The year was 1921. It was only two decades since an unprecedented worldwide revival and the modern day Pentecostal movement began at Azuza Street in Los Angeles.
Following an evangelistic street meeting conducted with a Victrola on a pushcart, a small group of believers began gathering at 4045 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia for fellowship and worship. After moving to several other locations on Germantown Avenue and Allegheny Avenue, the church constructed a new building at 11th and Westmoreland Streets. Many new converts found Christ as Savior in these beginning years.
Pastor Benjamin Cox led the growing congregation for thirty-five years. Under his leadership, the church was officially incorporated as the Pentecostal Gospel Mission of Assemblies of God on December 16, 1940. The church subsequently moved to 3300 N. 11th Street in Philadelphia while Brother Cox was the pastor.
The need for better facilities prompted the congregation to move again, this time to an unused church building at 16th and Courtland Streets. Pastors Robert Watters and A.A. Smith served the church during this time.
On February 27, 1956, the congregation changed their official name to Calvary Assembly of God of Philadelphia. In 1958 the church called James A. Griepp to be the pastor. He led the congregation for fifteen years.
In 1954, in the northern suburb of Oreland, a small Assembly of God church led by George V. Porter was incorporated as Faith Tabernacle. In 1962, Faith Tabernacle and Pentecostal Gospel Mission merged into one congregation with Rev. Griepp as pastor. They met at 16th and Courtland Streets. During his tenure, Pastor Griepp launched a building program that led the congregation to construct a present building in Wyncote in 1968.
Gerald Fortunato was called to pastor Calvary Assembly in January of 1974. He was followed by William Acker in 1980. After Pastor Acker’s death in 1983, Rev. Howard Roberson served as the interim pastor until the congregation chose R. Stanton Williams as their new Senior Pastor.
After 18 years, Pastor Williams resigned and followed the call of God to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The congregation elected John A. Holt as the new Senior Pastor in 2001.