The Temple Church was founded August 8, 1977 at the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee. The first Temple worship service was held on August 7, 1977 at the Kresge Learning Resource Center on the campus of Meharry Medical College. Sunday services were held at the rented facilities of the Hillcrest Seventh Day Adventist Church until January 4, 1980, when Temple entered its present facility at 3810 Kings Lane.
Under the able leadership of the Reverend Dr. Michael Lee Graves, Temple has made great strides in the growth of its membership. It began with the original two, Michael and Eleanor Graves, and presently lists 3,000 individuals on its roll. The growth of Temple's membership and its ministries owes its success to GOD and its founding members who wanted to establish a church that would make a difference in this community. The gymnasium and fellowship hall, the chapel, day care center, commercial kitchen, library and the suites of offices were built initially. This was done because it was believed that if the entire building could not be built at once, these areas would better serve its membership and its community. Thus, we completed Phase I of the building program. In 1991 we broke ground to build Phase II which included a sanctuary, baptismal pool, choir loft and bell tower. Thanks be to GOD, we moved into our new addition on September 13, 1992.
During that week, Temple consecrated its new sanctuary and throughout the year, the structure was admired by visitors from across the country. In June 1996 Temple added a new Rodgers 960D Classic Digital Organ that incorporates an eight-channel MIDI keyboard controller, and is similar to the one recently installed at Carnegie Hall. The organ was an on-going desire by the Temple family to continuously fill the Lords sanctuary with our highest praises. The Temple Church now sits on a 77-acre campus. The newest acquisitions are 5 acres to the west purchased in 1997, and 7 acres to the east purchased in 1999. In the winter of 1998 The Temple Church family agreed to construct a Pastoral Residence for its First Family.
The various outreach ministries of the church have continued to grow at an outstanding rate. The expansion of ministries in turn has increased member participation and service capability. Temple Church now has four outreach centers which include the ACTS Counseling Center in East Nashville and a Youth Center on its newest seven acres. Space allocation for the Project SEE component of the Samaritan Ministries has also been doubled by city officials, attesting to the success of this ministry in the Cumberland View Homes. The Christian Education Department has now been expanded into a Bible Institute, allowing members and the community to follow systematic areas of theological study.
Temple has also been very involved in promoting racial harmony and unity in the Middle Tennessee area. Evidence of these efforts includes its participation in Project Goodwill and its interfaith and multi-racial worship services with churches throughout the Nashville community. In June 1999, The Temple Church Social Crisis ministry held its first African American Leadership Summit. The Summit brought African American leaders and citizens from across the Metropolitan Nashville area together to exchange ideas that will help create a vision for Nashville's African American community for the new millennium. We are excited about all that God has in store for us as we continue to provide Ministry That Matters in the 21st Century.