Pentecostal Temple has a rich a lasting heritage which has spanned over 85 years. Herein lies an account of the humble beginnings of this great church.
After purchasing Lot 1085 in the Dearborn Acres Subdivision #2, different ones began to make pledges as to what amount of money or building materials they would donate toward the construction of a church. So about the middle of June 1930, materials were put on the ground and work began on the building. Since finance was very limited, much of the work was done by the brethren. Work progressed satisfactorily on the building and as the fall months approached plans for occupancy were being made. Free food was to be served, and a daylong service was scheduled.
On November 2, 1930, the first church building was dedicated. The structure was a very tall building erected by many unskilled hands. This was evident when the wind blew hard because the building would reel and rock as though it would topple over any minute. Covered from roof to foundation with black tar paper and lined inside with brown builder’s paper, it was called the tar-paper church. Many notable preachers of that time took part in the dedication, including the late Overseer Dr. I.S. Stafford, Elder F.F. Davis, and Elder Willie Rimson.
In those days the church had coal stoves and coal-oil lamps. Fires had to be tended and the lamps had to be cleaned and filled with fuel. No one seemed to mind the responsibility of the tasks of the new church. Real brotherly love was demonstrated; “and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47)
Pastors who have served by appointment since the church’s inception:
Elder D. L. Lee, September 1929 to March 1933; Resigned.
Overseer R. H. Cobb, April 2, 1933 to January 18, 1949; retired due to poor health, died February 1950.
Elder G.L. Yowell, January 30, 1949 to December 1952; Resigned.
Elder W. C. Cook, September 22, 1953 to August 1, 1959; Resigned.
Elder Spencer McKay, December 29, 1959 to February 6, 1960; Resigned.
Overseer Bishop J. S. Bailey served as pastor intermittently, often for several months at a time.
Bishop Isaac King, Jr., February 14, 1960 to February 8, 2015
Elder Kellen Isaac Brooks February 8, 2015 to the present.
In 1936, the remodeled church structure was completed, furnished, and dedicated under the pastorate of the late Overseer R. H. Cobb. Overseer Cobb, along with his wife, Mother Beatrice Cobb, the Harrison Street church grew and the ministry of music was introduced. Overseer Cobb, his wife, and the Cobb children are an integral part of the history of this great church.
In 1954 the Pulpit was remodeled and the Choir Stand added under the pastorate of Elder W. C. Cook.
A new era of leadership began on February 14, 1960. On that date, Bishop J. S. Bailey walked into the Harrison Street Church of God in Christ and appointed Elder Isaac King, Jr. as the pastor. His young wife, Sister Margaret Jewel King, and two daughters, Karen and Kyra, were with him.
Thus began almost 55 years of dynamic leadership under our senior pastor, Bishop Isaac King, Jr. One of the first tasks Pastor King undertook was leading the church in the installation of a new heating unit in July 1960. As the years have come and go, the accomplishments of Harrison Street/Pentecostal Temple under this anointed man of God have been many. Additional property was purchased adjacent to the church property and a building program was undertaken with the result being a new edifice erected on the 3844 Harrison Street site. The grand entrance service was held Sunday, July 21, 1974 and the church was renamed Pentecostal Temple. Five years later, in 1979, Bishop King established the Inkster Christian Academy, with Sister Helen Givens as Principal, serving grades Kindergarten through twelve. The church housed the academy until property was purchased to build and educational facility.
Bishop King gives this account:
“Upon being in prayer, a vision was given and it was clearly revealed to me that I was to build a nursing home, a senior citizens’ complex, and a Christian school. So I said to the Lord, ‘but Lord, I don’t have any land. However, I inquired about a piece of property that was available on Henry Ruff Road. I approached the owner, but when he told me the asking price (of $200, 000) I didn’t bother to make an offer considering the resources I had on hand. However, when the landowner heard of the plans (the God-given vision) for developing the property, he donated the property – over 12 acres – to Pentecostal Temple Church! That experience did something for me, in me – about what God will do the greatness of God.”
The twelve acres of land were acquired on Henry Ruff Road. In 1991, a $2.5 million educational facility was completed housing the Inkster Christian Academy, and the newly formed Pentecostal Temple Day Care (Missionary Clararetha Spencer – Director); presently it houses King Academy, which provides multiple educational opportunities including computer classes and summer programs. In 1993, upon the sale of the edifice on Harrison, the Pentecostal Temple membership moved into the Inkster Christian Academy facilities holding services in the “Upper Room.”
In 1997, equipped with a proposal written by Sister Karen Corner, Pastor King facilitated the award of a charter from the Inkster Board of Education to operate King Academy, a charter school for the kindergarten through sixth grade. The church has benefited greatly from this venture.
The year 1998 was the beginning of a new phase for Pentecostal Temple. The congregation purchased the property adjacent to the existing 12 acres of land from the Archdiocese of Michigan. This acquisition included ten acres of land and was comprised of three buildings – a sanctuary, school, and rectory. After a major renovation project, the sanctuary was completed and the inaugural service was held in September 1999. The school building has been renovated as well encompassing a fellowship hall, classrooms and commercial kitchen. The former rectory has been remodeled to serve as the Administration Building including a chapel, conference room, and pastor’s office.
As Bishop King approached his 55th year of pastoral ministry, he decided it was time to pass the reigns of pastoral leadership. After much prayer and seeking the will of God, Bishop King appointed his grandson, Elder Kellen Isaac Brooks as the lead pastor, while yet serving as Senior Pastor. The transition marks a pivotal point in the life of Pentecostal Temple, ensuring the longevity and growth of the church. Just like his predecessor, Pastor Kellen Isaac Brooks was also appointed on the second Sunday of the second month, at the age of 29. In reference to the transition, Pastor Brooks stated, “I am blessed to not only pastor this church standing on Bishop King’s shoulder’s, but also by his side!” Already, the church is experiencing great growth numerically and spiritually. Under Pastor Brooks, the vision of becoming a multicultural, multigenerational, and multiplying church was introduced and is gradually unfolding.
The church mission statement, “Exalt the Savior; Edify the Saint; Evangelize the Sinner” is indicative of the totality of the ministry of Pentecostal Temple. From the humble days of coal stoves and oil lamps to central air conditioning and modern lighted facilities; from tar-paper and brown builder’s paper to marble floors and brick walls; the buildings may be different over the course of its existence, but the work of the church has remained constant. Harrison Street/Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ has a rich heritage, and as we build on the foundation and fulfill our mission, the church will continue to grow.
Edited by Karen M. Corner and Kellen Brooks with references from “Church History As We Remember It” compiled and written by Luke Lampkin, Sr., along with the Historical Committee, and signed by Pastor Isaac King, Jr. in 1961.