Greater Refuge Temple Church

Greater Refuge Temple Church

Greater Refuge Temple, with a membership of 5000+ members, is the flagship of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith (COOLJC) organization with more than 700 churches worldwide on three continents (33 countries); and with an estimated membership in the hundreds of thousands. Greater Refuge Temple is not only Mother Church to COOLJC, but also to numerous other Apostolic organizations worldwide. It is located at 2081 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in New York City.

The inception of the Greater Refuge Temple Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ was in the year 1919. Bishop Lawson, then Elder Lawson, was invited to a prayer meeting in a basement in the 40th Street area of New York City. So energetic was his service to the Lord that his fame spread abroad and reached the ears of Mr. and Mrs. James Burleigh and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Anderson. These two blessed couples opened their homes to Elder Lawson. Even today, their homes are affectionately thought of as the “Cradle of Refuge.”

The congregation grew quickly. Within a short period of time, approximately 200 members had been added to the church. Thus, larger quarters had to be sought to accommodate the growing ministry. Bishop Lawson purchased the site at 52-54-56 West 133rd Street and relocated his thriving church which he called the Refuge Church. It was here that his vision was enlarged and the Lord laid upon his heart to conduct a tent revival service. Great numbers were added to the church through this outreach.

As the work continued to grow, the quarters on 133rd Street became inadequate to house the rapidly increasing congregation. Bishop Lawson relocated the church to the present site of 124th Street and 7th Avenue (now: Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Boulevard) in August 1945. This edifice is known as the “Mother Church” (Headquarters) of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In two short years, the indebtedness of the church was lifted, and on Christmas Day, 1947, the mortgage was burned. This church was known as Refuge Temple.

After the passing of Bishop Robert C.Lawson in 1961, Bishop William L. Bonner went to New York, where he became the pastor of the Mother Church. Upon arriving and seeing the need, he set about the remodeling of Refuge Temple. The Mother Church, headquarters of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is now known as the Greater Refuge Temple. This ultra-modern edifice has changed the face of 7th Avenue and is undisputedly one of the most modern structures in Harlem. It has a total seating capacity of three thousand, with thirty-six conference and meeting rooms, fully furnished in modern décor. Bishop Lawson challenged us to: “ADD THOU TO IT,” and Bishop Bonner answered the challenge with a new forward thrust and vision for souls and expansion of the work.

The history of the Greater Refuge Temple Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ is a grand and glorious one, a chronicle that will take its place in the annals of time.

External links

* [http://www.greaterrefugetemple.org Refuge Temple COOLJC New York, NY]
* [http://www.cooljc.org Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ]


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