For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD",
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

Our History

Stated are a few of the principle essential doctrines in which The Christian Church In Philadelphia believes:

  1. God to be manifested in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with all three being of the same essence,
  2. The doctrine of water baptism,
  3. That there is salvation in Jesus Christ only, and that He is Lord,
  4. The Bible to be the infallible Word of God,
  5. In the doctrine of the gifts of the Holy Spirit,
  6. That there is a heaven where the saints of the Lord go upon the death of the body,
  7. That there is a hell where unbelievers go upon the death of the body,
  8. In the resurrection of the dead and,
  9. In the second coming of Christ!

The beginning of The Christian Church In Philadelphia took place on July 25, 1978 at The Goodwill Baptist Church, 4705 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Reverend Dr. Elijah Thompson, Jr., Pastor, on a Tuesday evening around 7:30 o'clock. More than 200 persons were present at this meeting and all of these persons agreed unanimously that they wanted the Reverend Gordon S. Houston to be their pastor. After sharing with those present that he believed the Bible to be the Word of God, the law and teaching for the church, and that the teaching of the Bible must be the final authority in the church, with sound and theological interpretation, the Reverend Gordon S. Houston gave his whole-hearted consent to be their pastor until death or until the Lord directed him otherwise. Those present accepted. Thus, began The Christian Church In Philadelphia.

One hundred and eighty-three of the initial more than two hundred, according to signed statements, met on August 13, 1978 at The Calvary Church, Manheim Street and Pulaski Avenue, Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Father John F. Leser, Rector, for their first worship. After the Service, the Pastor met with the Church Clerk and told her that he would like the Church to be known as The Christian Church In Philadelphia. Father Leser was kind enough to allow the Church to worship at The Calvary Church on the next two Sundays, August 20 and 27, 1978. The Lord provided another place to worship: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Wayne Avenue and Harvey Street, Father James A Forrest, Priest-in-Charge. With the blessed permission of Brother John M. Scruggs, Senior Warden, the Vestry and Father Forrest, Worship Services began at St Peter's on the first Sunday in September 1978. The First Holy Communion as The Christian Church In Philadelphia was received at St. Peter's Church. Between September, 1978 and September, 1979, about ninety persons decided not to be known as Christians only, others because they grew weary from having to worship at 2:00 P.M. Yet, the Lord continued to bless The Christian Church adding some and taking away others.

During this time some brothers of the Church were chosen, consecrated and appointed as Deacons, and some sisters were chosen, consecrated, and appointed as Deaconesses to care for the sick, to carry out the ministry of benevolence, and generally assist the Church in her ministry. In the meantime, brothers and sisters were faithful in giving the Lord His tithes and bringing offerings and sacrificial gifts to the Lord for use by His new assembly. A Church School was begun to train the people of God in the ways of Christ. A weekly Fellowship was instituted to train the people in the ministries of the Church, during the years 1979 and 1980. They have all been a great blessing to the Church. After much sacrifice and dedication, Articles of Incorporation were filed in the Department of State on the fourteenth day of March 1979. An Incorporation Certificate was issued on April 13, 1979. This was a great boost for the Lord's people, - as was evidenced by their visible expressions of joy. The young Church began to plan seriously toward the objective of buying a building in which to worship and carry forward the teachings of Holy Scriptures, in the year 1980. By the grace of God, through the sacrifice and commitment of his people giving $36,500.00 and with a generous gift-loan from the late Reverend Dr. James Coleman, the Pastor of The Concord Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts, in the amount of $12,000.00 the Church made settlement for the property at 1315 E. Washington Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with $48,500.00 on January 13, 1981. Even though the property cost a total of $135,000.00, a few more than ninety souls moved forward with courage, faith and determination.

The first Worship Service was held in the new building on August 9, 1981. The burden and responsibility of preparing the building for worship were tremendous, and a few of the ninety souls who went to the new building did not remain. Yet, keeping the Word and remaining constant in prayer, seventy or more persons moved forward, with The Holy Spirit as their guide and the joy of their salvation as comfort, to do the work of the Lord. Between August 13, 1982 and June 20, 1983, the Church was granted a Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, Real Estate Tax Exemption from the City of Philadelphia through the Board of Revision of Taxes, Federal Income Tax Exemption by the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, and the City of Philadelphia, Water Department, granted the Church Charity Rates. Since 1983, many improvements have been made on the Church building, such as, the Heating system, the Air-conditioning system, Roofing, Carpeting, Pastor's Study, Church Office and Meeting rooms. A Baptismal Pool has been installed and a kitchen is now being installed.

In the year of 1996, we believe the Lord sent Rite Aid of Pennsylvania, Incorporated to offer to buy the supermarket that we had turned into our Church. After deliberation, the Advisory Council vis-à-vis Board of Directors of The Christian Church In Philadelphia voted unanimously to accept their offer of $1,500,000.00 and settlement was held on July 15, 1996. We believed this to have been a blessing from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. However, to our sadness about 100 saints decided to no longer remain as members of The Christian Church In Philadelphia. Yet, the young Church had received enough money to pay off all her indebtedness to buy a couple of properties and move forward in faith. During the period from July 15, 1996 to July 1, 1998, the young Church worshipped at a place called Lakey’s on Stenton Avenue and then in the Fellowship Hall of Zion Hill Church of God in Christ on Washington Lane with the blessing of her pastor, the Reverend Dr. Lafayette Gooding. It was on July 1, 1998 that the Lord again blessed us with our present Church at a cost of $475,000.00. We had our first Worship Service in the new Church on Sunday, July 5, 1998. What a blessing! The people were happy and since being here the Lord has added to his Church a total of 191 souls with 94 of those coming to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Now the Church has a replacement value of approximately $2,000,000.00 and some funds invested! Since being in our new Church, many have been blessed. Some have been healed from various maladies. A network of computers have been installed in our offices, new carpet has been installed in the sanctuary, nave, narthex, the nursery, the Sunday School room and our offices as well as other multipurpose rooms. Moreover, the Church has purchased and paid for a new piano, a new Hammond Organ and Leslie Speaker along with a new public address system and a cassette tape and CD recording system! All of these improvements have been accomplished without incurring any debt at a cost of over $115,000.00. Weddings have taken place. Babies have been blessed and dedicated. And, the people just keep on rejoicing, because of what the Lord has done and is doing!