Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Elder F.W. Cotton, the founder of the Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, organized the church in 1956. Our first place of worship was the American Legion Hall building located at 5145 Third Street in San Francisco. With a few members of his family: his wife, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, Faith Temple was set up and declared a local church by the District Supt., Elder E.E. Hamilton. He later became the State Bishop of California Northwest Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. and as he prayed God's blessing upon this ministry, his words were: "May God bless you and lead you on to victory." From that day on, the church began to grow. With the help of God and faithful members who prayed with Pastor Cotton, God surely blessed their labor.
As a result of fasting and praying, the Lord began to send people to the church. Deacon Anthony was the first to come, followed by Missionary Lovie Gault. From that point on, the membership began to outgrow the little church on Third Street. God moved on Pastor Cotton to buy property. The Board members, Elder Robert L. Sanders, President; Deacon Luther Thomas, Vice President; Elder John E. Webb, Sr., Secretary; Deacon Claude Stanley, Treasurer; Deacon Albert Merritt, Chaplain; Deacon Henry Bodden, Sr. and Minister B. Raynor, worked closely and prayerfully with Pastor Cotton to formulate plans, and built a house to be dedicated to God.
Elder F.W. Cotton initiated the first Building Fund Drive, led by Missionary Della Adams Tate. We raised a total of $1,200.00. The Faith Temple family had "come this far by faith." On August 1, 1958, our little church was able to buy two 50 feet by 100 feet lots. The following year, the lots were paid off, completely. The people had a mind to work and God blessed the fruit of their labor. The Young Women's Christian Council led by Sister Lena Mae Busby, raised over $3,000.00 to buy a neon sign for the building. We did not have a building, but we were "walking by faith" believing that God's house would soon be built.
Elder John E. Webb, Sr. sketched a proposed drawing and submitted it to Mr. Williams S. Dunmore, a licensed building contractor, to draw suitable plans for the proposed building. A Realtor who well known in the community, Harry M. Bloom, arranged financing for the project. Elder F.W. Cotton, Elder John Webb, Elder R.L. Sanders and Deacon Merritt used their homes as collateral and the financing was complete. Under Elder John Webb's direction as lead carpenter, the work began. Many members volunteered to assist in the building process. The women of Faith Temple played a great role in the construction process by providing home cooked, hot meals each day, for the laborers.
Although, Elder Cotton was told by "onlookers" that he would never complete the building, on Sunday morning, September 3, 1961, by the grace of God, Pastor F.W. Cotton and the loving members of Faith Temple Church of God in Christ marched into a brand new building singing, "We've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord."
Elder F.W. Cotton worked faithfully until God called him home on April 28, 2000. The mantle was passed to his grandson, Elder Larry David Cotton nearly a half-century "after" Bishop E.E. Hamilton installed Elder F.W. Cotton.
God is greatly blessing Faith Temple under the leadership of Elder Larry David Cotton. God has moved mightily; souls have been added and the membership continues to grow.
Pastor Larry Cotton, Lady Cathy Cotton, and the Faith Temple family thank you for your prayers and support.