OUR CHURCH HISTORY
PAST (TEMPLE #228 and TEMPLE #230)
PRESENT (TEMPLE #230)
First and foremost we thank God for our health and strength, adding to our Church Family, and for His many blessings.
In the beginning, Temple #228 was started by Brother John Peck and Brother Branch after their migration to Phoenix, Arizona from Little Rock, Arkansas in 1920. Some of their first members were Sisters Mattie Stoglin, Laura Vinson, Minnie Mae Braggs, Mary Mitchell, Mattie Steele, Brother Zephyr Franklin, and Elder Orgain. These charter members then gained a pastor in the person of the late Elder L. S. Stoglin in the year 1937. At this time, they moved into a building located at 1204 W. Pima and remained there for the sum of 10 years under the leadership of Elder Stoglin.
As the years passed by, Temple #228 had the opportunity to be pastured by several men of God. They were Elders Dupree, Percy Moore, Julian Braggs, Franklin Pryor, Jeff Miller, Hankins, J.E. Ragsdale, Eddie Hudson, Joe McCoy, Jr. William Bryant (now Emeritus Overseer Bryant), Charles Snell, and Robert Drew.
Then in the year of 1942, Elder L. S. Stoglin organized Temple #230. His successors included Elders Blanton, Meshack Jones, H. Bowie, Percy J. Moore, Elmo Wooten, James A. Perkins, Roy Maxie, and Robert Fowler. There were two occasions in which Evangelist Charlene Howard filled in the gap to carry on God’s calling.
In 1986, Temple #230 was sold leaving the members with no place to worship. Bishop Ruffin realizing the agony the members must be going through sought the Lord for an answer. He met with the membership and asked if they would worship with the membership of Temple #228 until they could obtain another edifice in which to magnify the Lord. Graciously, the members of Temple #230 accepted this temporary solution and began to fellowship with the sister church, being they both had a common goal, which was to serve the Lord. At that time, the pastor of Temple #228 was Elder Robert Drew.
Merger Occurred – Temple #230
In 1990, Temples #228 and #230 were left without a Shepherd. Bishop Jeff Ruffin was led by the Holy Spirit to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona and take the helm, for he realized that God’s Sheep had to have a Shepherd. Upon arriving in Phoenix, through the guidance of God, and direction of the Executive Board, a merger of both Temples took place and two Temples became one (collectively) which is now Temple #230.
In 1990 this property (1248 E. Roeser Road, Phoenix, AZ) was purchased. In 1991, the restoration began. The building was without air conditioning, a fellowship hall that would accommodate the Congregation and classrooms. Bishop Ruffin and Members of the Church worked hard to have the edifice ready for the first service, which was held on February 24, 1991 in this building. Then God bestowed another blessing upon us; He enabled us to burn the mortgage on March 10, 1991. Since that time, there has been many additions and improvements made to our edifice. We have built a fellowship hall, added a kitchen, completed the classrooms and parking lot, and improved the Pastor’s office, which now include a computer room. We had added a Secretary’s office that is equipped with the necessary office equipment, and improved the restroom facilities. There are many more additions and improvements that have been made, and a few more than will be made in time.
During the administration of all the Pastors of both Temple #228 and Temple #230, many achievements and accomplishments were made for the edification and beautification of God’s house. There was a re-dedication of the Church after several additional improvements were added to the fellowship hall, bathrooms and sanctuary.
In 2005, the members went through another time of agony when Bishop Ruffin became seriously ill. The Congregation went in prayer for our beloved Pastor and the Lord brought him through. In October, 2005, Bishop Ruffin was lead yet again by the Holy Spirit to telephonic ask Elder Dr. Julian E. Turner, Sr., then Pastor of Temple #343, to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona from California and become the Pastor of Temple #230 starting March, 2006. Elder Turner accepted Bishop Ruffin’s request and in March 2006, Elder Turner and his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona. After relocating, Elder Turner was not given the charge until August 2007 at the 115th National Convention which convened in Birmingham, Alabama. Elder Turner was appointed as Pastor of Temple #230 by Bishop Randy Kelley, Bishop of the 11th District of the Church of the Living God, C.W.F.F.
Pastor Turner’s mission and vision began to be revealed quickly. Under the leadership of Pastor Turner, the membership and finances have increased. Our attendance in Bible Study and Sunday School has also increased. Our future plans include relocating the Membership or purchasing the adjoining property to expand our edifice, and provide services for our community. As of 2010, Pastor Dr. Julian E. Turner, Sr. became Overseer of District 11th Southern Division of the Church of the Living God.
The 11th District in which district we are, consists of the following states: Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, and recently Nevada. The 11th Dioceses was organized by the late Bishop D.V. Warren in 1935. The first church of this district was located in Los Angeles, CA.