Jackson Memorial Temple Church of God in Christ
On December 7, 1941 a great man of God by name of Leo J. Jackson was led start a church in an old mechanics garage that was converted and renovated at 1601 Harrison Street in the city of Flint. December 7, 1941 has always been a significant date in our church history as it relates to the same day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. This attack led the United States into World War II.
The church was named Pilgrim Temple C.O.G.I.C. This little church became known as the Power House. Pastor Jackson started the church with three (3) members besides himself, his wife Dorothy Jackson, his mother Charlotte Jackson and Thelma Washington. Pastor Jackson preached the word and prayed, and God begin to add to the church. In 1942 the Carlysle and Batson families became members. Dorothy Batson became the first pianist for the church. In 1944 Freddie Mae Hill became a member. In 1945 The Lord added Ada Miles. In 1949 Norman Batson became a member and was appointed Senior Deacon, Chairman of Finance Committee, and took care of the needs of the pastor. In 1950 Clara Mae Layton joined the church. In 1952, Ruby Cannon and her son James along with the Lorenzo Miller family joined the church.
In 1952 a tragic accident took the life of Pastor Jackson’s wife of 19 years. Shortly afterward the Lord gave him Freddie Mae Hill for his wife. As the church continued to grow, in 1955 a larger edifice was purchased at 212 E. 15 th St. It was enovated and dedicated to the Lord. During the 11-year occupancy of this location fire struck, and due to extensive damage, services were held in the home of Norman and Dorothy Batson until repairs were made.
The church continued to grow, and a host of families begin to join. We are a church of families. In 1967 another church was purchased to accommodate the growing congregation at 3212 South Saginaw St. and was dedicated to the service of the Lord. After this move Pastor Jackson declared that his next stop would be “Heaven” In May 1980 he was found to be seriously ill and underwent major surgery. With his prayers and those of the saints he came through. During his long- term illness his devoted wife Mother Freddie Jackson cared for his every need. She never allowed him to lose his liveliness and helped him live life to the fullest. The Lord called him home on December 2, 1981. After his death, Bishop H. J. Williams the Jurisdictional Bishop of Michigan North Central Jurisdiction assumed pastorate in 1982. The first Founder’s Day was held September 26, 1982, the Cornerstone was laid, and the church was re-named in his honor to Jackson Memorial Temple C.O.G.I.C.
Under Bishop H. J. Williams leadership another church was purchased at G-3155 W. Carpenter Rd. We motorcaded from Saginaw St. to Carpenter Rd. in 1991 and celebrated the 50 th Anniversary. Bishop Williams led the church into a beautification and remodeling project. During Bible Study he instituted “Ask the Pastor” He said “Ask Me Anything”. He was a preacher and teacher in his own right. A famous saying that he had was, “I’m going to preach you the truth even if it you turn into a buffalo”. He was well known across the National Church and was honored in 2004 by the National Church for his record of efficiency and professionalism to the office of General Secretary. The Secretary Seminars were named in his honor to “The Bishop H. J. Williams Seminars”. He was published in the McBrayer Report as the “Unsung Hero’. He was also known as the “Ordinary Preacher” He often stressed that here at Jackson Memorial we are a “Church Where Everybody is Somebody” and that became the motto for the church. Bishop Williams retired as pastor of Jackson Memorial in 2016. He pastored Jackson Memorial for 34 years until the Lord called him home September 29, 2018. The Bishop J. Drew Sheard, Jurisdictional Bishop of North Central Jurisdiction, General Board Member of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. became pastor. Bishop J. Drew Sheard continues to pastor Jackson Memorial Temple and he assigned the Eld. Kiemba Knowlin as the Supply Minister in 2019.