In the early 1920s, Bethel AME and Mt. Calvary Baptist were the only churches in the Mesa, Arizona, area where African-Americans held the position of pastor. These churches consisted of members from the Mesa, Gilbert, and Chandler communities during this time.
Most people had not heard of the Church Of God In Christ when Elder J.W. Taylor (who later became a bishop) began exploring the possibility of establishing a holiness church. He found that the people had a hunger for the types of evangelistic services he conducted. His message became widespread, and people came to the service out of spiritual need and curiosity. Hence, Mesa Church Of God In Christ was organized. Many saints were converted to a life of holiness from various groups and denominations, including members from Bethel AME and Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. The church had a slow, but constant growth, and there were many short-term pastors.
Elder Bennie and Sister Flordia Dansby moved to Mesa from Arkansas. Elder Dansby was self-employed and followed in the footsteps of his father, who was a carpenter. In November 1953, he became pastor and was diligent about building a house for God. He and his wife mortgaged their car to buy materials to build the church. Elder Dansby later changed the name to Holy Temple Church Of God In Christ. Elder Dansby was known as a no-nonsense pastor, who never compromised right for anybody's feelings. He was a solid teacher who never sugar-coated the word of God. He was affectionately noted as being a long-winded speaker and could quote scripture before you could read it. Under his leadership the Lord blessed the church and the membership. His carpentry work is still visible in our existing church building at our property located at 400 North Pima Street. He served faithfully until his illness. He entered the church triumphant in 1986.
Deacon Jerry Boyd was the grandson of Mother Roberta Ford, who was a dedicated supporter at Holy Temple. They both served faithfully under the leadership of Elder Bennie Dansby. Deacon Jerry Boyd was the right-hand man to Elder Dansby. He later became Minister Jerry Dansby and served as the assistant pastor for two years prior to the homegoing of Elder Bennie Dansby.
Minister Jerry Boyd was ordained an elder in May 1986 and was officially installed as pastor of Holy Temple Church Of God In Christ by the late Bishop Felton King, Arizona Jurisdictional Prelate. This double installation was a first in the Arizona Jurisdiction. The church continued to flourish under the leadership of Pastor Boyd. Major improvements and remodeling, which had been started by Elder Bennie Dansby, were completed during Pastor Boyd's tenure as leader. Also under his leadership, the Holy Temple family was recognized throughout the Jurisdiction as one who fosters unity among the brethren. Pastor Boyd entered the church triumphant on January 10, 2004.
The legacy continues. In April 2004, Elder Gregory L. Dansby was appointed and officially installed as pastor of Holy Temple by the late Bishop LeRoy Robert Anderson, Arizona Jurisdictional Prelate and General Board Member. Elder Dansby has been an active part of Holy Temple all of his life. He has held and currently holds various positions on a local, district, and jurisdictional level. He is a profound and anointed preacher and teacher of God's Word. He is a man of integrity and wisdom, and he has a heart for the people of God.
We praise God for the vision that he has imparted to our leaders, Pastor Greg and Elect Lady Acquanetta Dansby. They are leaders who lead by precept and example.
Holy Temple received numerous prophetic proclamations from profound men and women of God that expansion and growth was God's plan for our church. The membership grew. Our building would no longer house the saints. Preparations were made to move to another location less than 1/2 mile away. Sunday, October 3, 2010, God manifested His Glory through the vision of our leaders and prayers of the saints. We held our first worship service in our new but temporary facility located at 308 E. University Dr. in Mesa, Arizona.
We solicit your prayers as we endeavor to continue in the assignment that God has given us for this part of His vineyard. God is doing some awesome things at Holy Temple Church Of God In Christ, Where the Spirit of the Lord Is! We give him glory, honor and all praise!