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Bishop Felix Lewis and the late Rev. T.A. Sears came to Portland in 1949 to organize the first C.M.E. Church in the Pacific Northwest.  The church was organized February 6, 1949, in the home of Sis. Hattie Spann.  There were 12 charter members, and 25 more people joined the first week of organization.  Some of the charter and original members are named as follows:


  • Bro. Herman Brame

  • Bro. Allen Byrd

  • Bro. Sam Cole

  • Sis. Verena Cole

  • Bro. Kelly Foster

  • Wilfred Hardy

  • Sis. Ester Livingston

  • Bro. Lawrence Maddox

  • Sis. Katie McGee

  • Sis. Lulu Phelps

  • Rev. and Mrs. T.A. Sears

  • Sis. Christelle Shelton

  • Bro. George Shelton

  • Sis. Hattie Spann

  • Sis. Zeola Thompson

  • Bro. Joe Tudmon

  • Sis. Ossie Tudmon

  • Dr. Wheeler

  • Sis. Artie Mae Williams

  • Bro. Leland Williams


At this reading of the history, all of the above are deceased with the exception of Sis. Zeola Thompson.


The Church was named Allen Temple Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in honor of the person who was then the General Secretary of Kingdom Extension, the Reverend J. Claude Allen, who was later elected Bishop and is now deceased.  Reverend T.A. Sears, the first Allen Temple Pastor, finished his pastorate in 1950.  The membership increased to 211 members after one year under his leadership.


Over the next ten years, many changes occurred and several ministers came to Allen Temple. The Rev. L.R. Kibbler came to Portland in 1950 and he pastored the church for three years from 1950 to 1953.  The late Rev. Walter Louis Smith was sent to pastor Allen Temple in August 1953.  He came from Bethel C.M.E. Church, which is currently Curry Temple in Seattle, Washington.  He pastored for seven years and was serving as pastor when the name of the General Church was changed from Colored to Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Rev. Othal Hawthorne Lakey, now Bishop Lakey, came to Allen Temple in 1960. The membership had grown so much by this time, it became necessary to remodel the building at Northeast 9th and Hancock or relocate.  Brother C.C. McCorvey, one of the officers of the church, noticed a church building for sale on Northeast 8th and Skidmore and notified Pastor Lakey.  Rev. Lakey called the membership together, and a few days later they toured the building.  After some discussion, in a lawfully constituted church conference, they decided to purchase the building. They moved into our present church building, located at 4236 N.E. Skidmore, in 1961.  Rev. Lakey pastored until 1962.

The next pastor was Rev. George Carter.  He was assigned in August 1962.  He served at Allen Temple for five years until he passed away in 1967.  He was the first minister to be called home while serving as our Pastor, and the members were deeply grieved.  Rev. James Thornton replaced Rev. Carter, and he pastored from 1967 until 1969.


Our next pastor came at a time when there was much to be done.  Because of the short terms of most of the previous pastors, not many long-range plans could be implemented.  When Rev. Thomas L. Strayhand was assigned pastor in August 1969 following his retirement as a Chaplain Major in the United States Army, the church and parsonage were in need of repairs and there was a need for organization in all areas of the church.  Rev. Strayhand showed great interest in all phases of organization, in all groups and in all ages of people in the church.  Under his leadership four persons answered the call to preach the Gospel.  The house next door to the parsonage was purchased to be used as a Christian Education Building.  Three Bible studies and prayer groups were started, and teachers, officers and members were strengthened by his preaching and teaching.  Rev. Strayhand served for thirteen years as Pastor before he moved to Silver Springs, Maryland to pastor Israel Metropolitan C.M.E. Church in Washington, D.C.  He passed away in 1996 in Long Beach, California.


Rev. Elonzo J. Edwards came to Allen Temple in 1982.  He pastored for three years until 1985.  He was then sent to Los Angeles to pastor at Phillips Temple.  He was responsible for the organization of Stewardess Board No. 3, the food program and the building fund program.  He not only ministered to us in his sermons, but he ministered in song as well.  Rev. Edwards went home to be with the Lord on December 23, 1987.  He will always be remembered for his kindness.


Rev. Phillip Scott Nelson and family arrived in Portland, Oregon in October 1985.  He announced the theme for the year:  Restoration, Revival and Renewal.  The spirit of the church rose like an eagle mounting up on its wings.  Many members were regathered, the sanctuary began to fill and the giving increased.  Whenever we assembled we were reminded that "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."  Pastor Nelson implemented the ministry of discipleship which began with emphasis on prayer and a series of Bible classes called Discovery Classes which were designed to help participants become mature Christians.  Pastor Nelson moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1993 to pastor Faith C.M.E. Church. He served the Allen Temple Church, for eight years.

Our next Pastor, Rev. James E. Smith, Jr., was charged to pastor Allen Temple at the 1992-93 Alaska Pacific Conference.  Under his leadership, Pastor Smith continued to encourage small group leadership with what he called the "Three Point Plan" 1) Prayer, 2) Tithing and 3) Trusting.  In addition, he introduced the Red Letter Study - the words of Jesus Bible Study.  Pastor Smith also encouraged the church to organize in partnership with other local congregations through the Portland Organizing Project (POP).  This organization was developed to encourage the people of the church to get involved in our community and sit at the decision making tables so that they are able to impact our community for justice.  Rev. James E. Smith, Jr. served Allen Temple for three and one-half years and left to become an officer in the United States Army.


Dr. LeRoy Haynes, Jr. was appointed to Allen Temple at the Winter Convocation of 1997 and officially occupied the Pastoral charge in December of 1997.  Dr. Haynes came to Allen Temple as a seasoned pastor with 25 years of experience in the CME Church.  He came with strong teaching credentials as a gifted biblical scholar and Christian theologian having served in the academia world as a professor at Southern University, Huston-Tillotson College and Texas University.  He also brought to us strong administrative skills serving as Associate Executive Director of the greater Dallas Council of Churches and Administrative Assistant to the Retired Senior Bishop of the CME Church, Caesar David Coleman.


Prior to coming to Allen Temple, Dr. Haynes was acclaimed as a noted civil rights activist in the state of Texas.  He served as a youth organizer for Martin Luther King, Jr. Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.C.L.C.); a field organizer for the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (S.N.C.C.) and co-founder of the Black Panther Party (B.P.P.) in Texas.


Dr. Haynes came in running with the theme of "Spiritual Renewal of the Church."  His ministry has focused on three major areas: First, the recapturing of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley's "Revival Spirit."  Wesley's revival spirit emphasized having a personal experience of the Holy Ghost, sanctifying grace and living holy.  Secondly, the training and retraining of officers and members to effectively do ministry.  Third, the development of in-house ministries to nurture disciples, who will then reach out to the community and serve those in need.


A few of the accomplishments of Dr. Haynes’ Administration:


  • Established regular spiritual leadership training for officers and members

  • Established the using of Spiritual gifts during the worship experience

  • Established the Resurrection Drug Abuse Ministry: A national model founded by Dr. Haynes to restore addictive persons, co-dependents and families

  • Established the Intercessory Prayer Warriors Ministry: Prayer Warrior teams pray unceasingly for persons, families, youth, cities and nations

  • Established the expository exegetical method of Bible study (a verse by verse exegetical study of the bible)

  • Established the Young Adult Homeless Ministry (feeding & clothing the homeless on the streets)

  • Purchased a new Church van for the transportation ministry

  • Renovated the Church Sanctuary: Acquired new lights, carpet, fans, pew cushions, etc.

  • Established the Allen Temple Emergency Aid Center (A comprehensive ministry of providing food and clothing to those in need)

  • Established the Allen Temple HIV/AIDS Educational Project (To educate churches and the community on HIV/AIDS)

  • Established Confirmation Classes to affirm our youth's personal decision to receive Christ as Lord and Savior

  • Established a One Church School Partnership Program


For the first time in our church history the Senior Pastor, Dr. Haynes was elevated to the position of being pastor of Allen Temple and Presiding Elder of both Districts in the Alaska Pacific Conference.


In addition, from 1998 to 2005 under Dr. Haynes’ leadership, twenty ministers have answered their call to ministry and have been trained to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Under Dr. Haynes’ leadership from 1998 through 2008, the church has discipled three hundred and fifty new members as well as impacted the City of Portland with its cutting edge outreach ministries.

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