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The Christ Temple Baptist Church began as a storefront mission with Rev. Freddie Roberson in 1950.
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The Christ Temple Baptist Church began as a storefront mission in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and fifty. This mission was located at 7 Washington Street in the city of Paterson, New Jersey.
The Rev. Freddie Roberson, after being contacted by Mother Lucy Watkins, accepted the request to assist with the development of this new ministry. After accomplishing the necessary tasks to develop a ministry, Rev. Roberson preached his first sermon in the storefront mission on December 30, 1950. Charter members of this ministry were: Mrs. Ada Mackey, adult; and Mattie Watkins (Way), Ruth Booker (Brown), Mary Booker (Deshazor), Mozell Reed, Lula Reed (Elam) and Paul Watkins, all children.
The Rev. Freddie Roberson, with the Lord’s guidance, called a meeting on March 3, 1951 to officially organize a church. The Rev. T.H. Alexander, pastor of the Union Baptist Church, Passaic, moderated that meeting. During the meeting, the mission was officially named Christ Temple Baptist Church. Those in attendance unanimously consented to name Rev. Freddie Roberson as their pastor. Christ Temple received its Certificate of Incorporation and Charter on March 30, 1951 and the Charter was filed in the Paterson City Clerk’s office on April 2, 1951. Rev. T.H. Alexander continued to assist Christ Temple in performing sacerdotal functions until Rev. Roberson was ordained.
Rev. Freddie Roberson and his devoted wife, Mrs. Bessie Roberson were extraordinarily led by God to minister in the Paterson community producing a great expansion of Christ Temple’s membership. Within a short period of time, Christ Temple relocated to 96 Water Street. During its stay on Water Street, the church organized its first Deacon and Deaconess Boards, Trustee Board, Missionary Circle, Senior and Junior Choirs, Junior and Senior Usher Boards, Men’s Club, Pastor’s Aide, Florist Club, Helping Hand Club, the Sunday School and the B.T.U. (Baptist Training Union). The congregation continued to increase rapidly, prompting yet another move on October 21, 1962 to 52-54 North First Street in Paterson. While at this location, the pastor and congregation initiated plans to enlarge the sanctuary, develop off-street parking, install air conditioning and introduce other conveniences.
After almost twelve (12) years of worshipping at the North First Street location, Christ Temple, once again, found its facilities lacking in the space needed to accomplish church activities. This need was addressed by marching into its current home at 36-38 Hopper Street on September 22, 1974. This building offered a beautiful edifice with an accommodating sanctuary, a parsonage and facilities for an active congregation. By the grace of God and the dedicated efforts of the pastor, boards and congregation, the mortgage on this building was burned ten (10) years later in 1984.
Having faithfully served the Christ Temple Baptist Church for over thirty-seven (37) years, the Rev. Freddie Roberson was called from labor to reward on February 6, 1988, leaving the church without a pastor for the first time in its existence. Following a period of mourning, the church moved at a rapid pace to acquire a shepherd for its flock.
It was evident that God’s divine providence was at work throughout the life of the Christ Temple Baptist Church. As the congregation marched into its current location on September 22, 1974 in Paterson, New Jersey, Gregory Carlton Turner was preaching his initial sermon in Baltimore, Maryland at the tender age of seventeen (17). God was already preparing a young servant to continue the rich heritage of Christ Temple.
The Rev. Dr. Gregory C. Turner was extended the invitation to preach his first sermon and conduct his first Lord’s Supper in Christ Temple on Sunday, October 2, 1988. At the request of the congregation, Dr. Turner served them on two additional occasions. By a majority vote, the congregation voted to extend to Dr. Turner the call to pastor the Christ Temple Baptist Church in March of 1989. Dr. Turner conducted his first service as Pastor-Elect on Easter Sunday, March 26, 1989 and was officially installed as Pastor on May 21, 1989 with the support of his committed wife Mrs. Denyse H. Turner and their loving children Shaunda Carlise and Sean Darnell-Carlton.
In July, 1989, the first ministry for Senior Citizens was established; in August, 1989, the Youth Transformation Ministry was founded and in September, 1989, the Paterson Uplift Project and the Media Ministry was conceived. The church, through its spiritual leadership, has incorporated numerous other ministries to expand its service and care to its members and the community such as, a Thanksgiving Outreach program to needy families, a Social Services ministry, a Mid-Week Worship experience, Nursing Home evangelism, and a Prayer Band. Additionally, in 1993, the church licensed its first female preacher and elected its first female Trustees in 2000.
After over 26 years of compassionate leadership, Dr. Gregory C. Turner was called home to glory on November 22, 2015. This was the second time that the church was without a pastor. At this time, the church went through a period of mourning.
Approximately 2 years after Rev. Turner’s passing, God sent Christ Temple Baptist Church another mighty vessel of God. On December 11, 2017, Rev. Dr. Weldon McWilliams IV was voted in as Pastor-Elect of the Christ Temple Baptist Church. Rev. McWilliams believes that in order to carry out the work of Jesus Christ, one must be active inside and outside the church, and that the fight for justice is an integral component of one’s Christian duty. On May 20, 2018, Rev. McWilliams was installed as the current Pastor of Christ Temple Baptist Church where he continues to teach and preach God’s Word.
(Pictured Left to Right) Founding Pastor Rev. Freddie Roberson and Co-Founder Mother Watkins.view first christ temple baptist church meeting minuteslist of first 25 christ temple baptist church members
Shortly after beginning as a mission, the newly chartered Christ Temple Baptist Church expanded to 96 Water Street, Paterson, N.J. The Water St. location organized the first church groups and boards including the Deacon and Deaconess Boards, Trustee Board and Senior and Junior Choirs.
The expanding membership of Christ Temple Baptist Church prompted another move in 1962 to 52-54 N 1st St. This became the second active home of the church.
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The purpose and objective of this Church are to glorify God and further His kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, through public Worship of God, the Preaching of the Gospel, and consistent Christian living by its members.