Kingsboro Temple Church History
It began in the mind of Elder Stennett Brooks, then President of the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, who envisioned the possibility of a citywide crusade in Brooklyn. In the summer of 1991, that vision became a reality when Pastor Charles D. Brooks from Breath of Life Ministries accepted an invitation to serve as featured speaker for a four-week crusade. On August 10, 1991, the crusade began at Brooklyn College’s Walt Whitman Auditorium. At its culmination, 288 souls were baptized.
Dr. Abraham J. Jules 1991-1997
Most of the 288 newly baptized souls matriculated to congregations of various Seventh-day Adventist churches in the NY metropolitan area. However, a handful-67 individuals-continued to meet at Brooklyn College, with their first meeting convening in a classroom of Brooklyn College’s George Gershwin Building. Dr. Abraham J. Jules was appointed as Pastor. Vincent B. Goffe was appointed as First Elder. Corine Walwyn served as Treasurer and Elder. Under this dynamic leadership team, the church flourished and quickly outgrew its initial space. Having no fixed home, services were held at various locations, including the “Little White Church” on Kings Highway, Brooklyn, College, the Flatbush Church of the Redeemer and the Dutch Church of the Redeemer at East 23rd Street in Brooklyn, NY. Tired of roaming, Dr. Jules began to diligently search for a permanent place of worship. At the recommendation of Pastor Richard Bryant, an abandoned church at 415 7th Street, Brooklyn was located and purchased at a significantly reduced price.
Upon purchase, thick cobwebs covered the building’s stained glass windows and occluded the sunlight. Everything was covered in dust inches deep. This building, doubtless, had once been a place of beauty, filled with people and the melodious sounds of a pipe organ. But oh if its walls could talk they would tell the following story… On Easter Sunday April 17, 1870, the doors of this this red brick building were opened for the very first time. It was then known as All Saint Chapel; its cornerstone was the first to be laid in the newly formed Diocese of Long Island by the first Primal Bishop, the Reverend Abram Newkirk. Reverend Newkirk was affectionately known as Little John DD. Interesting, one hundred and twenty-one years later, another derivative of the name Abram, would be placed on a marble foundation stone on the outside wall of “The Red Brick Chapel” but this time the name was Dr. Abraham J. Jules!
In 1903, at a time of upheaval within the Lutheran church, St. Emanuel Lutheran German Evangelical Church purchased the Red Brick Chapel for $50,000 with the express intention of preserving their German heritage and language ad avoiding bilingual services. German inscriptions at the base of the stained glass windows in our church sanctuary attest to the past presence of the congregation. Those parishioners worshipped within these walls for forty-five years and then relocated in 1948. In the ensuing years, sadly, the Red Brick Chapel went into a state of disrepair. By 1992, the church building had been abandoned for almost 10 years. In 1992 Kingsboro Temple began a labor of love – The First Restoration Project- a project commenced because someone looked beyond cobwebs and neglect and simply believed that restoration was possible.
On November 5-7 1993, the hard work of the congregants was completed and the sanctuary was dedicated. To the Honor and Glory of God, 1,500 individuals attended the Friday evening vesper service and 1,500 returned on Sabbath morning for the dedicatory service for the newly renovated sanctuary. The following month, on December 18th 1993, Goffe Auditorium was dedicated and named in honor of the first elder, Vincent B. Goffe. On April of the following year, Kitaman Place was completed and dedicated in honor of Elder Paris Kitaman. On June 11, 1994 Kingsboro Temple was formally organized as a church with approximately 450 individuals as its charter members – the largest membership ever organized as a church in the history of the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Pastor Donald L. McPhaull
Arrived at Kingsboro Temple in 1997 with a reputation as an evangelist, preacher, and public speaker. Pastoral Ministry not being his first profession, Pastor McPhaull transitioned from a successful career in broadcasting and having served as the National Director of Promotions/Marketing/Black Products for Capital, EMI/United Artists records in Hollywood California. Pastor McPhaull brought an international scope and broad innovative vision to Kingsboro Temple. He was eloquent for lacing the gospel with relevance and spot-on-humor.
Pastor McPhaull introduced monthly seminars, established the Book of the Month club and he introduced diverse authors to the congregation to challenge and deepen members’ relationships with God. Kingsboro’s communication platform expanded with the launch of the kingsborosda.org website, the WKBT radio program, and under Pastor McPhaull’s leadership, Kingsboro was the forerunner in the launch of live streaming of church services in the Northeastern Conference. His commitment to worldwide ministry lead Kingsboro to its first overseas mission trip. With fiscal responsibility being a goal, Pastor McPhaull led Kingsboro to retire its mortgage one and a half years early, and KBT’s first female First Elder was elected, paving the way for more female leadership within the church. Assessing the need of the congregation Pastor McPhaull along with the church board agreed to invite Pastor Gregory Nelson to serve as KBT’s Youth Pastor. In 2004 Pastor McPhaull left Kingsboro to return to his hometown of Los Angeles, CA to continue his call on ministry and serve as pastor in that region.
Pastor Gregory Nelson
Son of the Kingsboro Temple church family, began his tenure at KBT as Youth Pastor in May 2002. Always employing “real talk,” he constantly challenged our young people to become leaders for Christ. An avid singer and worship leader, Pastor Nelson brought a unique vigor to the worship experience and escorted the youth to Honduras on KBT’s first mission trip. Pastor Nelson modeled for KBT’s youth that is possible to serve the Lord and still be cool. On July 16, 2005 after serving faithfully for three years, Pastor Nelson accepted a call to the Allegheny East Conference.
Dr. Ainsworth E. Joseph
Served Kingsboro Temple as senior pastor from 2005 – 2011. With a passion for people Dr. Joseph taught a Sabbath School class throughout most of his tenure, made guest appearances with the choirs and acknowledged monthly celebration of congregants wedding anniversaries. He conducted KBT’s first Revelation Seminar in which 21 individuals were baptized as a result. Dr. Joseph also instituted free counseling series and initiated pre-marital group preparation classes. Greatly supporting women in senior leadership positions Dr. Joseph served alongside six female elders, and during his tenure Pastor Donnett M. Blake was installed as Assistant Pastor. Dr. Joseph’s leadership saw missionary and evangelism endeavors to the Red Hook community in Brooklyn, building a school in Ghana and rebuilding neighborhoods in New Orleans post-Hurricane Karina. A major undertaking before his departure, Dr. Joseph was instrumental in the restoration and repair of the physical church edifice.
Pastor Donnett M. Blake
The first female pastor in the Northeastern conference and served Kingsboro Temple as Assistant Pastor from 2007 to 2011. A powerful prayer warrior and dynamic preacher, Pastor Blake’s sermons were great reminders for us to live by our professed faith and doctrine and held the congregation to a higher calling. Pastor Blake stood solidly alongside Dr. Joseph in ministry, both bringing unique but complementary ministry to the Kingsboro Temple family.
Pastor Nicardo Delahaye
Pastor Nicardo Delahaye served as Associate Pastor from December 2011 – January 2013. Pastor Delahaye had a passion for excellence and creativity. His preaching style and great sense of humor were wonderful additions to the church service and church body. A great supporter of a forward moving church, Pastor Delahaye encouraged KBT both spiritually as well as in our spiritual technological endeavors.