Our Story

Brief History Of
Heavenly Temple Church
Heavenly Temple C.O.G.I.C. was born in 1949 by answering the call of God for outreach ministry by our Bishop John L. Knight.

It had its very small beginning in a storefront at 70 Jewett Avenue Jersey City, New Jersey, an area that was said to be impossible to establish a church. He labored untiringly with his wife, Mother Fannie B. Knight by his side, to bring the gospel message to his new and growing congregation. After a few years, (approximately 1956) the first of several moves was made in an effort to find a “real” and permanent church home.

They relocated at 204 Monticello Avenue just around the corner from the previous address, which allowed the steady growth of its membership. As a result, Bishop, in about 1960 began radio broadcasting each Sunday evening on station WHBI. Through this effort of evangelism, many listeners were healed, saved and delivered.

The membership continued to grow as they worshiped and praised God for His goodness and new mercy each day. Again, Bishop was compelled to accommodate the membership with larger quarters. The congregation rallied on “one accord” in order to help bring the vision into fruition.

Soon, the Monticello property was sold, and facilities at 272 Martin Luther King Dr. (Formerly Jackson Avenue) was purchased in 1969 as a temporary location because Bishop had expressed a need for a much larger church home in order to develop and establish Ministries that would assist in serving the community as well as the congregation in a “greater way.”

As time passed and after making many inquiries, news came concerning an A&P Supermarket that was up for sale. Bishop visited the site, along with his wife, deacons and some trustees. Bishop then sought the Lord and received confirmation from the Holy Spirit that this property was the place God desired for the congregation. So the work and renovation began because and again, “the people had a mind to build.”


In 1976, Bishop Knight and the entire congregation, escorted by the city Police, marched along the Avenue to the new edifice of Heavenly temple Church of God in Christ, 15 Martin Luther King Drive. This was the permanent sanctuary in which to worship and serve the community. Thus, in 1988 The Heavenly Temple Community Outreach Inc. originated.

Through this outreach organization, community services was established, outreach and counseling were formed such as: a Summer Food Program, serving all the city housing Complex, Jesus Christ Telecommunication Ministry, using direct phone outreach as one means for counseling etc., The Bay Bay Child Development (Day Care) Center and Summer Bible School Programs were operated from this location. Evangelism and Ministry progressed.

Bishop always wanted to resume radio broadcasting and eventually bring television media as means of Ministry and evangelism. Attempts were made and Heavenly Temple did experience an occasion to witness on television. Though Satan tried to discourage and hinder the movement of God here in the Temple through fire in 1993, Bishop stood firm in the faith, persevered the trials that did beset him, and worked untiringly, with encouragement and commitment from his wife and congregation to rebuild the Temple.

After fifty golden years of active pastoral ministry, Bishop Knight realizes the need to surrender the battle to a “young man of war” and in 1999, he entrusted the flock and church ministry to his son, Elder Kevin E. Knight Sr. Bishop continued to support him as he carries out his God given vision and purpose for this Church.

This was only the beginning of fulfilling the purpose of the Church. Heavenly Temple continues to build on the firm foundation that once laid in 1949 by Bishop.Currently, Heavenly Temple is involved in an extensive building effort. “Heavenly Temple Real Life Expansion Campaign” is the title of this next building project. Our plans are to establish a senior housing facility with 100 residential units, and the Real Life Community Family Center increasing the church operating space.

“According to the grace of God which is given unto me as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon.” 1 Corinthian 3:10
Remembering the Past, Celebrating the Present, Embracing the Future

Since his appointment, Pastor Kevin Knight has assumed the role as the diligent leader and protector of God’s people while faithfully the members continue to come, working whole-heartedly supporting the cause.

Community Outreach Team was revitalized and the Real Life Community School was established to provided computer training and job counseling to the underprivileged population of our community. In 1999, Heavenly Temple opened its doors to facilitate one of the Preschool programs of the Jersey City Board of Education.

In September of 2003, through the leadership of Pastor, Community Outreach Team had the “grand opening” its first low/moderate housing project located 60 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City.