Pentecostal Temple Church Of God In Christ, Inc.
The rich history of Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ is intertwined in the lives of its dedicated leaders and pioneers. The Board of County Commissioners in the County of Clark, State of Nevada executed the trustee sale of Lot's, seven and eight in block 19. On August 5, 1939 these two lost were purchased for $36.49 and deeded to the Church of God in Christ. The affidavit was recorded by Bishop Clyde Carson Cox.
From the founder’s point of view, the Lord had called him into work with great religious potentials and on December 2, 1941, Elder Clyde Carson and Thelma Cox arrived by train in Las Vegas, Nevada. Upon stepping off of the train to begin pastorate which was to last 27 years and two months, Elder Cox said mud covered his shoes to his ankles, and the Lord spoke to him and said, “This is your inheritance, this desert shall blossom as a rose”.
Elder and Sister Cox found the six members, Brother and Mother Russell, Elder and Mother P.J. Sherman, Sister Mary Burdene and Brother Harvey Jones who worshipped in a building partially constructed of cardboard. Elder and Sister Cox were determined to stick it out and see what the Lord would do. Bishop Cox recalled that when they came to Las Vegas, there were only about 300 minority residents with one six children.
Overseer Cox aggressively engaged in ministry with the six members. Although poor housing, inadequate sanitation and other less tangible drawbacks were contested as inevitable consequences of living in the Las Vegas desert in the early 1940’s, from these beginnings, Overseer Cox built his first brick church. Men from the congregation dug a trench from Adam Avenue to Madison Avenue to supply water to the new building that was completed in 1943. In the early 1950’s the church had gained support and the second brick building with greater dynamics and art in its form was built and named Upper Room Church of God in Christ.
Many people migrated to Las Vegas, Nevada and were saved under the dynamic ministry of Overseer Cox. He became the first unofficial mailman to the community with his commitment to walk to the post office to pick up the mail. The residents from the area would come to the parsonage to retrieve their mail.
The Church of God in Christ was not without struggles and faced loosing lots to seven and eight. Bishop Clyde C. Cox and trustees of the Church of God in Christ petitioned the Eight Judicial District count of the State of Nevada for authority to execute Mortgage or Deed of Trust on the property. Between the years 1958 to 1965 lot's seven and eight had to be mortgaged three different times: March 17, 1958 and loan was obtained through Holland Realty Investment Co., Inc. for $10,000.00 for the purpose of enlarging the church. January 14, 1962, a loan for $12,000.00 was secured from Bank of Nevada to improve the sanctuary, the loan was paid within 5 ½ years, at $220.00 per month. January 18, 1965 a loan from the Bank of Nevada for the sum of $11,000.00 for the purpose of providing air conditioning and building repairs for the Church. Bishop Clyde Carson Cox deceased February 10, 1969.
The General Board of the Church of God in Christ appointed Bishop E. N. Webb as Jurisdictional Prelate in 1969. During that year Bishop Webb decided to relocate from Reno, Nevada to Las Vegas, Nevada to become the Pastor of Upper room Church of God in Christ. Bishop Webb remodeled the front balcony, remodeled the kitchen and dining room, and added an office for the State Supervisor, Mother S. A. Porter. In addition, he remodeled the pastor’s office and moved the location. Honoring the work and sacrifice of the founder, as a memorial to Bishop Cox, the Church was renamed Cox Upper Room Church of God in Christ.
Tragedy struck in September 1976 when a fire, caused by arson, gutted the sanctuary of Cox Upper Room Church, destroying the works of both Bishop Cox and Bishop Webb. The new sanctuary was completed and dedicated in 1977 with a seating capacity of approximately 750. During the dedication, the Church was renamed Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ.
The purchase of the land located at 609 Madison Avenue, the present location of the church expanding was a blessing brought about through Bishop Webb giving Elder Leon Smith the commission to contact and negotiate with the heirs of Leanna Smith. Through this effort, Pentecostal Temple expanded the sanctuary to 128 feet long, 83 feet wide and 80 feet high with seating capacity of 1,200. Building began in June 1991 and completed July 1993. Spanish Gothic is fairly preserved thought the interiors with tow balconies. Bishop E. N. Webb went from labor to reward and on August 14, 1993, he will be remembered as a builder.
January 7, 1994, Elder Leon Smith Sr. became the newly appointed pastor Pentecostal Temple after the election of the member of the church. The presiding Bishop L.H. Ford of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. and Bishop Carruth Hall signed the pastoral appointment certificate to assure that the appointment was sanction by the Church of God in Christ, Inc., World Headquarters.
Administrative Assistant Leon Smith was determined to pay the debt of approximately $100,000.00 to the widow of Bishop Webb. In 1994 the loan was paid in full in addition to granting widow survival pay for Mother Mattie Webb and Mother Thelma Cox until their deaths.
The construction of Pentecostal Temple Child Development Center began Jun 2001 and was completed September 2001 at a cost of $385,000.00. In the year 2010 an additional cost of $130,000.00 to the renovation of the childcare to include infant care.
Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ renovated the sanctuary by recovering the pews, adding a new PA system, Video system with silver screen 8’ x 15, and a new carpet. Presently the kitchen is being remodeled to become a full commercial kitchen with concrete flooring in the kitchen and dining area to include attractive tile.