Our Past

Over 143 years ago, a faithful group of individuals gathered to worship together under a brush arboreal – a canopy of tree limbs and bushes – as there was no physical place of worship for the blacks of Woodstock, at that time.  Later in 1863, this group made up of both Baptist and AME members established Cherokee County ’s first African Methodist Episcopal Church.  The new church was named Allen Temple after one of their devoted members, Deacon Allen Dial. The first Trustees were Miles McAfee, Giles Haney, James Fowler, Dr. Will Dan and Sister Benson. 

 

In 1909, members and friends of Allen Temple built a small, wooden  structure under the pastorate of Rev. B.W. Wilson .  In its earliest days, the one-room building was heated by a wood burning stove and had no electricity or indoor plumbing.  The church was located near the center of the now historic downtown Woodstock .  
 

For a number of years, Allen Temple Church shared its property with the first black school in Woodstock .  Several children at the church attended the school consisting of one large room partitioned into a classroom and a lunch area. The school was called Woodstock School and held grades first through seventh.  The school remained in operation until the early 1940’s. 

In 1977, a new church was built on the same track of land.  On June 5, 1977 under the leadership of Pastor Clarence Neal and Presiding Elder W.L. Scarborough, the cornerstone was laid.  The first service was held on June 12, 1977. In 1979, the church steeple was added as a result of a donation of $3,000 received from the Johnston Foundation in loving memory of Sister Minnie Gay, the mother of Sister Lillie Mae Brownlee, lifelong member of the church.  On April 1, 1984, the church was dedicated under the Pastorate of Rev. R. L. Miller and Bishop Earnest L. Hickman. 
 

In 1991, after identifying a need in the community, Pastor Spencer L. Booker and the church congregation answered the call of God and embarked on a “Faith Venture” to erect a Multi-Purpose Community Ministry Center that would provide a place of fellowship and support to the community.  On October 20, 1991 the ground breaking ceremony for this new annex was performed. 
 

In 1993, Pastor Carl A. Moore accepted God’s will to lead Allen Temple as the Senior Pastor.  On October 9, 1995, the new Fellowship Has was completed.  In addition to the completing the Annex, the sanctuary was completely renovated including new pews, pulpit furnishings, carpeting and a sound system.  The pews were donated to the church by the members.  Presiding Elder S.W. Wicker provided the district oversight and the Rt. Rev. Donald G. K. Ming was Presiding Bishop. 
 

In December of 1995, the church purchased a house adjacent to the property and 1.2 acres of land for use as a youth recreation and computer training center.  1997-2001 In late 1997 and early 1998, several computers were purchased and others donated to provide basic computer training.  The house quickly became a center of activity for the growing numbers of youth in the church and later became known as the G.A.P Shack – God’s Anointed People. 
 

 

By 1999, the church membership had grown to 1000, from 70 members in 1993.  The membership included a large and still growing number of youth actively led by Youth Minister Rev. Kevin Mitchell who joined Allen Temple in May of 1999.  In March of 1999, a Building Commission was formed under the leadership of Mr. Snow Mitchell to begin the process of building a new church.  In May of 2000, the purchase of 31.36 acres of land, less than a mile from the current location became a reality.  On August 13, 2000 the land was formally dedicated.  In the interim, two temporary structures were added to the property behind the church to accommodate a number of youth activities, bible studies, and community programs. 
 

With great excitement, the Lifestyle Capital Stewardship Campaign began in March of 2001, guided by the Christian-based Genesis Group of Atlanta .  Under s unified theme “God is working” leaders and members of the Allen Temple family committed more than two million dollars to the building of the new church to be constructed in three phases.  The “First Fruits” service was held on June 24, 2001.  On Palm Sunday, March 24, 2002, the Ground Breaking Celebration was held.  The congregation walked from the current edifice to the new church property singing praises to the Lord and waving palm leaves. The Rt. Rev. Frank C. Cummings officiated.