Jim Jones began his career as a preacher in both Methodist and Pentecostal churches, and while the first church he opened in 1954 – Community Unity – was not formally affiliated with a denomination, it included elements of both those religious traditions. Community Unity became Wings of Deliverance – initially also without denominational affiliation – but the latter became known as Peoples Temple about the time that Jones was ordained as a minister in the Independent Assemblies of God.
In part at the urging of Ross Case, a Disciples of Christ minister who became one of Jones’ assistant pastors, Peoples Temple applied to and was accepted in the Disciples of Christ in 1960. Jones received his ordination in that denomination four years later, in February 1964.
The Temple remained in good standing with the Disciples of Christ throughout the rest of its history, and was the largest denominational contributor in 1978.