Gospel Temple CHURCH
On October 23, 1949, the Saint Paul Gospel Temple Church was organized and began holding services at 334 North Milton Street. The humble mission grew rapidly and quickly outgrew its sanctuary. In 1951, the congregation moved into its present location at 247 North Grotto, later renamed 247 Rev. Walter L. Battle Street. This church was formerly occupied by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In the way of evangelizing the Saint Paul area, in 1965, Gospel Temple Church purchased its first school bus. The Saint Paul Gospel Temple continued to grow by leaps and bounds.
Focused on service and teaching, today Gospel Temple Church is one of the leading African-American churches in the Twin Cities. Gospel Temple Ministries has been the source of inspiration for several leaders to branch out and begin their ministry. In total, more than 13 churches have grown out of Gospel Temple Church. For 70 years, Gospel Temple has helped the Twin Cities community with spiritual renewal, growth, upliftment, and dedication, and continues to be a pillar for those in need of strength, guidance, and encouragement.
(l-r) Rev. Battle stands outside the original church building; church members from in 1950;
Gospel Temple circa 1950; the current church building
GospeL Temple Founders:
Rev. Walter L. Battle & Dr. Willa Grant Battle
Rev. Walter L. Battle and Dr. Wila Grant Battle,
co-founders of Gospel Temple Church
Reverend Walter L. Battle was born July 1, 1921, in Battle, Mississippi. He was converted at an early age as a Christian in 1933 and baptized by water. In 1938, he was baptized with the Holy Spirit. This experience is the essence of all his activities.
Reverend Battle married Willa Lee Grant on July 4, 1941. He was later drafted into the armed forces and served in World War II, where he eventually served as Chaplain, NCO. Reverend Battle was licensed as a minister in 1944 by Bishop S.M. Crouch in Los Angeles, Calif., and was ordained as a minister by Bishop B.S. Lyle in 1945 in Lexington, Mississippi.
In 1946, Reverend Battle moved to Minnesota and entered North Central Bible College in 1947, and graduated with a degree in Theology in 1950. During his matriculation at North Central Bible College, he founded the Gospel Temple Church of God in Christ. Reverend Battle has also earned an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities received from President Duvalier of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1965 for outstanding mission work; an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College in Philadelphia and Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Payne Academy in Jackson, Mississippi.
Reverend Battle's mission was simple; that his faithfulness in the Lord that he awakened within us all, be passed on to others. That we treat our brothers and sisters equally with respect, regardless of status. A true soldier of the cross, he served the Lord and community with an unswerving commitment that will resonate throughout the world for generations to come.