This was written by the Motown songwriter Norman Whitfield. It was first recorded by The Undisputed Truth, but Whitfield also had The Temptations record it, with much greater success.
At first, lead singer Dennis Edwards hated the song. His father, who was a preacher, died on September 3rd, the date in the first line of the song. He was irate at Whitfield for choosing that date, and convinced it was not a coincidence.