The Presbytery of Westminster’s Board of Home Mission identified Temple Terrace as a fast growing community in 1954 and for $16,000 purchased the land upon which the present church stands.
In the summer of 1955 about thirty residents of Temple Terrace decided to form a congregation under the leadership of Mr. Robert Byram and Mr. Abe John. They initially worshiped in a frame schoolhouse on Woodmont Avenue with the Reverend Frank M. Scarlett, Jr. as the Stated Supply Pastor. Rev. Scarlett also served as assistant pastor of the Hyde Park Presbyterian Church. On November 8, 1955, after obtaining the required 50 signatures, a petition was approved by the Presbytery of Westminster authorizing the formation of the First Presbyterian Church of Temple Terrace. By the end of 1955 they had outgrown the Woodmont School and were granted permission to meet in the cafeteria of the new Temple Terrace Elementary School.
In May of 1956 the Reverend James R. Jackson (Bob) was called as the first permanent pastor. From his post as a circuit rider in Virginia, he moved to Temple Terrace to organize and serve this new congregation. Soon there were building plans and loan approval and finally a sanctuary. A visitation committee collected names of new residents, visited them and invited them to worship. By 1958 the congregation had grown to 300 members. Recognizing a naming confusion with the First Presbyterian Church of Tampa, as both congregations have Tampa mailing addresses, this congregation changed its name to the Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church (TTPC) in 1958. The “Good Samaritan” collection also began that year, providing funds to assist our needy neighbors. Congregation members started the TTPC Weekday School in 1959 to meet the needs of children preparing to enter elementary school. Reverend Jackson resigned in 1965 having grown the congregation to 500 members.
Reverend Howard Leming was called in 1966. A fire on Christmas Eve in 1967 damaged the sanctuary and the education wing. For the next year the congregation met at the Community Church and the Elks’ social hall while a remodeled and larger sanctuary was built along with a new education wing, fellowship hall and kitchen. By 1970 the Weekday School had grown to an 85 children and 8 teachers, including the director. The choir had also grown to 25 people under the direction of a professional musician. This busy congregation formed two youth groups, seven women’s circles, 5 adult Sunday School classes, and three current issues discussion groups. In 1971 the congregation voted to eliminate the offices of deacon and trustee, with the elders on Session assuming those duties. After eleven years Reverend Leming accepted a call to Virginia in 1978.
Reverend Gerald L. Voye was called to be the next pastor. The church continued growing and considered building a larger sanctuary. After much consideration, it was decided to have an additional service. Many small fellowship groups and sports teams were formed. The Rev. Pamela King served the congregation as associate pastor from 1986 through 1989. In 1990, as the congregation reached its peak of 873 members, Reverend Voye accepted a call to become the Executive Presbyter of the Flint River Presbytery in Southwest Georgia.
In 1992 Reverend Gerald Iwerks became pastor after a brief interim ministry by Rev. Ruff. The church has made two mission trips to Belize during his tenure. A divorce recovery program was also started and open to the whole community. The fellowship hall was expanded and the kitchen modernized. The Endowment Fund was established. A contemporary worship service has been added. In 1997 the Rev. Roger Jackle became our parish associate.
The Rev. Charlene Heaton served as associate pastor from 1998 through 2005.
Following Rev. Iwerks departure in 2000, Rev. Taylor Hill served as interim pastor. Rev. Robert Coughenour served as interim pastor from 2002 until 2003.
The Rev. Fred Fife pastored the congregation beginning with renovating the Sanctuary in 2003 followed by the installation and dedication of new stained glass windows in 2004. Carrie Gassen was promoted to director of the Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church Weekday School in 2006. The Rev. Fife died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack in 2007.
Rev. Charles Ringe served as interim pastor until the election of Rev. Elizabeth Kuehl in 2009.
Jeanne Carignan began serving as the Church Secretary in 2010 along with Janice Owen as Director of Music/Organist. Chris Romeo became the choirmaster in 2011.
Following Rev. Kuehl’s resignation in 2013, Rev. LaDonna Scrugs served as temporary supply, then Rev. David Garnet as interim pastor, and finally by Rev. Ken Shick until the arrival of Rev. Robert Shaw in May of 2015.
During Rev. Shaw’s tenure several technological features were added. Of note: Video screens were added to the sanctuary and used to show liturgy and images during worship and the website was enhanced including an on-line directory. When the COVID-19 Pandemic began, Rev. Shaw shifted worship to YouTube. The congregation elected him Pastor Emeritus in September 2020.