Littles Memorial Temple UHC Church History
In the fall of 1933 Littles Temple was founded by Elder M. B. Littles, a renowned and dynamic preacher in the Philadelphia area. Leaving behind the Fire Baptized reformation, Elder Littles, more commonly known as Mother Littles, wanted a permanent foundation. After putting the Temple in order, the first services were held in a storefront at 2326-28 Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia. Roughly twenty people made up the membership. A year later, in 1934, the congregation moved to a building located on the northwest corner of Ridge Avenue at 22nd Street over Manusov’s Food Market. It was here the services continued and flourished.
The church became affiliated with The United Holy Church of America in 1935 in a procedure performed by the late Bishop E. B. Lyons. The property at 2001 & 2003 North 22nd Street and the garage at the corner of Van Pelt & Norris Streets were purchased to build a church. The original plan was for the church to face 22nd Street and be built back towards Van Pelt Street. Instead, the apartments were occupied by members of the congregation and the sanctuary was built facing Norris Street. Often the elder saints would recall Mother Littles helping to prepare bricks for the construction of the church and how she would run revivals to raise funds to complete the vision the Lord had given her.
Forced to leave 22nd & Ridge before we could build, we worshipped at Peniel Methodist Church 20th & Jefferson Streets for a short time. In the fall of 1938 we moved to our present location 2000 North Van Pelt Street. We held services in a room over the garage until 1939 when we were able to move downstairs. In 1945 the Temple was rebuilt and enlarged into the current edifice where the saints worshipped joyfully. Chairman Thomas vividly remembers the Grand March from Mount Pisgah down Berks Street, up Van Pelt to the rebuilt house of worship. Deacon Thomas remembered the drums booming and the flags waving as the saints marched into the renovated temple. In 1957 Littles Temple became an incorporated religious entity in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, complete with its own charter. In the United Holy Church and throughout the local Christian community, the name M.B. Littles and Littles Temple was synonymous with a high time in the Lord!
Sadly, our Founder and Pastor died September 4, 1964 after returning home from the UHCA Pacific Coast District Convocation held in Los Angeles, CA. It was a sad time for the Temple as our beloved leader was called home to be with the Lord. Our loss was Heaven’s gain. In honor and memory of the late Elder M.B. Littles, Memorial was added to the church’s name. She was a great woman, a great preacher, the founder of this church, a leader and a soul winner for Christ. After her passing, Reverend Mark Jackson served as our leader for the next year.
In May of 1966 Reverend Charles E. Williams became our pastor. Through his unique ministry God kept the membership united and strong. Many souls were saved and added to the church. The properties were renovated and improved. After a decade of service, Reverend Williams resigned as pastor on September 25, 1977 to pursue his vision. To this day, the two churches have kept a long lived fellowship.
In June 1978, Elder Alfred Baker was appointed Interim Pastor and installed as pastor on July 22, 1979 under the supervision of District Elder Pullian. God blessed Elder Baker. He became a District Elder in Central PA and Eastern PA while serving on the Board of Elders of the Northern District Convocation UHCA. God blessed us under Elder Alfred Baker’s pastorage. Souls continued to be saved and added to the church, the Youth of the Temple exploded and fellowships expanded into different reformations. On January 20, 1999 the Lord saw fit to call Elder Baker from labor to reward.
After the death of Pastor Baker, Bishop Kenneth Robinson, the Northern District President, assigned Elder Newton A. Pullian to be our District Elder once again. With Elder Pullian’s help, the officers formed a Governance Board, created Bylaws, and modernized the Financial Office. During the course of the next eight months a bond was quickly formed and forged causing the membership to ask him to be our pastor with the Church Mother, Anna Turner, being the most vocal concerning the matter. Right then, Elder Pullian went to the altar and consulted the Lord only to be told to take the position.
Under his leadership, souls have continued to be saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. We have created a Community Development Corporation to help meet the needs of our community that features a Female Mentoring Program. Under his leadership new deacons have been ordained to execute their office, ministers called to preach the gospel and trustees added to be good stewards of the Lord’s house. Under the current administration the Voice of Calvary was produced – not once but twice – to reach the masses via the radio. Many officers of the Eastern PA Sub-District were elected from Littles Memorial Temple. In trying to reach out to a modern world, the Temple has become progressive with changes in the morning worship that focus on praise, prayer and the Word of God. During these past eleven years, the Lord has elevated Elder Pullian to the bishopric and the office of Chief Financial Officer of the United Holy Church of America.
We know that God is with us and for us. We have great expectations as we move forward in Him our Savior…
Littles Memorial Temple UHC Church History