The idea of Memorial Temple was conceived in the mind of the late Rev. I. C. Mickins in April of 1967, as he rode by the First Baptist Church in Deland, Florida, adjacent to Stetson University. Memorial Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Inc. was organized February 24, 1968, at the home of Rev. and Mrs. I.C. Mickins, 5814 N.W. 18th Avenue, with Rev. Mickins as Pastor-President, Mrs. Andel Mickins, Secretary, and Deacon Boston Pasley, Treasurer. The following persons were present: Rev. I.C. Mickins, Mrs. Andel Mickins, Deacon Boston Pasley, Earl Lemon, Pauline Lemon, Theodore Dorrell, Queen Dorrell, Isaiah Matthews, Mamie Bethune, and Mr. Seymour M. Roth. During the meeting Rev. Mickins announced plans to secure the tract of land at Palmetto Expressway and N.W. 44th Court (167 Street). Mr. Roth stated that he would make the tract of land available adjacent to the main tract. Rev. Mickins then stated that he would like to build the first unit of the chapel, on this piece of land acquired from Mr. Roth. The acquisition of this land brought the proposed site up to 2 and ½ acres. In June 1974 we acquired 2 more acres south of the church.
In the summer of 1968, the above tract of land was zoned for a church. In August, 1968, Rev. and Mrs. Mickins mortgaged their home and some other property to get the building financed and the Peoples First National Bank of Miami Shores issued a commitment for the building of the chapel.
The church was built by Rev. Mickins and a staff of workers. On March 2, 1969, our first worship service was held in a store front at 4114 N.W. 167th Street. During the month of March, the membership grew to fifty. On June 1, 1969, we moved into our new building, the chapel, a Colonial Architecture structure. On July 13th we dedicated the new building. In November we purchased two CBS houses in the rear of the church on 45th Avenue. During the first year, our membership grew to nearly 100, with Sunday School enrollment at 50. February 1, 1969, we started broadcasting our service live over Radio Station WMBM. By the end of our first year we had five working Auxiliaries.
Over the years our membership has grown and the second phase of the building, the Early Childhood Education Center, was built. It was completed in August of 1984. The Center was operated with a staff of six under the direction of Mrs. Andel W. Mickins.
In June of 1990, Rev. Ellise Cox accepted the leadership role for the Memorial Temple Missionary Baptist Church during the illness of Pastor Mickins. After a period of three years, Pastor Mickins passed on from labor to reward. Rev. Cox was installed as Pastor of the church in October of 1993. Under his leadership, the church continued to mature spiritually and improve financially. On December 12, 1999, we celebrated the “burning of the church mortgage.”
Pastor Cox in his commitment to God consistently encourages the membership to move forward in the work, God began through Pastor Mickins. As God was with Pastor Mickins, he is still with Pastor Cox and Memorial Temple to attain the high mark of God’s calling and to seek God’s guidance in our various ministries. Continually Pastor Cox admonishes the membership to be encouraged in meeting the needs of God’s people through: 1) teaching and training; 2) outreach to our community (local and abroad); and 3) spreading the gospel in a spirit of love. It is our prayer that God will bless us in realizing this Vision through Pastor Ellise Cox, “Envisioning a great church of Colonial Architecture that will seat upwards of 1,000, to be builted on the five (5) acres that God has blessed us with at 44th Court, overlooking the Palmetto Expressway.”