According to the Conference Journal of The Florida Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the year 1890, the Reverend Pearl Daniel entered the Methodist Ministry. In 1893 Rev. Daniel through diligent, dedicated hard work girded by faith in God started a church in the old Afro American Life Insurance Building. It was named Bowman Methodist Episcopal Church in honor of Bishop T. Bowman, the man who ordained Reverend Daniels as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church. The church grew by God's help. In the year 1896, the Annual Conference was held at Bowman. Reverend Daniel served as Minister of Bowman until his death in 1907.
1907-1910 Methodist Women: Committed to Community
Following Reverend Daniels, The Reverend T.H.B. Walker, and The Reverend K.R. Meeks served as ministers. Nancy A. Hewitt records that the women of Bowman Methodist Episcopal Church formed a missionary society that hosted speakers, including Christina Meachum of the Harlem Academy who spoke in 1909 on the increasingly expansive topic, “Women”. (Southern Discomfort: Women’s Activism in Tampa Florida 1880s-1920s, pg. 160)
1910-1930 Dynamic Growth and Leadership
A dynamic evangelistic preacher, the Reverend W. D. Bartley came to Bowman in 1910. His leadership resulted in a glorious renewal experience for the congregation. Rev. Bartley served Bowman for twenty years, winning souls for Christ and enhancing the economic base. Under Reverend Bartley’s strong leadership, the church continued to grow numerically strong. In 1930 Reverend Bartley left Bowman's flock to become a District Superintendent.
The Reverend William R. Stephen followed Rev. Bartley and served for one year. At the end of that year Reverend Bartley returned to serve for another year.
Reverend D. S. Selmore succeeded Reverend Bartley for the second time. He served for seven years and was followed by Reverend D.W. Demps and Reverend W.P. Holmes who each served for one year. Rev. Holmes was succeeded by Reverend G.T. Tyer, whose ministry greatly revolutionized Bowman Church.
1940-1961 New Church, New Name
Reverend Tyer was an eloquent, dynamic spiritual preacher, who inspired others to do God's work. Under his leadership a Building Fund was established. This task was undertaken during the World War II era when materials were difficult to obtain. With faith in God, the task was completed that resulted in the beginning of the end of Bowman Episcopal Church. The new church was; renamed in honor of Reverend Tyer for his dedication and devotion. Reverend Tyer gave twenty-one years of dedicated and untiring service. In 1961, he was called to his greater reward. With fond memories of him being a servant of God, Reverend G.T, Tyer and his wife Alice, will always linger in the minds and hearts of those who knew them and whose lives they touched. From the time of Reverend Tyer’s death, until the annual conference, the reverend James C. Murray, who was the District Superintendent served as interim pastor.
1961-1967 The New Tyer Temple Continues to Grow
At the conference Reverend Cubell A. Johnson was the first minister appointed to serve at Tyer Temple after the death of Rev. Tyer. Reverend Johnson was also a teacher and further developed the Youth Program.
Following Reverend Johnson came the dynamic Reverend S.S. Robinson who lifted the congregation spiritually with both preaching and singing. He served until 1967.
1967-1991 New Name New Choir
ln 1967, Reverend J. B. F. Williams was appointed minister of Tyer Temple. Under his leadership. Tyer Temple moved from Scott and Jefferson Street to Tampa Heights Church, 503 East Park St. During this period, Bowman Methodist Episcopal Church and The United Brethren Church merged, and the church was renamed Tyer Temple United Methodist Church. The Reverends Bernard Milton and Don Steger assisted Reverend Williams, who was the Senior Minister. Many programs were expanded, and several new programs began.
The Reverend Eddie J. Rivers succeeded Reverend J.B.F. Williams. Following Reverend Rivers, Reverend Cubell A. Johnson returned to Tyer Temple. The Cubell A. Johnson Contemporary Choir was organized at this time.
Succeeding Reverend Johnson was Reverend John Adams, who served faithfully for one year. He was succeeded by Elder Oliver Gordon. Under his leadership, an outdoor ministry was established, along with Church Revivals. Elder Gordon served faithfully until 1988. Reverend James Brazzell was appointed minister in 1988. His ministry continued through 1991.
1991-2003: Obstacles, Challenges and Dynamic Leadership
In 1991, Tyer Temple was assigned its first female minister, Rev. Dr. Joretha McCall Capers. This was also her first assignment after completing seminary. Under her dynamic leadership, the church began to develop a mission statement and an outreach ministry that included bi-monthly “come as you are" worship breakfasts for the needy.
Dr. Capers encouraged the Church to become active in the Tampa Heights Redevelopment Alliance and Neighborhood Preservation. She served faithfully as the Minister of Tyer Temple for three years until 1994 when Reverend William Leslie was appointed Pastor during The Florida Annual Conference.
Reverend Leslie was a very reverent, spiritual minister, teacher and counselor. Many of the programs that were in effect continued during his stay. The Youth Coordinator position, previously an appointment, became a part of the Church Staff. Mrs. Ruth Leslie was hired as the first Youth Coordinator.
During Reverend Leslie’s tenure it was time for our remaining faithful members to reluctantly move to a smaller church. Because of the many memories of the congregation the move, though an economic necessity resulted in great heartache. However, God was steadfast and the move to our new home on north 15th Street has proven to be a wise decision. With God's help the congregation has survived all obstacles.
The Reverend Dr. Lydia Moore began her ministry at Tyer Temple in June 1996. Under her leadership the church was incorporated, a vision was developed, and the sale of the old Tyer Temple was completed. Rev. Moore believed in Bible Study Classes. She was very knowledgeable about the administrative business of the church and its relation to the Conference. She was always willing to share this knowledge with officers and members.
During Reverend Moore's stay at Tyer Temple, many improvements were made such as, new carpeting in the sanctuary, new air conditioning units, fencing and paving of' the parking lot and the painting of Roa's Ark. Reverend Moore mentored three Ministerial Trainees to The United Methodist Church Conference. Reverend Moore was a gift from God. In. our worship services she incorporated Ash Wednesday, Foot Washing and Healing Services during Easter Sunrise Service in the courtyard. Reverend Dr. Lydia C. Moore retired in 2003, after serving seven years at Tyer Temple .
2003-2018 Ministry in a Third Century
Reverend Theo H. Jackson was appointed after Pastor Moore retired. He arrived with much vitality and a humble spirit. Reverend Jackson's leadership led to several programs and activities for the Youth and Young Adults. Pastor Jackson’s appointment ended in January 2005,
Pastor Geraldine Christopher's arrived in February 2005. She was appointed as a Certified Candidate Supply Pastor. This was her first appointment. Pastor Christopher's love and faith in God is dearly seen and noted in every sermon.
Under her leadership and guidance, Tyer Temple began a Food Pantry and Clothes Closet for this community. Groceries were distributed every first and third Wednesday of the month. Her faithful husband, John Christopher has taken this on as one of his ministries.
Rev. Christopher truly believes in networking with other United Methodist Churches in the District. Along with three other United Methodist Churches, we actively participated in the Celebrate Jesus week July 2006. Bible Studies were held every Wednesday night, the number of Lay Speakers has increased and Members became more involved in workshop seminars sponsored by the district. Rev. Christopher came to us as a supply pastor but stayed with us until she retired in 2017.
In 2017 Tyer Temple became part of a two-point charge with St. Mark UMC of Lakeland Florida and Reverend Dr. Harold D. Lewis was appointed to pastor the two churches. Under Dr. Lewis’ leadership Tyer Temple obtained the deed to the property including the church building, the Hub, and the Resource Center; Pastor Lewis successfully made a presentation and proposal to the General Board of Global Missions to deed the educational buildings behind the church to Tyer Temple; Pastor Lewis laid the groundwork for the establishment of a christian school at Tyer Temple. In just one year Dr. Lewis has ignited a “fire” among the leadership at Tyer Temple and renewed our interest in engaging our community in mission and ministry.
As of July 2018 Tyer Temple is once again a single charge and the baton was passed from Pastor Lewis to our current Pastor Doug Walker.