It is not every day a Connection that is over 200 years old opens a new church from the ground up. In 1996, at the Bicentennial of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Bishop Milton A. Williams asked Rev. Scot C. Moore to undertake the work of establishing a new church in the Mitchellville, MD, area. At that time the A.M.E. Zion Church did not have a strong presence in East-Central Prince George’s County, but that was about to change.
Pastor Scot Moore received a paper appointment at the 167th Session of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Annual Conference. After much prayer and thought, Pastor Moore settled on the name Judah Temple, based on Psalms 76:1, "In Judah God is known." He looked to the historical roots of Methodism and the A.M.E. Zion Church and also to the growing irrelevance of denominational divisions.
On August 18, 1996, Judah Temple A.M.E. Zion Church held its first worship service, in the cafeteria of Thomas Pullen Middle School, and became “A Church With a Heart of Praise and a Mind To Serve.” Pastor Moore pronounced, “This reflects the direction where God wants us to go.” From that beginning, Judah has followed God’s desire to give Him praise and worship.
Many of the original Judah Temple congregation started with Full Gospel AME Zion Church members who became Associate Members and provided support for this new ministry during its first year. The church started to grow as people from all over the Metropolitan area began to join. By December 1996, our new church had over 120 active members.
On May 24, 1997, Pastor Moore was ordained an Elder at the 168th Session of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Annual Conference. As an Elder, he received full authority to consecrate the elements for communion and perform all rites and rituals within the A.M.E. Zion Church.
On July 15, 1997, Judah Temple purchased the property at 14500 Mt. Oak Road, Mitchellville, MD, that we have named “The Land of Judah.” At that time, the property consisted of one building and 23 acres of land. A dedication service for the property was held on Sunday, August 17, 1997, after our morning anniversary celebration. With much enthusiasm, Judah members praised God as construction of the sanctuary began. On July 18, 2004, a host of well-wishers joined the Judah Temple family and Bishop Milton A. Williams, Sr. in a dedication service of the new sanctuary.
Sunday, March 5, 2006, marked the last Sunday Service held at Thomas G. Pullen Middle School. On March 12, 2006, we officially opened the doors of our new sanctuary at 14500 Mt. Oak Road, Mitchellville, Maryland. Over the past several years, the Word of God has gone forth and we have seen many souls saved, marriages reconciled, people healed and set free from the bondage of sin.
In September 2009, Pastor Moore declared to the congregation that we are "Worshippers, Walking in the Word, Witnessing to the World” which provides a condensed statement of God’s vision for Judah. We are developing Worshippers and providing many teaching opportunities, such as, Tuesday Bible Study and the Judah University that includes classes, such as: Life Hurts, God Heals; Financial Stewardship, God's Way; Christianity 101; Walk Through the Bible, and the Celebration of Discipline; preparing us to be effective witnesses to the world.
On January 17, 2010, the new W.E.L.L. (Worshippers Excelling in Learning and Living) small group ministry began meeting. Through these small groups the membership stays connected and remains responsible for and accountable to one another.
To God Be the Glory!!!