History of our Founder and Church

On November 8, 1969, the doors opened to a new era in Des Moines, Iowa. Elder Jeremiah Reed accepted the pastorate of Calvary Church of God, later known as the First Calvary Church of God, located at 2561 Onawa Street, Des Moines, Iowa.

On November 17, 1969, Elder Reed moved his beautiful companion, Mother Willie Mae Reed, and their four children to Des Moines. The fact that the congregation had only three members did not daunt his vision nor cause his mind to waver. On June 8, 1970, he was officially installed as pastor. Shortly thereafter the original three members that included the former pastor made the decision to leave the small flock.

On October 4, 1970, Elder Reed relocated to 1278 East 18th Street with the members that he had fathered in the gospel, and continued God’s work under the banner of Calvary Church of God.

Elder Reed – with nary a slothful bone in his body – continued to strive toward perfection as he witnessed the church’s membership grew to fifty-three by 1973. By early 1974, the now-District Elder Reed had nurtured a flock that surged to eighty strong. The search began for a larger building that would adequately serve the congregation. After much prayer and consideration, District Elder Reed decided that building a church was the only alternative. And, with little over $20,000 in the treasury, he purchased four wooded lots located on Sampson Street that resembled a small forest. Construction commenced with himself as contractor, assisted by Mother Reed, his son, Michael, and congregation members. On March 1, 1975, he led the proud congregation into 1235 Sampson Street – a holy place of worship with a seating capacity of between 450 to 500, built with our own hands!

In the late 1970s, as we crept into the electronic age, Dr. Reed’s ministry was poised to extend the reach of the Apostolic gospel. To do so he accessed the television media, appearing weekly, on the local cable station. Dr. Reed and choir traveled weekly to a studio in northeast Des Moines to tape shows. As a result, it was not long before the anointed singing of the choir and his soul-stirring messages were talked about throughout Des Moines. During Dr. Reed’s extensive broadcasting ministry, God has blessed him to preach on local station TV8, and radio station KUCB, in addition to a stint where the Morris Brothers’ broadcasting company taped services at the Temple.

In addition, in 1977, always seeking to perfect the work God had given him, Dr. Reed and the choir recorded a gospel album. His message was, “The Eye Doctor Is Here.”

By June 1981, membership had risen to approximately 250, and the name of the church was officially changed from Calvary Church of God to Christ Apostolic Temple, Inc. In November of the same year, always residing in the center of God’s will, Dr. Reed decided it was time to build again. On May 25, 1982, Dr. Reed led an even larger and prouder congregation into our present edifice, located at 1230 East 17th Street. This elegant structure, affectionately known as the Miracle Temple, has a seating capacity of approximately 1,000.

In 1982 the Lord touched the heart of the Diocesan Bishop of the Iowa-Nebraska-Wyoming Council, Bishop James E. Tyson of Indianapolis, Indiana on behalf of Dr. Reed. Bishop Tyson proposed to the Board of Bishops of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. that Wyoming be separated from Iowa and Nebraska and that Dr. Reed be elevated to the office of Diocesan Bishop of Wyoming because of his outstanding achievements in the Council, Des Moines and surrounding areas. On March 17, 1983, at the Mid-Winter Bishop Board meeting Dr. Reed was elevated to the Bishopry. He was officially installed at the International Convention held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in August of that year.

One never to be idle and who believed that God’s house should be pleasing in God’s sight, Bishop led the congregation in upgrading the Temple in 1985.

Moved by an unquenchable fervor to see souls saved, Bishop Reed’s ministry was never destined to remain limited to the walls of his local assembly. In 1986 the first outreach crusade was held in Keokuk, Iowa, and a church was established. A pastor was sent from the Des Moines assembly to tend the new congregation. This launched a series of promotions from the Temple in Des Moines of pastors and their wives developed under Bishop’s fruitful ministry, to serve the souls of God’s Apostolic vineyard in various cities and states.


There are now churches in Ames, Iowa; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Blytheville, Arkansas; Burlington, Iowa; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; Chicago Heights, Illinois; Columbia, Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa; Keokuk Iowa; Edwardsville, Illinois; Hannibal, Missouri; Independence, Missouri; Jefferson City, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas; St. Louis, Missouri; Mason City, Iowa; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Muscatine, Iowa; Olathe, Kansas; Ottumwa, Iowa; Fort Dodge, Iowa; Dubuque, Iowa; Kansas City, Mo.; Shreveport, Louisiana; Springfield, Illinois; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In March 1986, God again used Bishop James E. Tyson to carry out what God had declared from the beginning in His blueprints. Bishop Tyson proposed to the Board of Bishops that Bishop Reed’s diocese be transferred to the Iowa-Nebraska District Council. The proposal was passed on June 17, 1986, and made official in August at the International Convention in Detroit, Michigan. In March 1988, the Wyoming Council was reunited with the Iowa-Nebraska District Council under his diocese.

In September 1987, Bishop Reed spearheaded a Mortgage Liquidation Fund drive which began on November 15, 1987 to pay off the church mortgage. The final payment was made by September 27, 1988. A fifteen year mortgage had been paid off in six years – a full eight years and eleven months in advance! Toward the end of the Eighties, Bishop founded the East Side Substance Abuse Center in 1987, and presided over a special ceremony in 1989 in which more than 40 couples of Christ Apostolic Temple renewed their marriage vows – including he and Mother. He also appointed a committee to compile and edit The Principles of the Apostolic Foundation, a world-class Christian Education manual that remains the standard for Apostolic doctrine and teaching for Sunday School curriculum and pastorial research material. The book was the first of many authored by Bishop and Mother over the years, including The Foundations That Have Been Destroyed, Marriage Handbook, Manual of Discipline and the Policies and Procedures Manual.

In 1994, due to continued membership growth, new land was acquired for additional parking, which followed a large lot constructed at the corner of University Avenue and East 17th Street for membership and guests’ convenience.

In 1997 God elevated Bishop to the office of Presiding Bishop of Jesus Christ Apostolic Churches, Inc., which he launched with a famed “Jesus Tour” during which he preached ata number of churches in cities in the South. In March 2003, he resigned from the organization. A new organization, the Christ Apostolic Temple, Inc., Fellowship Organization, was established with Bishop Jeremiah Reed as the Presiding Bishop and Christ Apostolic Temple as the headquarters church. The purpose of this organization is to unite churches of like faith that will stand for holiness and the unadulterated Apostolic doctrine. Christ Apostolic Christian College served as the educational seminary of the Fellowship organization, which is a thriving body today, thanks to Bishop’s vision and obedience to God.

In 1999 Bishop Reed captained a major renovation of the Temple for the second time, gutting the interior and adorning it with radiant Italian stone, a royal blue carpet, gold in-lay pews, and glittering chandeliers. This was the same year Bishop shepherded the construction of Christ Apostolic Temple Fellowship Inc.’s headquarters building, located at 1619 East University in Des Moines.

At the beginning of the new century Bishop Reed and the Christ Apostolic Temple family continued to expand his Apostolic ministry beyond the scope of the sanctuary. In 2001, the television ministry began broadcasting Sunday morning services on local and national television.

As the Temple’s TV ministry grew, so flourished the illumination of truth God revealed to Bishop Reed. With a vision from God, much hard labor and an inestimable financial contribution made by Bishop and Mother Reed, he directed the process that allowed the Temple to obtain a broadcasting license and to establish the Apostolic Oneness Network (AON). May 2, 2005, ushered in our first service aired on the first Apostolic Holiness television station 24 hours per day, seven days per week! The first live broadcast hit the airwaves in October 2005. In March 2007, God blessed the station to expand internationally. Christ Apostolic Temple services are now being aired in billions of homes around the world.

Under Bishop Jeremiah Reed’s effective leadership, he has made significant contributions over the years to thousands of families in the greater Des Moines community, not to mention coast to coast. From the beginning Bishop was dedicated to a hospital ministry, which has evolved into a sick and shut-in ministry overseen by the associate ministers.

Bishop assisted families in relocating to Des Moines to help facilitate their walk with Christ, in addition to assisting new churches with finances and sending Christ Apostolic Temple workers on crusades to help souls receive the Holy Ghost – some at new churches he started. He conducted Tent meetings in the community, founded a Food Pantry program that donated free turkeys and food baskets over four decades; made provision for meals and shelter for the homeless and purchased automobiles for members and pastors. He has reached out to those who have been incarcerated through a Prison Ministries, and aided others in the early 2000s through the Youth Offender Program in conjunction with the Polk County Court system that provided educational classes and life skills to first time offenders who had an opportunity to have their record expunged. Many of these individuals who would have been statistics of the penal system are now serving the Lord, and/or are upstanding men and women in society.

And who could forget the trip to Williamsburg in the early Nineties when Bishop, out of the goodness of his heart, took more than 100 sisters of the church shopping, giving each one money to buy a new dress!

In the 2000s, Bishop founded the K through 12 home-school, now known as the JW Reed Christian Academy. During the decade he founded the Foreign Ministry, which blessed several nations, including Pakistan and the Philippines. Bishop sent Bishops, pastors and others to Sierra Leone, Africa to facilitate the building of churches, digging wells for water, installing generators for lights and power, providing rice, food, televisions and satellite dishes. He provided transportation and lodging for pastors to fly from overseas to the organization’s conventions. And the list goes on and on and on of the contributions Bishop has made, too numerous to chronicle in this space.

A chosen, anointed and God-fearing vessel, the works of Presiding Emeritus, Bishop Jeremiah Reed’s hand has truly been guided and blessed by God these forty-eight years!