CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD (C.W.F.F.) Temple N0. 1
Church of the Living God C.W.F.F. , Temple #1 had a rather unique beginning. In 1919, this small temple pastored by Rev. Davis, was host to the National Assembly. At this Convention, Chief Christian was appointed pastor, and Rev. Davis as Assistant minister. Later, Rev. Christian had all the small temples in St. Louis consolidate into one.
In 1920, Rev. Davis found the site at 913 N. Garrison Avenue, and made the down payment. The temple progressed financially and numerically. Chief Christian, being greatly impressed, realized the advantage of the geographical location and moved the headquarters to 913 N. Garrison. Here, Chief Christian pastored, until death claimed him on April 11, 1928.
Former pastors of this temple were: Bishop E. T. Webb, L. W. Gipson. Bishop W. D. Starnes began his pastorate in 1935, and pastored for 13 years. Rev. J. A. Mosley pastored for 10 years. In 1958, Rev. James Ayers became pastor and served for 14 years. In 1970, Rev. Basil Stone became pastor of Temple No. 1 and served for 17 years. In 1987 Bishop S. E. Shannon became the pastor of Temple #1. Later moving to 1610 S. Florissant Road, Cool Valley, Missouri where he pastored until Rev. Darrell Davis began his pastoral leadership. Elder Davis served for 10 years.
CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD (C.W.F.F.) Temple N0. 29
Church of the Living God C.W.F.F., (Christian Workers for Fellowship) was organized in May, 1889 in Wrightsville, Arkansas by Revered William Christian. Church of the Living God is a non denominational and nonsectarian organization.
The Church of the Living God, Temple #29 of Richmond Heights, Missouri started in a tent on Eager Road in 1914. Evening services were held in the home of the late brother and sister James Eddings. Through the blessings of God, the church moved into a small building at 8021 Dale Ave. A few years later, the members of Temple #29 gained ownership over the facility.
During the civil rights movement, the Church of the Living God Temple #29, served as a meeting place for peaceful demonstrators who fought for the rights of the integration of blacks in the Maplewood Richmond Heights school district. Sadly, the building was destroyed by fire. However, with God as their guide and under the leadership of the late Revered J.C. Hopkins and many dear friends, the building was rebuilt within a two year span.
Years following, the church relocated across the street at 8016 Dale Ave. on January 1, 1998. Since its move, Church of the Living God Temple #29, has been unshaken and standing strong.
In 2013, Rev. Robert Caruth Jr., was commissioned by the Executive Board and the Chief Bishop of the Church of the Living God, to serve as pastor of temple #1. With about 16 members, he re-established the stability of the church while praying, teaching and reaching out to others in the community. In 2014, with the recommendation of Vice Chief, Bishop Leroy Smith Jr., temple #1 merged with temple #29 of Richmond Heights, Missouri.
The Church of the Living God C.W.F.F. Temple #1 and #29 survived many years because of its foundation upon the solid rock: Jesus Christ. We join in one great chorus of thanksgiving to the Lord for his grace and for the showers of love and blessing he has poured upon his people.
At Caine Creek, under a brush arbor near Wrightville, Arkansas in April 1889, a minister named Rev. William Christian having been pastor of a Baptist church in Ft. Smith, began preaching the doctrine of Jesus Christ as laid down in the Bible. His difference of opinion with Dr. Howe, another Baptist minister, caused him to leave the Baptist church. He intended to begin a work known as Christian’s Friendship Work but through divine revelation and close study of the scriptures lead him to the truth that the church is known as Church of the Living God. The first members were Elder K. C. Adams who became the first National Secretary, Rev. Josh Adams, Rev. Russell Stowe, Wm. Pierce and Tim Jones, a land owner in Wrightsville. Mr. Shackelford, a lawyer in Little Rock, incorporated the church in the state of Arkansas. Rev. John Christian, the brother of Rev. Wm. Christian, was with him in the early work. In 1895 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, a difference of opinion arose that caused them to separate. Both maintained the name of the Church of the Living God, one using Motto C.W.F.F. and the other the pillar and ground of the truth following the name. Only by the use of the motto’ (C.W.F.F.) in parenthesis is the temple identified as a part of the Brotherhood.There have been numerous secessions, but the Church of the Living God Brotherhood organized by Rev. Christian still is the parent body. The organization itself is non-denominational and non-sectarian. It emphasizes believers’ baptism by immersion, the use of water and unleavened bread element in the Lord’s Supper and the washing of saint’s feet which is required only when one unites with the church. The local organizations are known as “Temple” rather than as “Churches” and are subject to the authority of the general assembly. The presiding officer is styled as “chief bishop.” The ministry includes bishops, overseers, evangelists, pastors, missionaries and local preachers.