Calvary Church will celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2021!
Our congregation began in 1921 when a small group of believers started using a wind-up Victrola record player to attract attention to their evangelistic street meetings. They gathered for worship at temporary locations on Germantown and Allegheny Avenues in Philadelphia. The group was soon large enough to construct a church building on Westmoreland Street.
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. He also led the move to a larger building on 11th Street.
The congregation kept growing and outgrowing buildings. Another move took them to an unused church building on Courtland Street. 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 1962, Pentecostal Gospel Mission merged with Faith Tabernacle, a smaller church that had been located in Oreland. This combined congregation continued to meet in Philadelphia at Courtland Street.
Rev. Griepp launched a building program that led the church to our current location in Wyncote. The cornerstone was laid in 1968.
Gerald Fortunato was called to pastor Calvary Assembly in 1974. He was followed by William Acker in 1980 and R. Stanton Williams in 1983. The church purchased the adjoining house on Washington Lane to use as a parsonage while Stan Williams was the pastor.
John A. Holt became the Lead Pastor in 2001. During his tenure the congregation built a much needed addition that includes an enlarged foyer and a youth/children room. The church also began using “Calvary Church” as our public identity.
Pastor Randy Eliason was elected as the new Lead Pastor of Calvary Church in February 2016.