|Pastor/Founder, Bishop Lorenzo L. Kelly - First Lady Mrs. Evelyn A. Kelly|
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THE HISTORY OF OUR CHURCH BUILDING: The first church to be organized in Rapid City was the Congregational formed in January 1879. They occupied the location 715 Kansas City Street. The first church building was dedicated in May 1883. The church became self-supporting in 1886, and for many years was the only self-supporting church in the Black Hills. On December 15, 1914 the beautiful and up-to-date church building costing $22,000, was dedicated. Faith Temple Church bought the building February 27, 1984 for $109,500.00. It was scheduled to be paid off on March 1, 1994. Because the people had "a mind to work" and with the help of the Lord., the members at the time paid off the mortgage on November 5, 1990. The building has served its occupants well and remains a beautiful sanctuary.
The heritage of Faith Temple Church of God in Christ is rich and full. Its ministry reaches the very heart of the Rapid City, South Dakota community. Faith Temple church, located in the center of downtown, reaches out to meet the many needs of the people. The church’s mission is to touch the core of humanity with the gospel, truth and compassion of Jesus Christ our Lord.
In November 1981, Sister Barnetta Pearson contacted Bishop Carlis L. Moody, President of Home and Foreign Missions for the Church of God in Christ. Sister Pearson told Bishop Moody of the need for a pastor to begin a Church of God in Christ work in the Rapid City area. Sister Pearson’s call and timing was perfect as Bishop Moody’s mandate was to develop mission-based ministries in the midwestern states. In January 1982, Bishop Moody sent Elder Lorenzo L. Kelly to investigate the needs and during that visit, he spoke at the Ellsworth Air Force Base Chapel.
At the request of several people, Bishop Kelly returned to Rapid City at the end of May 1982 to conduct a weeklong nightly revival service. These services brought many souls to salvation, as well as healing and deliverance to others. Sister Kelly flew to Rapid City on the weekend of this mighty revival. After meeting the people, God witnessed in her spirit the great need for a ministry to be started. They returned to Evanston together, convinced of their calling to Rapid City. They met immediately with Bishop and Sister Moody to share the call.
Bishop Moody accompanied Kelly to Rapid City in mid-June and, after meeting and talking with the future potential parishioners; he acknowledged the need for a mission ministry to be started there. However, he was protectively hesitant to allow Kelly to quit his banking career and begin a ministry without first counting up all the costs. Moody suggested a number of options, among them, the possibility of commuting back and forth from Evanston to Rapid City, say twice a month. Kelly strongly felt that with God’s call upon their lives to go, that God would open the doors and make the way out of no way! He couldn't’t see that a part time ministry would work out for him and the family. It was all or nothing! Thus, he returned to Rapid City on July 29, 1982. On August 1, 1982, the inception of Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, Rapid City, South Dakota began. On October 16, 1982 Bishop Kelly was officially installed, as the Pastor. In February 1984, God blessed them to raise the amount of money needed for a down payment and they purchased the building at 715 Kansas City Street -- they moved in on March 4, 1984. Praise God, the long-term mortgage was paid in full in six and a half years!
In November 1990, a prestigious promotion was bestowed upon Kelly. He was promoted from “Elder” to the office of the “Bishop” of the State of South Dakota for the Church of God in Christ. Bishop C. H. Ford, who was the current Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, at that time, saw fit to reward the sacrifice and dedication of Kelly. As a bishop, Kelly has established four other churches in South Dakota (Box Elder, Hot Springs and Sioux Falls). At this time, only two of the five churches have been able to continue. One is struggling in infantry but still alive in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Over the years, Bishop Lorenzo Kelly and the entire Faith Temple Church family has become known in Rapid City. It is a church that freely serves, a people who unselfishly loves, and a ministry that generously gives to those in need. With the help of God, we have done so and continue to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, provide money for those facing destitute situations, and visit those in jail, prisons and nursing homes. Bishop Kelly is a friend to many of the judges and is often called upon to counsel them regarding a sentencing decision. He is acquainted and has friendships with many of the fathers of the Rapid City community and has a good name. He is highly regarded and Faith Temple Church has a good name. A church that loves to praise the Lord and that crosses all boundaries, including racial, economic and age.