Grace Temple - Church History
Bishop S.P. Rawlings, Chief Apostle of the House of God, Inc., had a vision for another church in the city of Louisville. The last assembly had faltered around 1959 when Mother Kenimore had become aged. He would comment that Louisville was a wicked city, so it was in need of the preservation offered by bible adhering, Sabbath observing, Holy Ghost filled community of believers.
In 1979 that door was opened when Isham S. Cordery, a recent graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Simon Peter Mabson and Oyama Barker came to him with a request to start a mission in the city. He listened intently and then gave his answer; an emphatic No! He felt that Brother Peter would be better suited to pastoring once he found a good wife.
He did, however, indicate that he had a young Elder who had inquired about reaching outside of Lexington, KY and starting Sabbath Schools. He was willing to send him to Louisville to be our Shepherd.
Elder William C.M. Mabson, along with his wife and children began commuting to Louisville for worship and instruction. We would meet initially in a $7.00 room at the YMCA before moving to Liberty Tabernacle, where Pastor R.C. Watts and members graciously opened their doors to us.
Elder Mabson was well learned in the teachings of Bishop Rawlings and was conscientious to answer the questions of this new church with biblically supported answers. Under his leadership and pastoral direction souls were added, and those souls became the pillars and foundation of the church’s membership. He served the Mission well. Laying a foundation of biblical instruction that sustains the church even unto today.
In December 1982 Elder Mabson was recalled to Lexington, KY. Bishop Rawlings asked the Deacon of the Church to hold the church together until the Annual Convocation in August of 1983. Not knowing what to call him, he provided credentials to Deacon Cordery, not as Pastor, but as Caretaker.
The few Saints that were the House of God Louisville, KY gathered themselves together and drove to Chicago that August to see who their new pastor would be. When all the pastoral credentials had been delivered and no mention of Louisville had been made, Lady Anna Cary sent a note to Bishop Rawlings. He simply replied, “You don’t want anyone else in Louisville, if I sent someone else there would be so much hell down there.” That year the credentials read “Steward”. That must have been an elevation from caretaker.
In 1986 the Assembly purchased it's first edifice at 1471 Dixie Highway. It was in need of repair and the Saints would lend their time and what little money they had to God’s house.
In 1994 we were approached by developers hoping to buy our property along with 15 others. We saw it as an opportunity to grow and find a better facility. After worshipping at a rented building at the corner of 21st & Market, God opened the door for the current church edifice. With the sale of the Dixie Highway building, God not only returned the original purchase price but allowed us to purchase the current building for a cash payment. God is truly awesome. We have been at the current location since 1996.
In October, 2006 the Louisville Temple was disassociated from the House of God. With the passing of Bishop S.P. Rawlings and then his successor Bishop F.C. Scott, there had been a dramatic shift in doctrine which was no longer consistent with the teaching of Bishop S.P. Rawlings. Directionally, it was away from God and more toward the world. It had become a very uncomfortable association for our assembly. For a few years we were on our own. Though not alone, because of the many friends and Pastors who continued to support the church's mission. It was the beginning of Grace Temple Church which was incorporated in the State of Kentucky.
In 2010 our Pastor, Bishop I.S. Cordery, was approached by Pastor Diann Roundtree, the former wife of Elder Mabson, and Pastor of Living Waters House of God in Lexington. She had sacrificed so greatly while they pastored here. She suggested we unite the two churches. This was the beginning of the Grace Temple Fellowship of Churches with assemblies in 3 states and growing. The mission of GTFOC is to help strengthen and encourage disconnected churches by providing needed materials and fellowship while empowering pastors to lead their assemblies.