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 Christ Temple Cathedral


The Beginning:  The history of Christ Temple, a member of the Church of Christ Holiness U.S.A., begins with the migration of many African-Americans to Chicago and other northern cities for economic reasons. Among this number was Bro. Elliot T. Johnson of Hattiesburg, MS. After arriving in Chicago he searched for a church of his faith, the denomination founded by Charles Price Jones in Jackson, MS. When he failed to find one, he wrote the headquarters in Jackson, MS. They informed him that there was no Church of Christ Holiness located in Chicago. Bro. Johnson planted a seed by starting a prayer meeting and Bible study with other members he knew had come to Chicago. Some of them included Brothers Sims, George Hines, George Holloway, and Matthew Thomas. This group fasted and prayed for wisdom and guidance in establishing a church. 


The New Church:  In the fall of 1917 the prayers of this devout group were answered when Rev. C. E. Owens came from Jackson, MS to work with them. Bible lessons were first conducted in private homes. Later they were able to hold worship services in a Methodist mission at 568 East 35thStreet. It was there that Christ Temple was organized with about thirty members. Rev. Owens served as their first pastor. Their elected deacons and trustees combined were Brothers Mack Jordan, chairman; Walter Wright, E. T. Johnson, Moses Phillips, George Holloway, Matthew Thomas, George Hines and Walter Moore, treasurer. Other charter members of the newly established church included Brothers Jerry Johnson and Matthew Thurmond. These gentlemen were joined by their families. As time progressed they outgrew the mission. The congregation moved to three other locations: 520 East 35thStreet, 3243 Cottage Grove Avenue, and 3848 Langley Avenue before settling into a more permanent location, 552 E. 44thStreet. At the 35thStreet address the group organized their Sunday School.  In 1927 after much searching, the edifice at 44thStreet and St. Lawrence was purchased for $55,000May, 1919 Rev. William Webb of Magnolia, MS was invited to conduct a 30 - dayrevival. October 1919 he was elected pastor.  During this time the church prospered and membership increased.  In 1919 Brother William Johnson organized the Senior Choir in the home of Brother J. E. Johnson and the C.W.W.W. No. 1’s was organized in the home of Sister Nettie Phillips. Rev. Webb continued his pastorate until 1937.


The Early Days:  Rev. Henry L. Caver came to Christ Temple in the spring of 1937 to serve as pastor. In 1938 he was ordained as Bishop of the Northern Diocese. Under his administration new auxiliaries were organized, the Wurlitzer pipe organ was installed, new pulpit furniture was purchased and the debt was reduced from $15,000 to $7,000.  He labored untiringly until he died in March 1944.Rev. Jesse McGarrah served as interim pastor from March 1944 through August 1944. August 1944 the National Convention sent Bishop J. M. Haywood to pastor the church and preside over the Northern Diocese. Bishop Haywood resigned as pastor and withdrew from the Church of Christ Holiness January, 1953.


The Decades of Progress:  January 1953 the National Convention appointed Bishop M. R. Conic as pastor of Christ Temple Church and presiding Bishop of the Northern Diocese. Under his administration the church prospered numerically and spiritually. The church was successful in completing a remodeling program at a cost of $90,000. The concept of borrowing money from the members (interest free) was introduced by Bishop Conic to help pay off this indebtedness. Some of the capital improvements during his tenure included installing new pews, rebuilding the organ, modernizing the lounges, refurnishing the kitchen, purchasing a Baldwin piano and a church parsonage.  The Women’s Auxiliary was organized in 1954 and the Board of Christian Education was organized in 1958. Bishop Conic’s pastorate ended when the National Convention transferred him to Jackson, MS in 1961.


August, 1961 the National Convention sent Bishop O. W. McInnis to pastor Christ Temple Cathedral. New members were added and financial resources increased. The mortgage on the parsonage was paid off and the property adjacent to the church (548 -50 East 44thStreet) was purchased for $16,000. A Hammond organ was purchased and the Hugh May Scholarship was established. Under the leadership of Bishop McInnis the Children’s Church was organized under the auspices of the Board of Christian Education; a food and clothing bank for the needy was begun; G.E.D. classes and a Day Care were started. Because of his love for young men who aspired for the ministry, Bishop McInnis was instrumental in “sending out” many young men for their first pastorate and mentoring, supporting and encouraging them in their calling to preach the gospel. 


The Relocation:  Under the leadership of Bishop McInnis the members purchased its present site, 62 West 111thPlace from Bethel Reformed Church, for $240,000 in December 1972. The property included an educational wing with a large multipurpose room on the 3rdfloor. Each room in the educational wing had its own piano. Other features of the building included a pastor’s study and a counseling room. The main sanctuary came equipped with two pianos and an organ. Additional property obtained included a two-flat building located at 46 West 111thPlace. Again, the members loaned money to the church interest free, resulting in the church saving approximately $58,000 in interest payments and liquidating the remaining indebtedness.August 1981 Bishop McInnis elected to become a non-pastoring bishop. He preached his final sermon as pastor on December 27, 1981.


The Next Generation:  February 28, 1982 Elder Emery Lindsay was installed as pastor of Christ Temple Cathedral. Bishop McInnis was named Pastor Emeritus and presented with a plaque at the end of the service. August 1990 Pastor Lindsay was elevated to the office of bishop and placed over the Northern Diocese. Under his leadership the church experienced an increase in membership and revitalization of its evangelistic outreach. As a result of his passion for winning new souls for the Lord, the breakfast ministry (which had begun in 1980) was enlarged and enhanced to the point that 100 – 150 men, women and children were not only given physical bread for the body, but also the Bread of Life for the soul. A special service was held each Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. The service, which was coordinated by Elder Alfred May, included music and the spoken word delivered by assigned ministers. 

Other ministries added to serve the members and the community included the following:

  • Wednesday morning Bible study for seniors and others unable to attend evening Bible study

  • Praise Team ministry

  • Saint’s Alive ministry (for seniors over 50)

  • Drama ministry

  • Media ministry

  • Youth ministry

  • Elective Sunday School classes

July 2010 Bishop Lindsay was transferred from Christ Temple Cathedral, Chicago to Christ Temple Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA. He served as Senior Bishop for the National Church for 12 years ending his tenure in 2016.


The Millennium:  Elder Benjamin Winn was appointed pastor in 2010. Under Elder Winn’s leadership, the church has left the building and gone out “fishing” for souls. By affiliating with other ministries in the Roseland community, the church has left the building to reach the lost in the Roseland Community by:


  • Volunteering at Pacific Garden Mission on 5thSunday Evangelistic Outreach

  • Joining the PRAY CHICAGO campaign – weekly prayer gatherings in the neighborhood on Friday evenings from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. during the summer months 

  • Collaborating with Chicago’s 5thDistrict Police Department on a 14 mile prayer walk throughout the Roseland community 

  • Establishing the Lighthouse Ministry to minister to and disciple single mothers in the community

  • Partnering with Roseland Hospital through weekly prayer meetings in the Emergency Room 

  • Uniting with Roseland Good News Day Care Center to minister to single mothers 

  • Partnering with Child Evangelism Fellowship-- hosting Good News Club on Wednesday evenings and 5-Day Club during the summer for Vacation Bible School to introduce 5 – 12 year olds to the Gospel

  • Partnering with Agape Center to pack and distribute Thanksgiving boxes for families in need and sharing the gospel with recipients

  • Instituting Holy Week Services in conjunction with other churches in the neighborhood and in the I-I-I District

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