The Temple of Praise is a living testament to Gods bountiful grace and mercy. With the Holy Bible as a spiritual guide, and manual for daily living, a chapel became a church, a church became an interdenominational house of praise and worship, where dreams have been realized and faith has endured and the journey has just begun.
The Temple of Praise, for decades known as Johenning Baptist Church, was founded in 1916. The legacy began when the Southern Baptist Convention established a training and missionary center to meet the varied needs in a very racially segregated section of southeast, currently known as Washington Highlands/Bellevue. Anna Johenning, a community resident and thrift store owner, initiated many of the missionary activities and the missionary center was ultimately named in her honor. In 1960, as the missionary activities expanded in the growing community, and in response to a call for a more spiritual base for the outreach work, the Baptist Convention built an addition to the missionary center to house church worship services for the predominately white community. As the African American population of Southeast Washington
grew, the two congregations separated and the Wayside Chapel was established to sponsor afternoon services for African Americans. In 1969, the chapel was organized as a church, adopting the name Johenning Baptist Church. The church was named for the Baptist Center because of the spiritual support and guidance the congregation received from the Center's support.
Sunday, September 2, 1991, Bishop Glen A. Staples, of Beckley, West Virginia, was installed as the third pastor. With the anointing on the life of the new spiritual leader, the former Johenning Baptist Church was a simply a spiritual flower waiting to bloom. In 1993, Bishop Staples revealed a spiritual vision for Johenning that included a new sanctuary and a myriad of community development projects. To that end, Bishop Staples started a mortgage retirement program/building fund. The burning of the church mortgage in October 1998 signaled a commitment to the new vision, a spiritually inspired quest. In November 1998 Johenning purchased the land for a new church home, located just three blocks away. The Johenning Baptist Church changed to an interdenominational worship format and thereby changed its
name to the Johenning Temple of Praise. On Easter Sunday, 2004, the first services were held at the new 2,500 seat sanctuary at 700 Southern Avenue, SE. With a new building, and thus a new Christian identity, Johenning became simply the Temple of Praise Church, named for the congregation's high praise services and commitment to worship God in spirit and in truth. Bishop Staples, a great visionary, true shepherd, anointed preacher, teacher, and prophet has increased the flock of the church seventy-five fold. Membership has grown from two hundred, in 1991, to over fifteen thousand currently.