Allen Temple AME Church (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Allen Temple AME Church (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Infobox churches and cathedrals
church_name = Allen Temple AME Church

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denomination =African Methodist Episcopal Church
location = flagicon|USA Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
pastor =Dr. Mark W. Thompson
diocese =
district =Third Episcopal District
founder =Rev. James King
founded = 1824
constructed = 2004
capacity = 1200
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The Allen Temple AME Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, is the mother church of the Ohio Chapter of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Founded in 1824, it is the oldest AME church in OhioFact|date=February 2007 and the oldest operating black church in Cincinnati.cite web | title = First African-American church | work = Black History Month Facts | publisher = | url = | accessdate = 2007-02-17 ]


Named after Richard Allen, founder of the AME Church,cite web | title = Allen Temple A.M.E. Church | work = Guide to 20th Century African American Resources at the Cincinnati Historical Society Library | publisher = Cincinnati Museum Center | date = 2007-01-31 | url = | accessdate = 2007-02-17 ] , the church was founded in 1823 as a congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church because of the prejudicial treatment blacks received in the predominantly white churches.

The first pastor chosen by the black congregation was Rev. James King, at the time a slave living in Lexington, Kentucky whose owner allowed him to hire his time. In 1824, following the founding of the AME denomination, Rev. King and Rev. Philip Brodie led the congregation to join with the AME. [cite book | last = George | first = Carol V. R. | editor = ed. Timothy E. Fulop & Albert J. Raboteau | title = African-American Religion: Interpretive Essays in History and Culture | publisher = Routledge | date = 1999 | location = New York, NY | pages = 165-168 | chapter = Widening the Circle: The Black Church and the Abolitionist Crusade ] The congregation occupied at least four structures, each known by its own name, prior to 1870, the last of which was known as "Allen Chapel" and constructed around 1850. [cite book | last = Bunch-Lyons | first = Beverly A. | title = Contested terrain: African-American women migrate from the South to Cincinnati, Ohio, 1900-1950 | publisher = Routledge | date = 2002 | location = New York, NY | pages = 96 ] During this period the church was a waystation on the Underground Railroad. [cite news | last = Johnston | first = John | title = Close to home: Across the region, dozens of sites have historic ties to the Underground Railroad | publisher = Cincinnati Enquirer | date = 2004-08-15 | url = | accessdate = 2007-02-17 ] In 1862, the church helped launch the second AME church in Cincinnati, the Brown Chapel AME Church. [cite web | title = History - Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church | publisher = Brown Chapel AME | date = after 2005 | url = | format = PDF | accessdate = 2007-02-17 ]

Because of growth and vandalism, in 1870 the congregation purchased the structure previously housing the Bene Israel Sephardic synagogue for $40,000, reflecting its position as one of the early black churches with a predominantly middle class congregation. [cite book | last = Trotter, Jr. | first = Joe William | title = River Jordan: African American Urban Life in the Ohio Valley | publisher = The University Press of Kentucky | date = 1998 | location = Lexington, Kentucky | pages = 89 ] At this time the church took the name "Allen Temple". This structure is building #75001414 on the National Register of Historic Places. [cite web | title = Ohio - Hamilton County | publisher = National Register of Historic Places | date = 2006-03-16 | url = | accessdate = 2007-02-17 ] Fiscal pressures from the mortgage and 1974 fire damage led to the formation of charity groups. After paying off the debts of the congregation, these groups turned to social and welfare work.

Isaac Nelson Ross, later the 41st bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal, served as pastor of Allen Temple for 5 years between 1900 and 1907.cite book | last = Wright | first = Richard R. Ed. | coauthors = John R. Hawkins, Associate Editor | title = Centennial Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Containing Principally the Biographies of the Men and Women, Both Ministers and Laymen, Whose Labors during a Hundred Years, Helped Make the A. M. E. Church What It Is; Also Short Historical Sketches of Annual Conferences, Educational Institutions, General Departments, Missionary Societies of the A. M. E. Church, and General Information about African Methodism and the Christian Church in General; Being a Literary Contribution to the Celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Formation of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Denomination by Richard Allen and others, at Philadelphia, Penna., in 1816: Electronic Edition. | publisher = University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | date = 2001 (original 1916) | url = ]

Pastors in Modern Times

On May 13, 1996, accomplished founder and CEO of Thompson, Hall and Jordan Funeral homes, Rev. Donald Harold Jordan, Sr., was appointed pastor of Allen Temple by Bishop Henry A. Belin after 17 years at Quinn Chapel AME Church also in Cincinnati. Jordan came after the Rev. Taylor Thompson had pastored Allen Temple, who oddly enough was sent to Quinn Chapel. Jordan originally retired from ministry after it was revealed that he had prostate cancer, but he felt that his work was not yet done and he took Allen Temple, assuming that it would be what he called "lesser work".

At the time of Jordan's appointment, Allen Temple was located on 7181 Reading Road (where they had been since 1977). But under his leadership, the church acquired hundreds of new members and bought the Swifton Commons Shopping Mall which in 2003 was named Jordan Crossing Mall. Allen Temple began having their services in the Worship Center located in the front of the mall in 1999 where they acquired even more new members and began construction on a brand new sanctuary that would seat more than 1,000 people.The new church was completed in May 2004 and on May 16 and 23, 2004, it was dedicated by Bishop Paul A. Bowers of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World and Bishop Robert V. Webster of the AME Church.

It was in August 2004 that Reverend Jordan decided to once again to retire. Few may know this, but in May 2004, he became a candidate for bishop in the AME Church, but due to his age (aged 72 at the time), he decided to withdraw. At the South Ohio Annual Conference in 2004, the Jurisdictional bishop met with Jordan and asked him to stay at Allen one more year, which he did, and on June 30 2005 Jordan formally retired after 28 years in ministry and almost ten years at Allen Temple.

Jurisdictional Bishop Robert V. Webster served as Allen's interim pastor for four months (July to November 2005). In November, a permanent pastor was appointed. He was Atlanta, Georgia pastor Reverend Dr. Mark Wendell Thompson and his wife, Evangelist Stephanie D. Thompson, who of course was First Lady and Associate Minister. He was appointed on November 13, 2005, and preached his first sermon at Allen Temple on November 20 2005. Soon, he adopted the theme "Becoming Whole Through Christian Living" and the church once again experienced tremendous growth in a relatively short time.

On July 22, 2007, Pastor Thompson announced to Allen Temple that he was returning to Atlanta to start an interdenominational church. His last sermon at Allen was on October 14, 2007, however, his last Sunday there was on October 28, 2007.

On November 4, 2007, 44 year old Rev. Dr. Alphonse Allen, Jr. preached his first sermon as the newly appointed pastor of Allen Temple. He previously pastored United A.M.E. Church in Xenia, Ohio.

Upward Bound Youth Ministries

In December 2003, Dayton, Ohio native Cory W. Ferguson returned to Allen Temple after having been gone for two years after leading the church's youth choir. Upon his return, Reverend Donald Jordan appointed him youth minister and in October 2004, Upward Bound Youth Ministries was founded. Today, the ministry has over 110 children and youth including their parents and other helpers and supporters within the church.

Upward Bound (commonly called UBYM) houses the Training Choir (ages 3-5), the Children's Choir (ages 6-12), the Worship Chorale (ages 13 and up), the Empty Vessels Praise Dance Ministry and a newly formed children's praise dance ministry. These various choirs and praise dance teams minister every second, fourth and fifth Sundays and most members of Allen Temple, young and old alike, see them as a blessing to the church. UBYM is becoming very active in the community, singing and dancing at various churches and many gospel concerts. The Empty Vessels Ministry have had praise dance concerts in October 2006 and November 2007.

Often, they fellowship with a young adult ministry by the name of Filled Wit' Da' Spirit, led by Sinita Scott who is also an active member of Allen Temple and an ardent supporter of UBYM. In October 2006, UBYM and Filled hosted the first annual Citywide Gospel Music Workshop, themed "Jesus, the Reason Why I B.L.I.N.G. (Blessed 2 Live In Never-ending Glory)" at Allen Temple, as they did in October 2007, except in 2007, the workshop was named "FACEOFF-Unmasking the Fake People in the Church."

ee also

*History of Cincinnati, Ohio
*Race relations of Cincinnati, Ohio
*Black church


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