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.