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Legacy History

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Apostolic Faith Temple was founded by Elder Nemiah Smith in Detroit, Michigan, in 1972. With no formal building, the newly established congregation held services in the homes of the members. A year later, it acquired a small storefront at 13213 Fenkell Street. As more people became transformed by the preaching of the gospel, a larger facility was purchased in 1975 at 20915 Evergreen Road in Southfield. In 1990, the same year that Elder Smith was elevated to the bishopric, the 400-plus members marched into their new home at 4735 W. Fort Street in Detroit. Over the next years, the church developed many membership and community programs, and in 1997, changed the church name to Greater Apostolic Faith Temple to reflect its progress. On July 24, 2007, Bishop Nemiah Smith died at the age of 74. He named the church’s assistant pastor, Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr., as his successor. Already established as the pastor of Mt. Zion Apostolic Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, Bishop Gates effectively became one pastor in two locations, and Greater Apostolic and Mt. Zion became “sister churches.” The legacy of Bishop Smith lives on through its members who grew under his spiritual guidance and faithful leadership.

Bishop Nemiah Smith, born June 16, 1933, in Rentz, Georgia, founded Apostolic Faith Temple in 1973 and served until his passing on July 24, 2007 at the age of 74. He was baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost at the age of 15 and received his ministerial license through the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. Married to Irene Smith until her passing, their union produced eight children: Linda, Glenda, Morris, Mary, Christopher, Nehemiah, Julia, and Julius. In addition to his children, he was survived by his second wife, Evangelist Dorothy Smith.


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