Holy Temple of God Incorporated was founded in the year of 1975.
Prior to starting the organization followers of the late Bishop Camps were known as the “Camps Crusaders”. The organization’s name, “Holy Temple of God” was given by one of the founding members, the late Mother Coretha Byrd.
Bishop Camps had a vision where he saw himself preaching in a field and there was no one there that he could see, then he spoke and told the people to stand up and they started standing across the field as far as he could see.
As a result, Bishop Camps along with founding members Mother Nellie Mae Camps, Bishop Earnest McGollie, Mother Coretha Bryd, Deacon Clabe & Mother Elizabeth Mitchell and Deacon Harvey & Mother Rosa Hutchinson decided to proceed with the vision. In April of 1975 a small tent was purchased and set up in Keystone Heights, Florida to hold services. After which they were blessed to purchase land to build a church in June of 1975 which is now Foundation Holy Temple of God.
Bishop Walter Camps Sr. was the first Overseer and Presiding Bishop of the organization and Bishop Ernest McGollie was the first assistant Bishop and Pastor Mamie Bryant, third assistant.
The organization grew under Bishop Camps’ leadership from 1975-2007. Churches were established in various states: Florida, Georgia, and Illinois.
Holy Temple of God churches are now located in Gainesville, Keystone, Palatka, and St. Augustine, Florida; Sylvester, Georgia and Rantoul, Illinois.
Bishop Walter Camps Sr.
Founder of Holy Temple of God
Bishop Walter Camps Sr. was born July 2nd, 1933 in Jonesville, Florida, He is one of nine children born to the late Essie and Robbie L. Camps. At an early age, Bishop Camps was converted and baptized under the pastorate of Rev Henry Kinsey at Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist Church. In 1952, he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost after attending service at the Church of God in Unity. In the same year he became a member of Church of God by Faith where he served under the pastorate of Elder H.A. McKnight while there he acknowledged his call into ministry.
While serving in the Church of God by Faith for over 20 years he was ordained as Elder under the leadership of Overseer Nathaniel Scippio and Bishop Willie W. Matthews. He also pastored several churches in Hopewell, Bradford, Palatka, Keystone and many others areas. He later became the National Evangelist for the Churches of God by Faith.
Still obedient to the move of God, Bishop Camps founded the “Camps Crusade” and traveled from city to city in different states preaching the Gospel. His late wife, Mother Nellie Mae Camps and their seven children: Belinda, Walter Jr., Alfred, Terrilyn Janet, Marilyn, Beverly and Evelyn, all traveled with him and played invaluable roles in the ministry. On December 17th, 1988 Bishop Camps was united in holy matrimony to Mother Wilma Bloneeze Reid. Together they worked tirelessly to build God’s Kingdom and care for the people of God.
In 1975, Bishop Camps became Founder and Overseer of Holy Temple of God Incorporated with churches then in Keystone Heights, East Palatka, Blitchton and Gainesville, Florida. The ministry then expanded to St. Augustine, Florida; Sylvester, Georgia and Rantoul, Illinois.
In June of 1989 Bishop Camps and members purchased Landmark Holy Temple of God which currently sits on six acres of land. He was one of the first African Americans pastors to own a church in this area and pastored Landmark until his passing.
Bishop Camps not only had love for the church but his community as well. He served faithfully on the Ministerial Alliance, Black on Black Crime Taskforce, the Action Network and countless other organizations.
On Sunday, December 16th, 2007 after years of dedicated service to the ministry, Bishop Camps went home to be with the Lord.
After his passing his wife, Mrs. Wilma Camps established a scholarship fund to honor his life and love for help others. The Bishop Walter Camps Sr. Memorial Scholarship has provided scholarship to over a dozen youth in the community pursuing degrees at the University of Florida, Florida A&M, Santa Fe College to name a few.
HOLY TEMPLE OF GOD FOUNDING MEMBERS
Mother Nellie Mae Camps
Mother Coretha Byrd
Minister Rosa Byrd Hutchinson
Deacon Harvey J. Hutchinson Jr.
Deacon Clabe Mitchell
Mother Elizabeth Mitchell
Bishop Ernest McGollie, Jr.