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Rising from the Ashes

Allen Temple Church returns home

Rev. Dr. LeRoy Haynes of the historic African American congregation Allen Temple CMC Church leads a Feb. 6 worship service. The refurbished100 year old church at 4236 N.E. Eighth Ave. will celebrate its first grand opening since electrical fires in 2015 caused major damage.

Allen Temple CME Church, a beloved African American congregation, will observe Black History Month by celebrating its first grand opening since electrical fires damaged the 100 year old church in 2015.

The community is invited to join federal, state and local elected officials for the special ribbon cutting ceremony which will be held at the refurbished church, located at 4236 N.E. Eighth Ave., on Monday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m.

Rev. Dr. LeRoy Haynes, Allen Temple senior pastor and presiding elder, said the last day of Black History Month seemed like an appropriate occasion to celebrate the church’s restoration.

Back on Feb. 7, 2015, the church sustained major damage to its roof and interior of all levels from two electrical fires. It has been a challenging journey for the church to rebuild, overcoming many barriers of construction, financial needs, and health impacts from the Covid 19 pandemic.

Since 1949, Allen Temple CME Church has been a community-oriented church serving a Black and diverse congregation.

All of Allen Temple CME Church outreach programs are now operational: Emergency Aide Center, Homeless Outreach Team Services, Resurrection Drug & Alcohol Prevention and Recovery, AIDS/HIV Support Services and Social Justice Advocacy. The new day center will be operational this summer.

During construction, church services were held temporarily nearby at Maranatha Church. More recently, services returned to Allen Temple under social distancing requirements to protect public health during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Architects Bill Hart and Logan Cravens of Carleton Hart Architecture are credited for navigating the work needed to rebuild the church. An estimated $3 million was raised in donations to make the repairs, including upgrades for new city code requirements.

Joel Andersen, CEO of Andersen Construction and his team answered a call to rescue the project with the infusion of 70 in-kind partners, collaborating with Nate McCoy III, executive director of the National Association of Minority Contractors of Oregon, church leaders said.

In addition to the ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, three other events are planned for the church in March and April to recognize everyone who was involved in the restoration, a long list of individuals, government agencies, civic organizations and businesses.

Rev. Dr. LeRoy Haynes, senior pastor and presiding elder of Allen Temple Church in northeast Portland.


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