history of christ temple baptist church

est. 1950

history of christ temple baptist church

Christ Temple Baptist Church was the vision of a small group of Christians in 1950. The first church was located at 7 Washington Street in the city of Paterson. The mother of the church, Mother Lucy Watkins, recruited our founding pastor Rev. Freddie Roberson. Rev. Roberson preached his first sermon on December 3, 1950. He called a meeting on March 3, 1951 to discuss the formation of Christ Temple Baptist Church.

The City of Paterson issued Christ Temple their incorporation and charter on March 30, 1951. After the official filing on April 2, 1951, the church relocated to 96 Water Street. Pastor Roberson and First Lady Roberson began to grow the ministry, including the formation of the Deacons, Trustees, Deaconess, Missionaries, Choirs, Ushers and many more.

As the congregation continued to grow, the church relocated on October 21, 1962 to 52-54 North 1st Street. They were able to worship and serve the Lord for twelve years. Blessed abundantly, they outgrew this location. The congregation marched from North 1st Street to our current location at 36-38 Hopper Street. Through their faithfulness, Pastor Roberson and congregation was able to burn the church mortgage 10 years later in 1984.

Rev. Roberson served the church faithfully for 37 years until God called him home on February 6, 1988. In March of 1989, the congregation selected Dr. Gregory C. Turner to succeed our founding pastor. Pastor Turner, First Lady Denise Turner, and family were welcomed into the church.

Pastor Turner served for over 26 years and was able to expand the ministries even further. During his leadership, he established the senior, media, social service ministries to name a few. He licensed his first female preacher and elected female trustees, recognizing the work of the women in ministry. He served the congregation until God called him from labor to reward on November 22, 2015. Church leadership appointed one of our associate ministers, Rev. Brian Collins as interim pastor to lead the church.

On December 11, 2017 the church voted and elected Rev. Dr. Weldon McWilliams IV in as pastor. In May 2018 he was installed as our next servant leader of the congregation.

Unfortunately, on February 27, 2019 the church suffered great damage due to a fire at the parsonage. The congregation was displaced for 8 months and held worship services at John F. Kennedy High School. Everyone was able to witness the power of trusting God as we marched back into sanctuary on Sunday, September 29, 2019.

Pastor McWilliams was able to grow the ministry even greater. He established initiatives to feed the homeless, mid-week prayer calls, and community outreach. On January 12, 2020 Pastor licensed Felicia McCubbin to preach the gospel. Since then, he has expanded his ministerial staff to include Rev. Dr. Kay Banks and Rev. LáNette Pennington.

In March of 2020 the world paused as a result of a global pandemic. Through the grace of GOD, Christ Temple was able to endure. During that time, church leadership was able to still provide access to Sunday Morning Worship, Bible Study, Prayer Calls and Sunday School through the use of several social media platforms.

Through his leadership, wisdom and spiritual guidance, Pastor McWilliams recognized the need for growth within the deacon board. In October of 2022 Daniel Porcher was ordained as a Deacon. In October of 2023, Christ Temple was blessed with the ordination of five additional deacons Waverly Brooks, Anthony Matthewson, Regina Evans-Chambers, Mildred Knighton and Julia Richardson. This was a monumental occasion as it was the first time in the church’s history that any woman was ordained to the office of deacon.

In 2022, Pastor McWilliams, announced the launching of CTBC Children’s Church in order to reach the minds and souls of the church’s youth. The first Children’s Church service occurred on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Every second Sunday of the month Children’s Church takes place and our youth look forward to coming together to learn about Christ in a youth-centered way. As a means to further cultivate the spiritual growth of the youth, the CTBC youth choir and Youth Praise Dance ministry were re-established in 2023. In an effort to teach our youth about the value and power of prayer, a youth prayer line for children ages 5-18 every first Friday of the month has also been established.

The Church has been a blessing to the surrounding community through our regular food donation, Thanksgiving Meal Boxes, Christmas Toy Drives and much much more. We are still trusting and believing GOD and we know that GOD blesses us to be a blessing to others. Prayer and faithful members have allowed the church to provide ministry to the community by distributing Easter baskets, back to school supplies, Thanksgiving baskets, and a big toy drive.

The congregation has continued to stand on GOD’s word. We live by the hymn “We’ve Come This Far by Faith” and remain faithful to GOD and ready to receive GOD’s blessings."

EST. 1951

church founders

(Pictured Left to Right) Founding Pastor Rev. Freddie Roberson and Co-Founder Mother Watkins.

view first christ temple baptist church meeting minuteslist of first 25 christ temple baptist church members
first locations

Shortly after beginning as a mission, the newly chartered Christ Temple Baptist Church expanded to 96 Water Street, Paterson, N.J. The Water St. location organized the first church groups and boards including the Deacon and Deaconess Boards, Trustee Board and Senior and Junior Choirs.

The expanding membership of Christ Temple Baptist Church prompted another move in 1962 to 52-54 N 1st St. This became the second active home of the church.

96 water street

96 Water Street

52-54 N 1st street

52-54 N 1st Street

First Officers and auxiliaries

historical collage

history of pastors

Rev Freddie Roberson

Rev. Freddie Roberson was born June 1, 1909 in Augusta, GA to the late Joe and Veinder Lee Roberson. An ambassador to the Christian ministry for 35 years, Freddie Roberson was raised in Edgefield, SC. He was converted, baptized and joined the Hosanna Baptist Church of Edgefield, SC. The family later moved to Newark, NJ, then settled in Paterson, N.J. He was married November 1934 to Bessie Roberson. To this union one son was born, Ernest.

Rev. Roberson joined the Union Baptist Church, Passaic, NJ under the leadership of the late Rev. T.H. Alexander. He was president of the Sr. Choir, Church Deacon, and church clerk. He also sang with the Pilgrim Jubilee Gospel singers.

He was called into the ministry in 1950. He was founder of the Storefront Mission Church in 1951. In the year 1952, the mission moved to Water St., Paterson, NJ and was renamed Christ Temple Baptist Church, where he was ordained. As God blessed with additional members they relocated to North First Street. God was continuously blessing the ministry and membership grew. Pastor Roberson saw the vision for a larger edifice. He then moved his congregation to its present location.

Rev. Roberson was also involved in many religious activities. He was 1st Vice Moderator of the Shiloh Baptist Association. Past President of the Paterson Pastor's Workshop, Devotional Chairman of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Newark and Vicinity, Chairman of Foreign Mission Shiloh Baptist Association, member of the Hampton University Ministers Conference, General Baptist State Convention, National Baptist Convention and N.A.A.C.P.

Rev. Roberson has been an inspiration to his home, church, and community. His ministry and teaching has been a definite reality in our times leaving a great impact upon the lives of those who knew him. A prince of preachers, counselor extraordinaire, preacher's preacher, master teacher, and a pastor's pastor, but most of all a Saint of the Most High God.

rev dr. gregory c. turner

Dr. Gregory C. Turner was a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He was the son of the late Rev. Dr. Stuart C. and the late Evetta B. Turner. He was married to Denyse Haynes-Turner, and to this marriage, God blessed Dr. and Mrs. Turner with two lovely children, daughter, Shaunda Carlise and·son Sean Darnell-Carlton, daughter-in-law, Judia Nicole, granddaughter, Dominque S. T. Turner, and grandson, Sean J. C. Turner.

At an early age, he was converted and received Christ as his Personal Savior under the Pastorate of his father Dr. Stuart C. Turner. In 1974 he was licensed to preach and was ordained in 1975.

Dr. Turner was a refined, finished product of the Baltimore City Public Schools. He matriculated through the maze of academic and scholastic achievement at the following institutions:

  • Baltimore City College
  • Baltimore School of the Bible
  • Wilbur Waters School of Religion
  • The Virginia Seminary Extension School
  • National Theological Seminary and College
Rev Turner and First Lady Turner

Always recognizing that ninety-nine and one half would not do, he sought to reach one hundred, and sought to maximize the fullness of his potential. That which God had manifested in him, had assisted him in obtaining the following:

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion
  • Master of Divinity Degree
  • Doctor of Divinity (Honorary)

Through his commitment to improve the quality of life for all mankind, Dr. Turner had been involved as a church and community leader, and a civil rights activist. He received numerous civic awards for his accomplishments and was affiliated with several organizations. He has served the Paterson N.A.A.C.P. as an Executive Board Member, The Shiloh Baptist Association as General Secretary, Treasurer for the Congress of National Black Churches Paterson New Jersey Affiliate, The African American Political Action Committee as Convener and Chairperson, Hampton University Ministries Conference Executive Board, and The Association for Sickle Cell Services Education Research and Treatment Executive Board. Past affiliations included The Paterson Pastors Workshop, Chaplain for the African American Law Enforcement Association, Chaplain for the City of Paterson Fire Department, Chairperson and Executive Board Member for the Mayor's Task Force on Crime and Drugs, Baptist Ministers Conference Newark and Vicinity, Metropolitan Ecumenical Ministries, National Council of Churches, New Jersey Council of Churches, a participating Pastor of the National Baptist Convention, USA., Inc. and Executive Board Member for the Hampton University Ministers Conference. Dr. Turner had served as guest lecturer at various institutions of higher education including the Passaic County Community College and the University of Medicine and Dentistry, Newark, New Jersey.

Under the leadership of Dr. Turner, Christ Temple had been successful with the development of outreach ministries. These ministries extended the work beyond the church out into the community. Dr. Turner had inspired his church to minister to the spiritual as well as the physical needs of the unchurched.