Shy Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church History
In 1922, the St. John CME Church was organized by the Rev. J. E. Buggs along with charter members: Mrs. Carrie Taylor, Mrs. Lela Belk and Mrs. McDaniel. Worship services for old St. John were originally held on the corner of Richardson and Fraser streets in the offices of Dr. L. M. Hill, MD.
The first building was later purchased under the leadership of Pastor Bell and Bishop R.S.Wiliams. The congregation included fewer than 30 members when the doors opened in 1924. The building had been purchased from the Presbyterian Mission with the stipulation that a school would be operated on the premises. Mrs. Rosa Davis served as principal of that agreed-upon school. The school was successfully operated for twenty-three years.
The St. John congregation was a proving ground for student-ministries of the CME Church. Heading the list of those who honed their skills at St. John were William Yancey Bell (1818-1962) and Elisha P. Murchison (1907-1992) who later became
Bishops in the CME Church. Other illustrious students included the Rev. Paul Fowlkes and the Rev. Ernest Leach.
As the congregation grew in number, St. John was able to accomplish many things as the church body followed Christ. The Rev. W. R. Jenkins was pastor when the church mortgage was burned.
Despite the achievements, the Fulton County Stadium development brought drastic changes to St. John and to the old Summer Hill neighborhood. St. John and many other churches in the area were forced to move out to make room for the stadium and its facilities.
On March 8, 1968, during a regular meeting of the Sixth Episcopal District held at Holsey Temple CME Church in Atlanta, the leaders of the district voted to support St. John CME in its efforts to find a new location. Finding that there was a building available at 2012 Memorial Drive, the assemblage decided that this would be an ideal location for St. John's ministry. The leaders of the conference endorsed the negotiations and the relocation conference endorsed the negotiations and the relocations bacame a reality on July 9, 1968.
The church was purchased from the Full Gospel Church, Inc. on behalf of St. John. The Rev. W. Clyde Willams, pastor, Mrs. Louise Jones, trustee and Thomas White, treasurer, were the church leaders who participated in the transaction and the church was purchased for the amount of $150,000.
The title to ownership took place on December 8, 1968 and the formal opening service took place on March 9, 1969 with Bishops Peter Randolph Shy and Elisha P. Murchison delivering the opening sermons.
The pastors who have served Shy Temple CME include:
Rev. W. Clyde Williams, Rev. Jerry Poole, Rev. H.W. Wilson,
Rev. Roland Long, Rev. E. T. Ashmore, Rev. J. Ronzell Maness,
Rev. Roy L. Williams, Rev. J. Bernard Kynes, Rev. Lewis W. Jay,
Rev. Cedric Allen, Dr. E. D. Hooks, Rev. Lamont Johnson, Rev. Leon C. Moore,
and our current pastor James Clements.