Recognized since 1979 as an important location locally, Clayborn Temple, formerly known as Second Presbyterian Church, was orginally listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its Romanesque Revival design. However, the National Register reclassified the building as “nationally significant” for its role in the civil rights movement.
African Methodist Episcopal Church bought the building in 1949.
The building became a meeting place and training center for striking workers in the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike. “I Am A Man” signs were printed at Clayborn Temple and civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the church.