Temple Baptist Church began its long and fruitful ministry in 1942 as a mission, located in a rented garage at the corner of Hadley Avenue and 30th Street, with 31 people present. The old theater building on 22nd Street was later purchased for $2,500 by Old Hickory First Baptist Church and donated to the mission.
In July 1945, the mission was organized into a fully cooperating Baptist church, and was named Temple Baptist. There were 106 charter members present at the dedication. A few years later the present site on Park Circle was purchased, and in 1949 the church began holding services in the newly completed basement of the new church building. In 1953 a second floor was added to the building, which included a sanctuary, Sunday School rooms, a nursery, and a church office.
In March 1958, the church building was completely destroyed by fire. However, the tragedy of losing the building did not slow the growth of the church. That summer the first (Standard) Vacation Bible School was held in the parking lot under a tent, with a number of children accepting Christ as their personal Savior. Later that fall the church moved into the unfinished basement of the new building. On many Sundays there was water standing on the floor and worshippers had to put their feet on the rungs of chairs in front of them. Construction continued, however, and on Easter Sunday 1959, the first service was held in the new building.
The church continued to grow so rapidly that additional room was needed. A new sanctuary was added, and was dedicated in January 1967. A bus ministry and children’s churches were started in 1972, resulting in many children coming to Christ.
Ten acres of land on Old Hickory Blvd. were purchased in 1988, and the “Step of Faith” was begun to claim the property as the future home of Temple Baptist Church. The loan on the property was paid off in 1998.
God has truly blessed and provided in the years of ministry at Temple Baptist. During this time, over 20 men and women have been called out from the church as pastors and missionaries. The gospel has been carried to many parts of the world where countless numbers have come to know Christ as their Savior.
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