The History of Bethesda Temple
Bethesda Temple, which means House of Mercy, began in 1935 with a small group of Holy Ghost filled people worshipping at the northeast corner of Goode and North Market in St. Louis, Missouri. After becoming affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., the church was placed under the pastorate of Elder Morris E. Golder of Indianapolis, Indiana. Under his able ministry, Bethesda Temple grew in membership and it became necessary to consider larger facilities for worship.
In February of 1942, the church secured property at 2406 Belle Glade Avenue, a building formerly used respectively as a school and ice cream factory. In 1950, Elder Golder was called to pastor Christ Temple in Indianapolis and Elder James A. Johnson of Detroit, Michigan was officially installed as the new pastor of Bethesda Temple Church.
Bishop Morris E. Golder
Bishop James A. Johnson
God continued to bless this congregation, both numerically and spiritually, so in 1959, a more spacious edifice was purchased at 1217 Union Boulevard. Here, the presence of the Lord was felt in an electrifying way. Many were baptized in Jesus Name and filled with the Holy Ghost. In June of 1964, God saw fit to bless Bethesda Temple with an even larger and more beautiful building, a Jewish synagogue (B’nai El Temple), located at 5574 Delmar Boulevard. Under the capable leadership of Bishop Johnson, the Bethesda Temple family observed the burning of the Delmar mortgage on December 14, 1975.
As the congregation planned to purchase land for the new location, Bishop Johnson called their attention to the fact that, the willing heart shall claim the land.â€ The Bethesda Temple family claimed the land in a victorious fundraising drive, which had a target date of September 23, 1979. The new edifice, dedicated in December 1985, now stands at 5401 Bishop J A Johnson Lane (formerly 5301 Bermuda Drive).
Continuing on with the vision of God, Bishop Johnson encouraged the Bethesda Temple family to join him in "Project Gideon," a building fund endeavor to help finance the "new" wing. As the faithful army of Gideon, many members joined the financial "army" to win the battle. In March of 1996, the "Bishop James A. Johnson Building" was dedicated in a special "Ebenezer" ceremony and again, the pastor, along with its congregation thankfully said, "hitherto hath the Lord helped us!"
The Bethesda Temple Church has faithfully served the St. Louis metropolitan area, as it remains steadfast in its belief that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. May it be known to all, Bethesda Temple continues to be a "saving" station preparing men, women, boys and girls for the ultimate return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, commonly referred to as the "rapture."