In 1968, Sis. Daisy Barnes Turner, one of the founding members, and Sis. Leomia Barnes Hawkins whose father, E. D. Barnes who was also a founding member along with Rev. Durocher L. Blakey, pastor of Kyles Temple documented the history of Kyles Temple.
Sis. Turner gave the following account: “Some of the founding members marched into the new sanctuary, Thursday night, 8:00 pm, May 28, 1929, Thursday night, 8:00 pm, under the leadership of Rev. Sister Rosa Evans who was also leader of a Prayer Band holding meetings at Evans Mission House of Prayer on George Street.”
The following persons were included in the first meeting. Bro. George Elliott, his wife, Sis. Mattie Elliott, and their late daughter, Mosell Elliott; the late Bro. G. R. Barnes, and family, his late wife, Martha Barnes and children, Daisy Barnes Turner, Walter Barnes and Robert Lee Barnes; Sis, Nora Toomer and her mother, Sis. Lula Jenkins; and Sis. Christine Toomer; Sis. Mollie Washington, mother of Sis. Evans; Sis. Annie Farrar, Sis. Gertrude Farrar; the late Bro. Oraven Page, husband of Sis. Lena Page. Sis. Daisy Barnes Turner said, “After these devoted members marched into this sanctuary with their hearts and minds turned to God for a short while, benediction was read.”
According to Sis. Turner, the first Sunday School was held 10:00am the following Sunday morning, after which Rev. C. F. Martin preached the first sermon in the new church. Several new members joined the happy membership after the sermon. Sis. Turner continues: “The following Monday night was organizational night. Presiding Elder of the Durham District, Rev. W. W. Long, was holding a quarterly Conference with a rural church, and therefore was unable to attend the organizational meeting.”
However, Presiding Elder Long appointed the late Rev. Witherspoon to take his place along with Elder Barber, Elder I. H. Wilcox, Bro. G. R. Barnes, Bro. George Elliott, and Bro. Alexander Barnes. “Sis. Rosa Evans’ group and the new members Rev. Martin took in Sunday were in attendance. Bishop Kyles came over later and the church was named in his honor.” Sis. Leomia Barnes Hawkins gave the following account of the early organization: “In the Spring of 1929, Kyles Temple AME Zion Church was organized by Bishop Kyles, Presiding Elder Long, Presiding Elder Long, Presiding Elder I. H. Wilcox and his wife, Sis. Vera Wilcox, Rev. Sis. Rosa Evans Fuller, Bro. George Elliott and wife, Sis. Mattie Elliott, Bro. John Brown, Bro. E. D. Barnes and son, Bro. Alexander Barnes; Sis. Nora Toomer and her mother, Sis. Lula Jenkins; Bro. G. R. Barnes and family; Bro. Lewis Farrar and sisters, and Sis. Christine Toomer.”
“Bishop Kyles served as chairman of the organization. Appointed to the Board of Trustees were: I. H. Wilcox, A. R. Barnes, E. D. Barnes, Alexander Barnes, John Brown, George Elliott, W. W. Long, Brother E. D. Barnes was elected Chairman of the Board. Rev. C. F. Martin served as first pastor.”
The first Deed was recorded in the Durham City Court House, Book 102, Page 396, April 26, 1930. The Trustees were: W. D. Barnes, O. W. Coward, W. W. Long, P. T. Barbour, D. G. Garlord, C. F. Martin, and I. H. Wilcox of Kyles Temple A. M. E. Zion Church. Witnessed on the 15th day of July 1929.
Rev. Freddie R. McNeil
Rev. Anna J. Williams
Rev. Maxine Mangum
Rev. Barbara Turner
Rev. Fred Young, Sr.
Rev. Sheila Younger
Rev. Annie Burks Jones
Sis Charletta Mack Hines, Minister of Music
Bro. Ken Dunn, Preacher Steward
Bro. Borden Amos, Chairman Trustee Board
Sis. Rebecca H. Monroe, Administrative Assistant