Mason Temple

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Historic marker outside Mason Temple

Mason Temple, in Memphis, Tennessee, is a Christian international sanctuary and central headquarters of the Church of God in Christ, the largest African American Pentecostal group in the world. The building was named for Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, founder of the Church of God in Christ, who is entombed in a marble crypt inside the Temple.

Built in 1941 during World War II, the Temple was constructed to replace the original "Tabernacle" or meeting place of the Annual Holy Convocation which burned down in the late 1930s. Despite shortages of steel and other supplies, the Mason Temple was the largest church building owned by a predominantly black Christian denomination in the United States at its completion. It has a present seating capacity of 3,732.

It was the location of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous last speech: "I've Been to the Mountaintop", on April 3, 1968; King was assassinated the next day. [1]


  1. ^ Thomas, Evan (2007-11-19). "The Worst Week of 1968, Page 2". Newsweek. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 

Coordinates: 35°7′17.5″N 90°2′57.6″W / 35.121528°N 90.049333°W / 35.121528; -90.049333