At Temple Baptist chruch

We are Jesus-loving, Bible-beliving church located at the corner of Gallia and Waller St. Continue reading on to meet our leadership, learn about our beliefs, history, ministries, and missions. 



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John Gowdy
Senior Pastor

Other Leadership

Chaz Horsley-Youth Pastor

Elisabeth Bell-Church Secretary



Jeff Bell

Sam McKibbin

Brian Glenn

John Newman

Jared Lute


Mike Glenn

Josh Pinson


Mark Lewis

Mark Teeters


It's the Great Commission not the Voluntary Suggestion.

Below is a list of the ministries that we support at Temple Baptist Church. 

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CRADLE is a unique organization of volunteers from churches throughout our community who have banded together for the purpose of support. Together through CRADLE, we reach out to women and families in crisis by offering:

  • Free Pregnancy Tests
  • 24-Hour Crisis Hotline (354-CARE)
  • Biblical Counseling
  • Bible Studies
  • Pre/Post Abortion Counseling
  • Maternity and Infant Clothing
  • Infant Supplies

Our Purpose: The purpose of CRADLE is to share the good news of Jesus Christ with men, women and children through the Christ-centered provision of crisis pregnancy intervention, childbirth education, abstinence instruction, and related helps.

Contact Information:
Address: The Carousel Center
1112 Gallia St., Portsmouth, OH 45662
Phone: (740) 354-2273
Hours: Monday - Thursday 10:00 a.m.  - 4:00 p.m.
Executive Director: Melanie Malone
Office Manager: April Clausing

Temple Tots

Temple Tots Preschool is a Christian-based preschool that teaches values to its students as well as prepares them for kindergarten.

 For enrollment information and tuition costs please contact us at 740-354-3939.

Administrator-Caroline King

Find us on Facebook!!/pages/Temple-Tots/138008003011422?fref=ts

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Life Line college ministry

Join us for LifeLine on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. on the third floor of Temple Baptist Church. It consists of praise and worship featuring their live band, free food, and it deals with many issues that college students are facing today. Come and dive into the Word of God and make new friends along the way!



Began in the Bi-Centennial year of 1976.  This daily devotional radio ministry is conversational in style and designed to share Scripture in a broad and practical context.  It can be heard on WNXT - 1260 AM on Monday through Friday after the Noon News near the end of the hour. We also have recent episodes of Temple Time available on SoundCloud and the church Facebook page!

We also have the Weekly Bible Minute every Monday Morning at 7:50 AM on The Breeze  107.5 FM

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Seniors Ministry

Pastor Gowdy speaks at the Hill View Vespers Service, the Second Sunday of each month, at 3:00 PM.
Washington/Biggs House Bible Study---last Monday of each month--6:30 PM

Global Missions

Taking Good News to every corner of the world, Temple Baptist supports over 50 global missionaries 


ABWE/ youth& children's ministries

General Fund
Doug Amundson- Finances
Robert Cady - Cambodia
Tom Carr - Japan
Kent Craig - Field Representative 

Paul Fields - Paraguay  (TBC sending church)
Jason Fletcher-Columbia
Jon Griffin  USA - Retired
Roy Jones - Spain   
Ben Krueger-China West-Toronto
Cami McGraw - Spain
Chris Pilet -New York (TBC sending church)
Tom & Edie Sartor USA-  Retired
Earl Shaffer - Ohio
Barb Taylor - Ohio
Bill Tobias - Papua New Guinea
Dave Toro – Florida- Retired

Erin Wawro-Brazil
Paul Weber - Australia  
Tom Wolfe - South Africa


Baptist Children's Home - Ind./Mich./Ohio
Life Matters Worldwide
Shepherds Ministries - Wisconsin

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Baptist Mid-Mission

General Fund
Jeff Brown - Germany
Gerritt Buining - USA- Retired
Ed Christy – France

Andrew Comings-Brazil
Tim Fink - Romania
Paul Fulks-Utah
Steve Fulks - Home Office
Charles John - India 

Dave Kimmel-Romania
Joe Mita- Japan
Arnaldo & Shelly Silva USA/Paraguay
Stan Templeton – Peru

Mike Vaneck-Cleveland Inner-City
Jerolyn Virgillo - Arizona Navajo
Jim & Jenna Wright-Bible Translation
David Yoshida - Japan 

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associated groups/ Camps

Baptists for Israel
Baptist Missions to Forgotten People-Bobby Burdett-Madagascar
Baptist World Missions-Nathan Freel
Biblical Ministries Worldwide-Steve Barnes-France
CRADLE Crisis Pregnancy Center - Portsmouth, Ohio
GARBC – Illinois

Gideons International
Global Outreach Missions-Doug Wilson
Grace Global-Aaron Bowes-Germany
Grace Global-Gary & Nancy Storm-Camping
International Baptist Missions-Kieth Jones-Italy
Teach Beyond-Joahua & Katie Nathan-Black Forest Acd.  
Bill McVey (Jewish Awareness Ministries) -Retired

Sam Sanderlin-Wings as Eagles

Memorial Missions Worldwide-Nicole Scarberry-DR


Scioto Hills - Wheelersburg, Ohio

Skyview Ranch - Millersburg, Ohio
Camp Patmos - Kelly's Island,Ohio

We Believe...

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Resting our faith wholly in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, and believing in the teachings of the Holy Bible as the inerrant, inspired Word of the living God both verbally and in every part, we have affiliated ourselves with one another as a body of immersed believers, and we adopt this constitution as a declaration of our convictions so that we carry on the Lord's work decently and in order. We enter into a fellowship which asks all of its members to engage in the ministry of maintaining its unique and significant testimony against apostasy, worldliness and indifference. We earnestly seek by every means possible to assist our church in its positive preaching of the Bible as the Word of God, and in seeking to win the lost to Christ.



Section 1. First Baptist Temple was established in Portsmouth, Ohio in the year of our Lord, 1850.  The congregation re-organized after the Great Depression.  The new church charter was approved November 13, 1937, with the corporate title of The Temple Baptist Church, Portsmouth, Ohio. 


Section 1. THE SCRIPTURES: We believe that the Holy Bible as originally written was verbally inspired and the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore, is Truth. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried. (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21). The Bible is to be read, memorized and incorporated into the believer's daily life. (James 1:22; John 13:17)

Section 2. THE DOCTRINE OF GOD: We believe there is one and only one living and true God, infinite Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, equal on every divine perfection, and executing distinctly by harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Exodus 20:2-3; I Cor. 8:6; Revelation 4:11; I John 5:7)

We believe that, during the lives and ministries of Christ's Apostles, the Holy Spirit was manifested through signs, wonders, tongues (languages) and special gifts. (I Cor. 12:1-11: 28-31) These continued until the completion of the inspired Texts and the death of the Apostolic Age. (Acts 2; I Cor. 13:8-10)  While we affirm that the work and role of the Holy Spirit is indispensable in the life of the believer, we reject the "charismatic movement". The role of the Holy Spirit is to bear witness of Jesus Christ, not to "speak of Himself." (John 16:7-15)The fruit of the Spirit for the present church age is detailed in Galatians 5:22-26. The gifts of the Spirit for this present church age are detailed in Romans 12:6-8.


ANGELS: We believe in the personal existence of angels who were created by God to bring honor and glory to His name and to serve Him. Those angels who kept their first estate minister for them who are heirs of salvation. There were among the hosts those who fell with Satan, the angels who kept not their first estate, who are presently functioning in Satan's counterfeit system as rulers of darkness, to be resisted by the believer through the armor provided by God. (Isaiah 6; Matt. 17:18; Ephesians 6:11-12; Col. 1:16; I Tim. 4:1-2; Hebrews 1:4; I Peter 1:12; Jude 6)(Isaiah 14:12-15; Luke 10:18: II Cor. 4:4; 11:13-15; Ephesians 2:2; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 12:9)

Section 4. CREATION: We accept the Genesis account of creation and believe that mankind came by direct creation of God and not by evolution. (Genesis, Chapters 1 and 2; Col. 1:16-17; John 1:3) Consistent with a literal interpretation of the Bible, we accept seven twenty-four hour "days" in Creation.

Section 5. THE FALL OF MAN: We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of His Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not only by constraint, but of choice, and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Genesis 3:1-6, 24; Romans 5:10-19; Romans 1:19,32)

Section 6. GOD'S PLAN FOR SALVATION: We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, Who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place, the Just dying for the unjust; Christ, the Lord, bearing our sin in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour. (Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24; John 3:16; Matt. 18:11; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53:4-7; Romans 3:25; I John 4:10; I Cor. 15:3; II Cor. 5:21)

(a) That Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness;

(b) That it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteous-ness which we have done; but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood, His righteousness is imputed to us. (Acts 13:39; Isaiah 53:11; Zech. 13:1; Romans 8:1; Romans 5:1,9)

Section 7. THE CHURCH: We believe the Church to be the entire company of born again believer's from Pentecost to the First Resurrection. This company is united to Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is the Body of Christ of which He is the Head. As His Bride she is espoused to Him as a chaste virgin to one husband. Her end is eternal glory with Him. (I Cor. 15:23, 52; 12:12; Ephesians 1:22-23; II Cor. 11:2; Revelation 21:2, 9-11) Its Scriptural officers are: Pastors (sometimes called Bishops or Elders) and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus as well as Acts 6.)

Section 8. PERSONAL and ECCLESIASTICAL SEPARATION:We believe the Scriptures teach that every believer should be separated unto God from the world, and by the aid of the Holy Spirit, should walk in Christian love and holiness, exhibiting qualities of honesty, integrity, forgiveness and loving-kindness.

We believe the Scriptures teach that the believer should be separated from apostasy as exemplified in the ecclesiastical organizations; those who sanction theological compromise, or preach "another" Gospel. We seek to avoid and to repudiate extremes in the practice of "secondary separation," which is isolation from other believers who are perceived to be compromising by their contact with people outside a narrow and personally defined theological position. (Romans

14:19-21; I Cor. 6:18-20; Matt. 10:34-39; 18:15; I Cor. 5:7-13; II Tim. 2:16-18; II John 9-11)

Section 9. CIVIL GOVERNMENT: We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society, that those in authority are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth. (Romans 13:1-7; II Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21-22; Acts 23:5; Matt. 22:21; Acts 4:19-20; Acts 5:29; Daniel 3:17-18)

Section 10. THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE: We believe that all human life is sacred from fertilization throughout the human life continuum. We believe that human beings are created in His image and, as such, are to be protected. We believe the weak, vulnerable, infirm, handicapped, pre-born need and deserve our respect and our care. Therefore, we oppose those practices, policies or procedures which undermine or deny the God-given right to life of every human being. We reject the notion that there are some lives not worthy of living and embrace the belief that we should graciously receive and protect all human life God gives. This position also includes regard for the elderly and physically infirmed. Because of the responsibility granted to man, to organize and maintain a civilization and government, issues of capital punishment, self-defense and warfare are exceptions. (Genesis 1:26; 9:6; Psalm 51:5; 82:3-4; 139:13-17; Isaiah 34:2, 24; Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:41)

Section 11. HOMOSEXUALITY: We believe that homosexuality is not an acceptable "alternative life-style." That throughout the Holy Scriptures it is God's practice to condemn and judge homosexuality as a pagan abomination. This life-style is a result of personal choice, not biological or genetic physical determination. Homosexuality is a perversion of God's natural order of the monogamous permanence of the marriage vow. The male-female roles within marriage picture the relationship of Christ to the Church and is therefore a sacred union and the object of Satanic attack. (Ephesians 5; Genesis 18:20-19:25; Duet. 23:17-18; I Kings 14:21-24; Romans 1:18-27; I Cor. 6:9-11; I Tim. 1:10; II Peter 2:6-9; Jude 7)

Section 12. FUTURE THINGS: We believe in the bodily, personal, pre millennial return of Jesus Christ; that He will come before the seven-year Tribulation period to catch away His Church, coming only into the air, and that He will come with His Church at the close of the Tribulation to judge the living nations and to set up His Kingdom. (I Thess. 4:13-18; Matt. 25:31-36)

We believe in the resurrection of the bodies of the dead; that believers who sleep in Jesus will be raised at the coming of Christ for His Church and caught up with transformed living saints to meet the Lord in the air, and that the wicked dead will be raised at the close of the Millennial Kingdom and stand in their bodies at the Great White Throne judgment to receive their final doom. (Revelation 7:9-17; 20:11-15)



Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relieve of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations. We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to refrain from all forms of activity which dishonor our Lord Jesus Christ, or which cause stumbling to a fellow believer, or hinder the winning of a soul to Christ; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior. We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay. We moreover engage that, when we remove from this place, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this Covenant and the principles of God's Word.

We believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. (Acts 8:26-39; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 3:16; Col. 2:12; I Cor. 11:23-28)

We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life, that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation.

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue to an unrepentant state and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting blessedness of the saved, in Heaven, the New Jerusalem, the new heavens and new earth and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in Hell and the Lake of Fire. (Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Romans 6:17-18; I John 5:19; Romans 6:23; Romans 7:6; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 6:25; Matthew 25: 34-41; John 8:21)

We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension; solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine Truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. (John 3:3, 6-8; II Cor. 5:17; I John 5:1; Acts 16:30-33; II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; II Cor. 5:19; Colossians 2:13)

We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6; John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39; Jude 1 (R.V.) This doctrine does not provide license for the believer to live contrary to the teachings of God's Word. The convicting work of the Holy Spirit, coupled with the believer's new nature, will not allow sin and disobedience to remain unchecked. As we are saved by the power of God, we are sealed and kept by the power of God. (I Peter 1:5; II Tim. 1:12; Ephesians 1:13)

We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification. 

We believe that repentance and  faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are the only conditions of salvation. (Acts 16:31) 

We believe the Scriptures teach that Christ died for the whole world and that salvation of sinners is divinely initiated, wholly of grace, and accomplished only through the mediatorial work of the Son of God. It is wholly apart from works and is upon the sole condition of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and never without genuine repentance. In order to be saved the sinner must be born again, personally receiving Christ as Savior, being regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit through faith in the Gospel and becoming the recipient of a new nature. The great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification, that judicial act of God accompanied by the pardon of sin and the imputation of divine righteousness, not because of any works of righteousness on our part, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood. The believer who has exercised personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is completely justified and in possession of eternal life which is eternally secure. (John 1:11-12; 3:3-6, 16; 10:28-29; Acts 13:39; Romans 2:4; II Cor. 7:9-10;; Ephesians 2:8-10; I Tim. 2:5-6; Hebrews 4:2; I Peter 1:18-23; II Peter 1:4; 2:1)

We believe that Satan is a person, that he is the unholy god of this age and the author of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. (Matt. 4:1-3; II Cor. 4:4; Revelation 20:10)

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer. (John 14:16-17; Matt. 28:19; Hebrews 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Genesis 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5-6; Ephesians 1:13-14: Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; Romans 8:14,16,26-27)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary as no other man was ever nor ever can be born of a woman. He is very God of very God, being "God manifest in the flesh." He lived a life of absolute sinlessness and in His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins, dying not as a martyr, but as a voluntary substitute in the sinner's place. He rose bodily, in a glorified state, from the dead on the third day and ascended into the heaven where He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest, interceding and preparing a place for us. He shall appear in the air to rapture His saints, and after seven years, shall come again with the saints to set up the throne of David and establish His millennial kingdom. After this Kingdom age, He will continue His eternal glorified state. (Matt. 1:18-25; 28:6; John 1:1, 14:3; 20:27, 28; Acts 15:16; I Cor. 15:4; I Thess. 4:16; II Thess. 2:6-8; Hebrews 7:25; 8:6; 12:2, I Peter 2:22; 3:18; I John 2:1; Revelation 3:21)

Our History

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Temple Baptist Church traces its roots back to early settlers who traveled down the Erie Canal and bringing the Gospel with them. In 1847 The Ohio Baptist Convention, headquartered in Chillicothe desired to begin a work in Portsmouth. The church organized in the home of Mr. D. D. Jones on January 19, 1850 as the First Baptist Temple Church. A charter was granted to the church by the Ohio Legislature on March 20, 1850. The first building was dedicated on March 20, 1859. In 1909 the congregation moved to recently purchased property on the southwest corner where Gallia and Waller Streets intersect. The original temporary structure was referred to as "The Tabernacle with a sawdust floor." The original permanent structure was completed in 1916. This building was tragically destroyed by fire shortly after the conclusion of the morning worship service on December 27, 1925, which was one of the coldest days recorded. Firemen heroically tried to save the building, but their hoses froze. Unable to stop the blaze, they saved some of the church records, furniture, and part of the pastor's library. 

New building. new hope

After the destruction of the meeting place, the congregation met for a time in the Auditorium of Portsmouth High School.  Under the Pastoral leadership of Dr. Stuart Tillis a new building was finished and occupied in 1928. The design reflected the effort to ensure the building would resist destruction by fire. Bank officers requested a flexible design be used in the event of financial reversal they would have a marketable property. The auditorium for example could be converted into a theater. 

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In 1929, The Great Depression gripped the nation and the congregation defaulted on its loan. At the time, it was considered to be the largest church in town with an extended membership roll numbering approximately 1200. During the early 1930's the building remained unsold, and the church met in Radioland. In 1937 the Ohio River flooded and water crested at the top of the pulpit of the church sanctuary. As times got better the church made an offer to the bank to restructure their debt and was able regain the building and reorganize under the name of Temple Baptist Church under the Pastoral leadership of Rev. H.O. VanGilder, who served until 1944 when he left to become the first National Representative for the newly formed General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. The Church continued to grow through the WWII years and become debt free in 1945.


In 1976 the church began Temple Time and a Pre-school known as Temple Tots which continue to the present. Since it's construction, a number of building renovations and remodeling has been completed in recent years, including the addition of an elevator.

Thirty men have served as Pastor of Temple Baptist Church. In 1984 the church called Rev. John Gowdy, who was the Youth and Visitation Pastor, to serve as Senior Pastor. Pastor Gowdy grew up in Portsmouth and in Temple Baptist Church. In June of 2018 Temple Baptist celebrated the 32nd anniversary of John & Leigh Gowdy's ministry as Senior Pastor & First Lady.