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Church History

Christ Temple Celebrates 41 years of Services opening it's doors on December 3, 1982 at 3085 54th Street San Diego, California with the blessing of the California Hawaii Nevada District Council; affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World organization. Christ Temple official members consisted of it’s Founding Pastor and his family:  Bishop Donnie N. McGriff,  (the late) Dr. Shirley J. McGriff, children Donnie McGriff, Jr., Kimberly Jones, Denedra Bowdan, Dwight McGriff, Cassandra Keys, Dionne Hubbard. Two years later we out grew 3085 54th with 75 members and moved next door to 3081 54th Street, where God moved and manifest His supernatural power at CTAC in such a magnificent manner that Pastor McGriff began to refer to CTAC as “The Miracle on 54th Street” as a slogan that still applies today.


We outgrew 3081 54th of 220 soul’s and moved to 5952 El Cajon Blvd. where we remodel the two story building to accommodate class rooms, church administration, board room and a sanctuary. In 2001 Bishop begin seeking the Lord and his will for a new location. The Lord blessed we outgrew the El Cajon Blvd property in San Diego and moved to today’s location on April 28th 2001, where we purchased the church building at 309 Prescott Avenue El Cajon, California a larger facility with the sanctuary seating 500 including the balcony and overflow room. To include two buildings and a trailer to accommodate our Christ Temple International Apostolic University office of Administration which was opened in 1999.


Through dedication, consecration, prayer and fasting, Door-to-door canvassing continued at this new facility. Old and young were invited to Sunday School and church services, and the Lord added to the church by saving souls and bringing in saints to assist in the building of His Kingdom through this great ministry. Through the leadership of Dr. Donnie N. McGriff many ministries have been developed to minister to the community, such as an Philadelphian Ministry (community development and resources), Armed Forces Ministry (ship ministry), food and clothing for the needy in Mexico, India and Belize, using senior and college students for mentoring youth after school, and weekend youth programs just to name a few.


Presently, there are 28 in house ministries established and designed to meet the needs of the total man, spiritually, physically, and mentally. Greater Christ Temple has been fortunate to witness (24) Ministers answering the call to assume pastoral roles, a testament to the blessings flowing from this ministry. Many souls have come through this ministry, seeking spiritual covering, choosing to be under the guidance of Bishop McGriff’s leadership and simply desiring to feel the presence of God in this place. “To God be the Glory!

Bishop McGriff and Dr. E. Gladys Grier were married on December 17th, creating a blended family. God created a place where He united two beautiful souls who hold to the principles of unity and teaching, laying on hands, applying true doctrine with one another, both church families and the community.


We give thanks to God every day for the great number of people who have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and receiving the precious Gift of the Holy Ghost. We, the Greater Christ Temple families, together with our Bishop, Elect Lady, and the first family, remain steadfast in our commitment to spreading the word of God. Our mission is to Prepare  families to change the world.


(24) Ministers received the called to Pastor.


1. Pastor Herbert Mills, Spring Valley, California 

2. Pastor Timothy Robinson, Garden City ,Kansas 

3. Bishop Wash Carthon, Newport News , Virginia

4. Bishop John Givens, Spring Valley, California

5. Bishop John T. Smith, Indianapolis, Indiana

6. (Ret. Capt.) Pastor Charlie A Jones, Naples, Italy/Corpus Christi, Texas

7. Bishop Kelvin Clark, Greater Harvest Church, Fresno, Texas

8. Bishop Vernon Miller, Jacksonville, North Carolina

9. Apostle Kiplon L. Taylor, Atlanta, Georgia

10. Pastor James Willingham, Bible LIght Ministries, Spring Valley, California

11. Pastor Patrick N. Daniels, Fellowship of Zion Apostolic, Murrieta, California

12. Apostle TL Carter, Mt Calvary Ministries, Lemon Grove, California

13. Pastor Grover Ford, Stockton, California

14. Dr. Chanda G. Simmons, Christ Deliverance Ministries, El Cajon, California

15. Bishop Johannas Prem Mallipudi, Tanuku, India (International)

16. Pastor John Tomlin, God’s Will Deliverance Ministries, Sicily, Italy

17. Bishop Arthur Felton, New LIfe In Jesus Christ Ministries, Plano, Texas

18. Pastor Brenda Thomas, Tampa, Florida

19. Pastor Cheryl James, Las Vegas, Nevada

20. Elder Kenneth Mitchell, Merchant Marine (overseas)

21. Apostle Donald Jones, Faith Harvest Ministries, San Diego, California

22. Pastor Dr. Benjamin Andrew, Lake Elsinore, California

23. Pastor Larry Weathers, Lexington, KY

24. District Elder Michael Cobbs, Richmond, Texas


In 1999, God blessed us to open our very own school (International Apostolic University of Southern California)- fully Accreditation, changing the name to Christ Temple International University which is presently affiliated with Aenon Schools of Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. This university is to educate, equip, train, and empower leaders, church workers, evangelist, pastors and all who have a desire to strive for excellence and obtain a fully accredited degree in Christian Education, Theology, Counseling, and Church Administration.


We pray that God will continue to Bless and keep our Bishop to continue to give him guidance and strength for the journey.

The (late) Dr. Shirley Jean McGriff was born January 22, 1947 in Mt. Enterprise, Texas to the late Brother Eli Williams and Dr. Marjorie Williams who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Married to a wonderful husband Bishop Donnie McGriff for 59 years. Have two sons, four daughters, and four son-n-laws along with 35 grandchildren and 41 great grand’s.

She is the First Lady and Vice President of Christ Temple Apostolic Church for 39 years.


The Women’s Ministry President, the business manager and Vice President of the Christ Temple International Apostolic University in El Cajon City. A natural born leader, a woman of God, a miracle, a woman of virtue, integrity, a woman with purpose and extraordinary talents. She has serve on numerous auxiliaries and trained the Women’s Ministry and other women of different faiths. She served as 2nd assistant to the Ministers Wives at the California District Council in 1997 and decorator for the council.


First Lady McGriff will now assume the roll of the First, Elect Lady of the NEW' Southern California District Council under the leadership of her husband the (Diocesan Bishop). 


Having fulfilling some of her dreams, Dr. McGriff received her Associates Arts Degree in Interior Design and Home furniture 1969. She was ordained as an Elder at the California District Council in 2000. Received her Bachelors Degree from Aenon Bible College in 1980. Further her education with the International Apostolic University of Grace and Truth of Indianapolis, Indiana receiving her B.A. Degree in Business,  Masters of Christian Education and Christian Counseling (sum ma cum laude) and Doctorate of Theology (sum ma cum laude) in 2000 and presently working on Physiology at Aenon Christian College.


With the grace of God and support of her family Dr. McGriff published her first book, “When You Are Miss-Informed, You Will Miss-Inform Others”, in the year of 2000.

When she isn’t planning or working faithfully around the church. She teaches every first Saturday of the month to the Women’s Ministry and the Women in Fellowship, what is your purpose relation with God and walk in Excellence. Her greatest desire is to see God work in the lives of those to whom she ministers. Dr. Shirley McGriff favorite motto' is  "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me!"

Bishop McGriff, the First family and Greater Christ Temple Families will never forget our beloved first lady.  God called first lady home on July 2, 2020. First Lady Dr. Shirley McGriff is remembered by her high notes , anointed, gifted singing. Her love for the GCTAC children making sure they were fed between services, the gift of speaking life into the Women's Ministry the joy of loving her husband, daughters, sons, sons in laws, daughters in love and especially the grandchildren and great grands.  Mom, Nana, First Lady your labor was not in vain and we give God the glory that we were able to cherish you! 

You'll never be forgotten! 

~Forever LOVED~

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