In 1999, Pastor Jamal Harrison Bryant, a third-generation preacher, answered the call of God to begin a church for the “unchurched” with Bible Study in his home. This was the beginning, but on Easter Sunday, April 23, 2000, the Temple opened its doors at a catering hall called “The Grand” with forty-three members. The mission of the church was to empower people spiritually, develop them educationally, expose them culturally, activate them politically and strengthen them economically. The motto was “Empowering the World through the Word.”
Initially, Pastor Bryant’s vision was that of a church that appealed to the Generation X. But the church grew by leaps and bounds with a membership of over 5000 members comprised of a diverse age population ranging from the very young to senior citizens. In three years, because of the phenomenal growth, the church moved from the “Grand” to Coppin State University and then Walbrook Senior High School. It became very clear to the Pastor and officers of the church, that Empowerment Temple needed a home of its own. Through God’s grace, prayer and work, the membership of the Empowerment Temple marched triumphantly into its new 2000 seat sanctuary located in Baltimore City at 4217 Primrose Avenue in April 2003. Aside from the edifice on Primrose Avenue, and prior to entering our church, the Empowerment Temple operated the Family Life Center, located at 1515 Eutaw Place which housed the executive offices, various ministry meetings and church activities.
The Empowerment Temple under Reverend Bryant’s leadership grew to a membership of 10,000 persons. It was acclaimed as the fastest growing African Methodist Episcopal Church. It was also known as a trail blazer in the body of Christ in the areas of civic and social engagement. After eighteen years of pastoring the Empowerment Temple, Reverend Bryant departed in December 2018, to pastor another branch of Zion.
Our church continues to be a spiritual force and beacon of light and hope in the community.