The History Of Rescue Temple Church Of God In Christ
“The Mother Church”
Malachi Curtis Johnson, Sr. was the third oldest child of Jack & Sylvia Johnson. He came to Christ at the age of five in a Methodist Church.
Malachi’s father, Jack Johnson was blind and Malachi enjoyed leading him around the community; therefore he developed a love for the blind. He made frequent visits to the residents at the Home for the Blind in the West End Community and would often bring them to church as well as prepare “care packages” for them.
Malachi began his ministry early in life in Poplarville, Mississippi. His first mission was to be assigned as a minister of a one room Methodist Mission in Glade, Mississippi.
He soon met and married Luella Cooley on July 14, 1907.
After his call to the ministry he wanted to prepare himself by studying God’s word. So he left to go to Chicago, Illinois to attend the Moody Bible Institute in 1917. However, while in route to Chicago he transferred trains and ended up in Cincinnati. He soon found out that his assignment from God was in Cincinnati, not in Chicago.
After moving to Cincinnati, he joined the Park Street Methodist Church. In 1918, he opened a small mission on Plum Street where he began his first pastoral duties. One of his favorite scriptures was Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men and Holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.”
Elder Johnson wrote in his diary, “I only had one member in the church for the first six months from August to February. But, on the third Sunday in February, thirteen new members were added to our mission; I preached the same gospel that I preach now, except the baptism of the Holy Ghost. One member came to me and said, “ I thought I was joining a Methodist Church, but this seems to be a Holiness Church.” Soon thereafter, the majority of members left. But more came and were added to the membership.
Later, the church agreed to no longer identify with the Methodist denomination, but to become an Independent Holiness Mission that they named “The Original Church of God.”
In 1924, the late Evangelist Elder C. Brown from the Church Of God In Christ in Texas visited Elder Johnson. The Original Church Of God was brought into fellowship with the Church Of God In Christ.
The church began to grow and many souls were saved. They began to receive migrating Church Of God In Christ members from other cities because it was the only Church Of God In Christ in the city of Cincinnati.
In 1930, Elder Johnson was appointed to the office of District Superintendent. The area included all cities and towns from Cincinnati to Columbus. In 1952, he was appointed Overseer and Bishop of Southern Ohio by the late Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, Founder of the Church Of God In Christ International.
The church purchased its first building located at 1008 Cutter Street. Consequently, taking on the new name, “Cutter Street Temple C.O.G.I.C.” However, in 1950 the church purchased a new edifice that was located at 1909 Linn Street. Since the location was no longer on Cutter Street, a new prefixed name was needed. The feeling was unanimous, the new name became, “Rescue Temple C.O.G.I.C.”
In 1958, the church was informed by the city of Cincinnati that the church was situated in the path of a proposed plan and would have to relocate. Bishop Johnson formed a search committee, but he actually found and selected the site on which the current edifice is located. Unfortunately, he did not live to see it built. His son, Elder Malachi Johnson, Jr. was called from his pastoral duties in New Miami, Ohio to complete the relocation. In 1992, Elder Samuel Johnson, Sr. was appointed Pastor of Rescue Temple C.O.G.I.C by the Ohio Northwest Jurisdictional Prelate, Bishop Robert L. Chapman. After his demise, in September 2007, Elder Ned Houston, III was appointed Pastor of Rescue Temple C.O.G.I.C. by the Ohio Northwest Jurisdictional Prelate, Bishop Clifford L. Kimbrough, Jr.
The church was renamed, “Johnson Memorial Rescue Temple C.O.G.I.C.” to honor Bishop M.C. Johnson, Sr.’s. lifelong work as the Founder.