Our History

The Foundation for William Temple House

was established in early 1965 when several lay members of the Oregon Episcopal Diocese met with Rev. Canon Clarence T. Abbott of the Parish of St. Mark in Portland. They gathered to discuss ways to embrace the Declaration of Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence, issued by Rt. Rev. John E. Hines, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America.

1970s Volunteers

Volunteers have served William Temple House since its founding in 1965.

As a result of their discussions, the group incorporated the Episcopal Layman’s Mission Society to operate a center for pastoral and licensed professional psychological counseling. They named their center in honor of William Temple, the late Archbishop of Canterbury and prolific author on Christian social action. A short time after the counseling center was launched, William Temple House expanded its role to include emergency material and financial assistance for individuals and families in crisis.

Since 1965, William Temple House has served Portland by providing help where it is needed on behalf of the disadvantaged and distressed in the community.

William Temple House outgrew its Marshall Street facilities and moved into the Mackenzie House on Northwest Hoyt Street in 1971. Abbott Hall, adjacent to Mackenzie House, was completed in 1981 to house the expanding counseling and social service programs. It is named in memory of Fr. Abbott, who served as executive director from 1965 until his death in 1990.

The Thrift Store, which helps support counseling and social services at William Temple House, is a few blocks away on Northwest Glisan Street.

Inside Mackenzie House

Influential Portland physician K.A.J. Mackenzie built the house that bears his name at the intersection of Northwest 20th Avenue and Hoyt Street in 1892 as a home for his family and a showplace for Pacific Northwest craftsmanship. A dedicated doctor and promoter of Portland, Mackenzie would participate in both the establishment of a medical school-now Oregon Health Sciences University-and the 1902 Lewis & Clark Exposition.