Timeline of the Peoples Temple

1956- Peoples Temple founded in Indianapolis as an integrated church combining evangelical, enthusiastic religion and loosely socialist politics. Jim Jones, the founder and pastor of the church, preformed healings which attracted many members. The congregation was predominately black.

1960- Jim Jones was appointed director of the Indianapolis human rights commission.

1961- The Peoples Temple Full Gospel Church, as it came to be called, became a part of the Disciples of Christ. Jones was ordained by that faith in 1964.

1965- Jones moved the Temple's headquarters to Ukiah, California, a city near San Francisco which he thought would be a safe haven in case of a nuclear war.


The Peoples Temple attracted more members and much favorable coverage in the press and from the political establishment as Jones himself and the Temple in general became more active in the community. Jones was even appointed to the San Francisco Housing Authority.

It was also during this time that some questions were raised by people outside of the group as to possible human rights violations within the group. the organization of concerned relatives was formed in response to reports of beatings and other punishments afflicted on members by Jones and the Temple's leaders.

It was also during this time that Jones decided to move his congregation to Guyana.

1978- By the end of 1977, more that 900 Temple members were in residence at the commune in Guyana. At the end of the day, November 18, 1978, 914 members had committed suicide.