WHERE IT ALL BEGAN...
It all began in February 1910. Pastors, W.H. Branson and E.W. Webster pitched a tent at the corner of NE 1st Avenue and 8th Street to conduct the first Seventh-day Adventist evangelistic meetings ever held in Miami. The meetings were quite successful and resulted in the organization of the Miami Temple Church on August 13, 1910. Pastor Branson went on to serve in India as a pioneer missionary before becoming the President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
The first physical building of the Miami Temple church was built between 1911 and 1912 on the corner of the NW 8th Street and Miami Avenue. Ms. Grady Lee taught school in a tent behind the church. By 1923, the church had 170 members and the school had its own building. In 1925, under Dr. John Black’s leadership, the property was sold and immediate construction started at 862 SW 4th Street with occupancy in 1926. In 1952, a group of Temple members, under the leadership of Pastor W.O. Reynolds, laid the ground work for Hialeah Hospital.
Miami Temple remained at the SW 4th street location until August 1972 when the neighborhood, now known as Little Havana, became predominantly Spanish speaking. Work among Miami’s Spanish-speaking population was successful and saw the creation of the Miami Central SDA Church. We sold the building to the new Spanish-speaking congregation and relocation plans were made so that Miami Temple could continue to reach to the English-speaking population.
Under the dedicated leadership of Pastor Walter Haase, 5 acres of land were bought in Westchester, on the corner of the SW 44th Street and 92nd Avenue for the location of the new building. During construction, Miami Temple’s services were held between the Central Bible Church on Galloway and SW 16th Street and the Riviera Presbyterian Church in Coral Gables. Finally, on May 10, 1975 we had our first Sabbath Service at our current location. In 1992, under the leadership of pastor Ralph Ringer, new classrooms and staff offices were added just before Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida.
Miami Temple has made a big impact in reaching people for Jesus in South Florida. Starting as a small organized cell of 20 charter members, today Miami Temple is a large and active church with members from over 70 nations. Miami Temple has birthed and planted numerous vibrant, productive congregations. Among them are over two dozen English, French, Spanish and Portuguese speaking churches all over the Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
That original school that began in a tent behind the church with just one teacher and 20 students has become the Greater Miami Adventist Academy with more than 400 students and a staff of dozens of dedicated professionals providing Christian education for our children.
Though we came from humble beginnings, Miami Temple is now a thriving Christian church in Miami, not just as the mother of many churches, but as a beacon of hope and encouragement for our community.
Indeed, We Are Miami Temple and we are here grow with you and transform the world!