Amos Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Six Decades of Service
In 1949, Rev. C. H. Carter was moved to start the Riverside Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in Riverside, California. He began to interact with military families, seeking the few Methodist members who were worshipping with other churches. Brother and Sister Percy Crain, Brother and Sister Richard Williams, and Alma Gaston were among the first to begin worshiping together.
For some time, members were few and the mission struggled to stay afloat. Consequently, Rev. Carter was reassigned by the Annual Conference shortly after starting the mission. Rev. Phillip Moore became minister for the CME Mission Church in Riverside. Because of the challenges of Rev. Moore’s pastoral responsibilities to another CME church, along with the increasing need for hands-on leadership, it soon became abundantly clear that in order for the church to grow, a full time minister and leader would be necessary.
In 1951, the right Rev. Felix L. Lewis, Presiding Bishop of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, sent Rev. Levert H. Johnson to organize and establish a mission or “station” church. Rev. Johnson had a difficult task in trying to revive and restore the church. Led by the Holy Spirit, the mission began to function on a regular basis. The small congregation met and had communion on Sundays. They had prayer and fellowship on Wednesday nights. From there, the rented facilities for service from the Seven Day Adventist Church in Riverside for Sunday School and Sunday morning worship. Later, the group met at the Masonic Hall for some time and rented other facilities. Under the guidance and blessing of the Holy Spirit, the church began to grow.
In 1952, Presiding Elder G. I. Hayes suggested that the mission be brought into the Annual Conference and take on the duties and responsibilities of a complete and functioning church body. In 1954 the mission became Amos Temple Colored Methodist Church and was assessed $44.00. An effort to purchase property and erect a sanctuary was made, during Rev. Johnson’s first charge to Amos Temple. However, these efforts would not become a reality until later years. Rev. Johnson was appointed to another church for a period of time. Upon returning to Amos Temple for a second charge, Rev. Johnson and the congregation were able to purchase property under the administration of Presiding Prelate, Bishop Walter H. Amos and Presiding Elder, W. H. Dandridge.
In 1966, Amos Temple Christian Methodist Church, so named in honor of the presiding bishop, the Right Rev. Walter H. Amos to this day, laid a cornerstone at its newly purchased building on the corner of 11th Street and Victoria Boulevard in Riverside. The members listed were Rev. Levert Johnson, Brothers Wilbert June, Richard Williams, Taylor Knowles, Sr., James Daniels and Sister Mary Snowden. Brother Wilbert June is the only remaining member of this group.
This new predominantly African American church quickly became a vital component of the Riverside community. Amos Temple CME Church was one of Riverside’s first “Freedom School” for Black students engaged in the civil rights movement. Amos Temple became intensively involved in community and civic activities that include the Annual Martin Luther King March, African American Historical Society, Riverside County Advisory Committee, and many more over the years.
As a result numerical growth, the capacity to accommodate worship attendance became an issue. In addition, the demographics of the surrounding neighborhood changed considerably fast. For several years, Amos Temple CME Church fostered several ecumenical and business relationships in order to secure suitable places to worship. This proved to be quite challenging for the congregation. However, it would prove the determination, faith and commitment of the members of Amos Temple.
In 2007, under the leadership of Rev. Julio A. Andujo, an exploratory team located and secured a building, sitting on 2.3 acres in the Woodcrest edition of Riverside, California. The new and present home of Amos Temple would be located at 17925 Iris Avenue. The first worship service was held July 2nd of the same year. Amos Temple became a connectional church that experienced phenomenal growth. With a passion for youth and a mission to be a “paradise of praise and prayer to proclaim Christ to the world,” Rev. Andujo led over 300 souls were added to the body of Christ. To God be the glory!
At the beginning of the 2011 conference year, Rev. Marrix Seymore, Sr. was assigned to Amos Temple CME Church. An ambassador of vision, Rev. Seymore immediately began laying the foundations of a “5-star ministry” where excellence in service is the only option. Thus, the mission of “The Temple” continues to be to exalt Jesus Christ through worship, equip believers through teaching and mentoring, evangelize the world through proclamation and missions, edify others through ministry and service, encourage one another through fellowship and encounter God through prayer.
With great expectation and a motto, “A church poised for excellence in ministry”, Amos Temple envisions providing an environment where individuals will come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives; where members will foster a more fruitful relationship with God and mankind; and where our community deems us essential to positively impacting the lives of those that reside within it.
Only God knew that Amos Temple-Riverside, from its humble beginning, until this present day, would become a proving ground for some of the best preachers within the CME connection. A robust cadre of preachers has pastored Amos Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. That cadre includes: Reverends C. H. Carter, Gillian, Phillip Moore, E. b. McNair, Herbert Ward, Graham Fin, Ron Cunningham (eventually 53rd Bishop of the CME Church), Leonard Holt, V. T. Edner, Chester Tollette, James Washington, Raymond Williams, Terry Tapley, Ricky Jones, Julior A. Andujo, Marrix D. Seymore, Sr. , and now Rev D.J. Wesley
To continue to be a place that practices authentic agape love, to make Christian disciples by teaching and executing the ministry and teaching of Jesus, and to evangelize and provide outreach and holistic healing to the people of the Riverside community and surrounding areas
TO grow Amos Temple both spiritually and numerically and to provide empowerment, enlightenment, and encouragement to all members of the Church
–We believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ His son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and buried; The third day He rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From hence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the universal church, the communion of saints, for the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.
...a safe place to encounter god
17925 Iris Ave, Riverside, CA 92508