The History of Temple Baptist Church

     The early years of Franklin and Allene Wood’s marriage and ministry took them to several different areas of the United States, however, they always longed to start a church back home in Tennessee. Rev. Franklin, had previously served as Pastor of Central Baptist Church in Sulphur Springs, Texas and helped start new churches in both Virginia and Texas, however, he had been earnestly praying for the Lord to use them in a mighty way to start a church in the state of Tennessee. He discussed this endeavor with his former pastor, Dr. G.B. Vick of Temple Baptist Church in Detroit Michigan. Local community members in Milan, who were hungry for the more-free style method of preaching of an Independent Baptist minister wrote to Bro. Vick, asking him to send a couple who would be willing to come to the area to start an Independent Baptist church here in Milan, Tn. In June, 1963, Dr. Vick wrote Bro. Wood to say, “I am enclosing a letter from one of our fine couples who have moved to Milan, Tn. who are very anxious to get an Independent Baptist Church started there. This came such a short time after you talked to me about this situation so I thought it might be the Lord giving you the opportunity you had been seeking.” Believing that the Holy Spirit was leading him, Bro. Wood came to Milan on August 5th, 1963. The opportunity they had been praying for was finally here and the Wood family accepted the invitation to start what is now Temple Baptist church here in Milan, Tn. The new church start was not without its own opposition. When approached, none of the local banks were willing to help with funding of a new church because the Independent movement was thought to be a fad and would never last in this area. However, finding a number of people interested in starting a new Independent Baptist Church and also finding property available with a building adequate to serve as a church, he purchased it and returned to Texas. Once there he resigned his church in Sulphur Springs and came back to Milan in September 1963. Thank goodness, the banks were very wrong! “The Lord just worked the whole thing out,” stated Mrs. Wood. The Ledbetter family owned the town drugstore and allowed the building and 10 acres of land to be purchased, somewhat under the radar, at a bargain price of only $8,000. Bro. Wood began visiting in the homes of Milan residences seeking people interested in worshiping together as a church and on October 20, 1963 they had their first service together with 12 people in attendance and the first offering given was $67.00. They met regularly three times a week as a mission until the organization. A meeting was then held for the purpose of organizing a new church on January 2, 1964. Rev. Bill Fortson, pastor of New Testament Baptist Church, Memphis, spoke on the “Doctrines of a New Testament Church,” then acting as Chairman, called for those desirous of becoming charter members. Rev. and Mrs. Frank Wood and their two children, Bob and Shirley Jean, Mr. and Mrs. Newton Warren, Mrs. Helen Powell and her daughter Trudy, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Casey and their daughter Theresa, and Miss Carolyn Petty all responded. At the meeting, Mrs. Warren was elected Clerk, Rev. Frank Wood was elected their first Pastor. The first official act of the church was to pass a resolution to put 10% of all offerings into missions. The church later adopted the Faith Promise Missions Giving Plan. On March 29, 1964 the church took on their first missionary, Bro. William Neal. Support continued to grow as time progressed and eighty-nine people came into the church the first year with twenty-one by salvation and baptism. Bro. Vick continued to send a rent allowance to the Wood family in the amount of $500 to help out as the young church grew enough to better support their new Pastor. Bro. Wood however saw an opportunity that he could not pass up. Mrs. Wood told us “Franklin found a piano for $350 and bought it.” She said, “Honey, that was our rent money! We don’t even have a piano player.” His reply was, “Well we’re going to have one!” Bro. Wood had a vision for his congregation. Money was never the motivation, neither was having a large number of people in the pew. Mrs. Wood told us, “his desire was not to be a big church, it was that Christians would grow after they accepted Christ and that was his desire, that they would grow in the word and be strong Christians. Franklin wanted to teach them after they were saved how to live a Christian life and how to live.” In those early years, four men were ordained to the ministry and sent out as Pastors. Two others went into the ministry after moving from Milan. Four new churches were started in Tennessee by the direct efforts of Temple Baptist Church. A number of churches in other states have received financial help from Temple in getting started as a new church. Temple Baptist Church now helps support twenty-three foreign missionaries and their families and has since its beginning regularly contributed to the support of the Baptist. In 2014 Temple Baptist Church celebrated its 50th anniversary as a New Testament Church. A great debt of gratitude is owed to all the many years of service and dedication from the Wood family. May we celebrate by taking on the desire of our founder and always grow in our faith and teach others how to live a strong victorious life based on Christian values and bring all the glory to our Lord Jesus Christ for it is all about Him even to this day at Temple Baptist. In January 1964 Bro. Frank Wood became Temple Baptist first Pastor and served there until his retirement in August 1982. Down through the years Temple Baptist has had many Pastors who have had led them and dedicated their lives to the mission of reaching the lost, helping Christians grow in their faith and supporting mission work following the pattern Bro. Wood started. In November 1982 the church called Bro. Carl Curtis to lead them and he served the church until May 1985. After his resignation the church sought out thier next Pastor and called Bro. Larry Pinson in August 1985 and he served the church as their spiritual leader until November 1991. After his resignation the church called Bro. Allen Williams in August 1992 and he served the church until September 1998. Once he resigned as Pastor the church sought out their next Pastor to lead them and in July 1999 they called Bro. Tony Raffa to serve there. He continued to lead the church until he resigned in December 2002. In July 2003 the church called its next Pastor, Bro. Tim York, and he served as their Pastor untl  May 2005. Not long after his resignation the church called Bro. Matthew Moore in July 2005 and he served as the churches Senior Pastor until July 2013. Once Bro. Matt resigned, the church called Bro. Billy Ramey to lead them and he served the church from 2014 until Feburary 2016. In March 2016 the church called Bro. Stephen Powell and he served the church until his resignation in January 2017. The church then sought out it's next Senor Pastor and in September 2017 Temple Baptist called Dr. Mark Lynch as their new Senior Pastor and as their Pastor he continues the vision and desires of Temple's founder Rev. Franklin Wood. Pastor Mark’s greatest desire is meeting people where they are in life and helping them become who God wants them to be. Discipling them to become better disciples of Christ, grow them in their faith and mature them as a child of God.