7241 Race St

Pittsburgh, PA 15208



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95th Anniversary

Baptist Temple Church in the Homewood-Brushton section of Pittsburgh began its ministry on July 21, 1921. The devout founders were Mrs. Mildred Craighead, Mr. James B. Dean, Mrs. Pearl R. Johnson, and Mr. Annie Ross Lewis. On that date, Baptist Temple Church was officially organized at the Recognition Meeting at Smith Hall located on Centre Avenue in the Hill. The congregation started with five members. The Sunday worship services were led by the first pastor, Rev. William Johnson, from Dallas, TX. Originally, the Church met in the home of Mrs. G. E. Washington. 

Early in 1922, the assistant pastor, Rev. Calvin Bartlett and Baptist Temple member, J.L. Hunter guided the congregation through the purchase of five lots on Collier Street at Frankstown Avenue. There the flock erected the first sanctuary, which was a tent structure. Unfortunately, the tent structure was destroyed by fire. The members continued to worship without a dedicated home. God blessed their efforts and in March 1923, the congregation erected a new structure made of galvanized metal.

Rev. William Johnson faithfully led the congregation. Rev. Johnson commuted between Dallas and Pittsburgh because of his wife's and daughter’s poor health. In 1924, Rev. Johnson resigned to return to Dallas to care for his family. In 1925, the congregation called Rev. J.E. Guy of Port Huron, MI to lead the Church. Under his leadership the membership grew and the sanctuary was enlarged to almost twice its original size. In 1931, Rev. Guy resigned and the Church languished. The next pastor called was Rev. W.A. Banks of Library, PA. Rev. Banks filled the pulpit for three years. During his time, the Church was reorganized and the sanctuary was physically improved. In October of 1935, Rev. A.M. Howe became the fourth pastor of the Church. He accelerated the repayment of the Church’s mortgage, and stayed approximately nine years.