of a new building that is now known as the "Bishop Willie Lee Fellowship Hall." This annex originally consisted of a saints' home on the second floor, Sunday school rooms, a large hall and dining area, a kitchen, a steam table room, a pastry room, cafeteria and two kitchens. A publication office was also constructed so that the church could print its own materials, giving rise to the publishing of The Christ Temple Messenger. Other publications soon followed.
In October 1957, the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith (P.C.A.F.) was established. Thereafter, Bishop Lee was elected the Assistant Presiding Bishop of the P.C.A.F., succeeding to the Senior Bishop after the death of Bishop S.N. Hancock.
Prior to 1958, Christ Temple had no visible cornerstone. During the annual convention that year a special cornerstone laying ceremony was held.
Bishop Lee adamantly followed the teachings of the Apostles' doctrine and the traditions of the previous church founders. Bishop Lee pastored for approximately sixteen years until his death in 1969.
Legacy: Bishop Lee added the "Bishop Willie Lee Fellowship Hall" to Christ Temple. This annex originally consisted of a saints' home on the second floor, Sunday school rooms, a large hall and dining area, a kitchen, a steam table room, a pastry room, cafeteria and two kitchens. He was also responsible for the creation of the publication department. Strong faith, humility, wisdom and compassion for the saints characterized his leadership.
Served: 1970 - 1976
In September 1970, Elder James E. Tyson was installed as the fifth pastor of Christ Temple. He pastored for five years until March 1976. During his pastorate the church aggressively pursued an evangelistic ministry. During Elder Tyson's leadership, the building was completely remodeled, including both the exterior and inside the main sanctuary. Bishop Tyson was also responsible for the church returning to the tradition of old tent revivals as in the days of Bishop Haywood. Church membership grew abundantly.
Legacy: Under his administration, the building underwent major renovation. The red brick exterior was replaced with the glass and stone exterior that remains to this day. An educational wing was added to the church annex and the main sanctuary was renovated and enlarged. Also under his leadership, Christ Temple renewed its membership with the P.A.W. in 1970.
Served: 1977 - 1988
In September 1977, the sixth pastor, Bishop Benjamin T. Moore, was installed. Under his leadership, one of Bishop Haywood's unfulfilled dreams, the Christ Temple Christian Academy, was established. Bishop Moore directed an extensive publication organization. Bishop Moore pastored until his death in December 1988.
Legacy: Bishop Moore knew the word of God.
Served: 1990 - 2001
In 1990, District Elder Byron V. Johnson became the seventh pastor of Christ Temple. He pastored Christ Temple until 2001. In 1993, he was consecrated to the office of Suffragan Bishop, and in 2001 to the office of Bishop. His technique of preaching and teaching was that of blessing, encouraging and strengthening the people of God. Johnson was also an instructor at Aenon Bible Collage in Indianapolis.
Under his pastorate, the tradition of Christ Temple missions was carried on. Bishop Johnson's active involvement with missions had led him to The Philippines, Israel, Africa and Russia. Under his leadership, Christ Temple built three churches in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. Observing Bishop Haywood's directorate: Let us stand together and push the battle to the gate in order that the Gospel of the Kingdom might be preached in all the world for a witness. The Lord blessed Bishop Johnson to pick up that mantle.
Legacy: Bishop Johnson put great effort into distending the word of God to the remote parts of the world.
Served: 2002 - Present
On the first Sunday in September, 2002, Bishop Charles M. Finnell preached his first sermon as pastor of Christ Temple. Bishop Finnell has been a guiding inspiration to the Christ Temple members since that day. To find out more about our sitting pastor go back to the main website and click on the "Our Pastor" link.
Legacy: Bishop Finnell is a kind hearted Godly man who seeks the will of God. The legacy of Bishop Finnell is still being defined. It can only be said that he has been a blessing to the church, and we look forward to going forth as he leads us under the banner of righteousness.