Our Leadership

Pastor Emeritus Gordon S. Houston (ret.)

Gordon S. Houston, Sr. is the Pastor Emeritus of The Christian Church in Philadelphia. He became the spiritual son of God when he was born of the spirit of God in August 1952 at the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Troy, Mississippi, and was baptized in water on Sunday, August 24, 1952. Pastor Houston was educated at Lane College, preach the Gospel. In June 1969 the Lord, Jesus Christ, set him in the office of pastor (Ephesians 4:11), and in 1969 gave him Beech Spring Baptist Church, Jacks Creek, Tennessee to pastor. Other churches that the Lord gave him to pastor were Morning Star Baptist Church, Roxbury, Massachusetts and Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

With guidance from the Holy Spirit and encouragement from devout and Godly believers, on July 25, 1978 with the help of a few other saints, he organized and established The Christian Church in Philadelphia for the expressed purposes of worshipping God, doing the work of Jesus, and carrying forward and adhering to the teachings of the New testament, specifically, and the Holy Bible in general. Since that date and time, many have been saved, some healed, and many helped not to lose their sanity. Thousands have been born of the spirit of God from hearing Pastor Houston preach and teach the Word of God since he began preaching in December 1968. Lastly, when he has the opportunity he preaches and teaches the Word of God with an anointing from God so that whoever hears and believes may be saved, blessed, refreshed and healed. Pastor Houston retired as the Pastor of The Christian Church in Philadelphia in 2015.

He is the husband of the late, Mary E. Houston, and the father of four children: Gordon Stanley Houston (Ily), Jr., Kimberly E. Spivey (Raheem), Alexander G. Houston (Erika), and Jennifer L. M. Wilson (Ronald), all of whom are saved. He is also the grandfather of four grandchildren, Gordon Stanley Houston, III, Grant Andrew Houston, Alana Houston, and Ava Houston.

Pastor Gordon Houston

Minister Kimberly E. Spivey, Esq

Minister Kimberly E. Spivey, Esq. is a founding member of The Christian Church in Philadelphia. She is an anointed, chosen, devoted woman of God who loves the Lord with all her heart, soul, and mind. Kimberly received Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior at the age of four. She was filled with Holy Spirit in October of 2003. She was licensed September 9, 2012. She completed her divinity training at Word of Faith Christian Center and is pursuing a Masters in Divinity from Eastern University. Her vision for the body of Christ is to see them manifest the Glory of the Lord in His fullness.

Kimberly has served as the Young Adult Directress and the 25th Anniversary Chairperson. She has also served on the Praise Team, Voices of Praise Choir, Faith Choir, and in the Women’s Ministry. Kimberly’s frank and funny teaching style has impacted hundreds of people. She has ministered the word of God through such messages as “Pain, Promise, and Promotion”. She has also chaired several women’s and singles conferences including “Empowering Women Warriors for God”.

Kimberly holds a B.S. in International Business Finance from Howard University and a J.D. and L.L.M. in taxation from Temple University. Kimberly is currently employed with Campbell Soup Company as the Associate Director of International Taxes. She is married to Raheem Spivey. She enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with friends and family. Her favorite scripture is John 16:13,“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

Minister Kim Houston, Esq.

Reverend Leslie Cook

Minister Leslie Cook became a member of The Christian Church in Philadelphia in 1981. He was called to the ministry in 1981 and licensed June 14, 1992 by the Jameson School of the Bible in Philadelphia. He has served as the director of the The Christian Church of Philadelphia Church Adult Sunday School of the Bible for over twenty-five years. In addition, he has served as a member of the TCCP Advisory Council since 1982. Outside of the church doors, he has participated in prison ministry.

A Philadelphia native, Minister Cook graduated from Simon Gratz High School and attended Temple University as an Industrial Arts Education major. Professionally, he owned and operated a trucking company for fifteen years and a plumbing company for eighteen years. Minister Cook is the proud husband of Evelyn Cook and father to Jamal Cook, Ayanna (Cook) Bradshaw and son-in-law, Ian Bradshaw. He is the grandfather of five grands. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, hunting and watching sports games. His favorite scriptures are John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” and 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”

Reverend Leslie Cook

Minister Ruth Hunter

Minister Ruth Inez Warthen Hunter has been a faithful and active member of The Christian Church In Philadelphia since 1982. She was licensed (Dec.2007), and ordained (June 2014) to preach the Gospel. Minister Hunter obeyed God’s instructions to start a prayer ministry in September 2006 and has attended faithfully on Tuesday morning at 6 AM along with others until this date. She loves to sing and is a faithful choir member. Minister Hunter has been leading Praise and Worship Ministry for twelve or more years where she exhorts the congregation with her exuberant praise to the Lord. She serves as Executive Secretary of The Christian Fellowship Ministers’ Conference of Philadelphia & Vicinity. She is treasurer/coordinator of Explosion! Taking the City via THE HOLYSPIRIT, an Evangelistic Team evangelizing all areas of the city as GOD speaks. Minister Hunter is currently teaching at Manna Bible Institute and is the Financial Secretary of Manna Bible Institute Alumni Association. She is also a member of the Women’s Auxiliary of Manna Bible Institute.

Minister Hunter was educated in the Public School System in Washington County, Georgia. She is a licensed Cosmetology Teacher. She attended Community College of Philadelphia and was a 2004 graduate of Manna Bible Institute. She received her ETA certification May 28, 2004. After studying at Christian Counseling Education Foundation, she continued her Biblical studies to receive an Associate in Christian Ministry, Bachelors’ in Bible Theology and a Masters in Bible Theology from Manna Bible College of Wilson, NC. Additionally, Minister Hunter completed an independent study in Foundational Hematology (2013) under the auspices of Rev. Dr. Shirley Ann Pritchett-Hilton. Th.D., Ph.D.

Ruth has been married to her husband, Jimmie for fifty plus years. To this union God gave two sons. Jamil Saeed and the late Tarik Lateef Hunter. One of her favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”

Minister Ruth Hunter

Reverend Annlouise G. Brown

Minister Annlouise Goodner-Brown is a founding member of The Christian Church in Philadelphia. She was licensed and ordained February 7, 1988. Minister Brown has served the Church in many capacities including Teacher of TCCP’s Sunday Church School and Vacation Bible School, Youth Ministry, Culinary Ministry, Choir and Director of the Pastoral Aide Ministry. She has traveled the world as a volunteer for Christian missions in the United States, South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Minister Brown also serves as Chaplain and Clergy Council for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., on local, regional and national levels.

Minister Brown holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Case Western University, Sorbonne University, Cheyney University, Penn State University and Lutheran Theological Seminary. A retired educator and fashion and textile designer, she currently enjoys working as a Minister and motivational speaker. In her spare time she enjoys reading, swimming, traveling. Her favorite scripture is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Reverend Annlouise G. Brown

Reverend Harry Wilson

Minister Harry Wilson has been a devoted member of The Christian Church in Philadelphia since 1978. He was licensed and ordained May 24, 1998. Over his decades of service to The Christian Church in Philadelphia, he has served as Deacon, Director of Men’s Fellowship, Teen Fellowship and Assistant Director of School of the Bible. Currently, Minister Wilson is a beloved member of the Faith Choir, Finance Committee and Advisory Council. Of all of the work he has done as a Minister, he is most proud of the dozens of people he has introduced to Christ.

Minister Wilson retired after dedicating twenty-seven years and five months as a driver for South Eastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA). He is the proud husband of the late, Mary Wilson and father of Keith, Jacqueline and Samantha. He enjoys being with people and his church family and believes he is privileged that God allows him to tell others about God through teaching. His favorite scriptures are Genesis 1:1, ”In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” 1John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is her that is in you, than he that is in the world.” and Hebrews 4:13, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him whom we have to do.”

Reverend Harry Wilson

Minister Davitra Y. Smith

Minister Davitra Smith has been a member of The Christian Church in Philadelphia since 2015. She accepted Christ at the age of six. Minister Smith preached her initial sermon in November of 2002, becoming a licensed minister. Minister Smith loves to spend time with young people. She has a love for scholars to see them nurtured and growing beyond their potential. Smith has a heart for children with special needs, whether physical, mental or emotional. She believes that we are all special gems created to contribute to a better society and culture.

In 2004, Smith graduated from Temple University earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and certification in Business Administration. In 2010, Minister Smith completed her studies at Palmer Theological Seminary, earning her Masters of Divinity degree. She was also highlighted as a premier, up and coming preacher in the 2009 Dr. Ella P. Mitchell Daughters of Thunder Preaching Conference. She is currently employed as a Special Services Coordinator at Global Leadership Academy Charter School.

Minister Smith is married her best friend Dr. Aaron X. Smith. They are blessed with two children, their daughter Jeniece Yvette Marie & their son Bakari Ade Xavier Smith. Among reading, enjoying nature, and spending time with family and friends, Minister Smith loves to preach and spread the Good News! Her favorite scripture is John 14:1 "Let not your heat be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."

Among reading, enjoying nature, and spending time with family and friends, Minister Smith loves to preach and spread the Good News!

Min. Davita's Full Bio

Minister Davitra Smith

Minister Joann F. Newton

Sister “Jodi” was born in NYC and raised in Florida and now considers Philadelphia her home. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Talladega College, Master’s Degree in Special Education from Antioch University, and post-graduate studies to obtain Senior Career status with the Philadelphia Public School System. She has obtained a Certificate in Christian Leadership from Palmer Theological Seminary, and presently is enrolled in the Master of Theological Studies program with an emphasis in Christian Counseling at PTS.

Sis. Jodi spent 42 years working with children with special needs, 37½ of those years devoted to children in Philadelphia. She also taught arts and crafts for 34 years, to adults with special needs at an evening program at Philadelphia High School for Girls. Although she retired from the School District in 2014, she still volunteers at times, assisting teachers with students who exhibit limited social skills.

November 1980, marks the day that Sis. Jodi decided to accept the Lord as her Personal Savior. During her 37 year walk with the Lord she has served as a Youth and Young Adult Leader, taught adult and children’s Sunday School, worked with Children’s Church and volunteered with Vacation Bible School. Other activities within the church include Christian Drama Ministry and the Praise Dance Ministry. She gives God praise for every blessing He has added along the way.

Sis. Jodi is a member of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women Incorporated, Philadelphia and Vicinity. This is an organization that was founded by her grandmother, Josephine B. Keene.

In her spare time she enjoys arts and crafts and gardening, but her dearest hobby is writing poetry and stories for children. Although presently unpublished, she prays that one day God will open the door for her books to bless many children.

At present, she is an active member at The Christian Church in Philadelphia, where Rev. Dr. Alexander G. Houston is the Pastor. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 11:29. “For I know the plans that I have for you…..”

Minister Joann F. Newton

Administrative Staff

Church Treasurer

Brother Jason M. Wingard, PhD

Church Clerk

Sister Laura R. Howard

Church Sexton

Brother Edmond W. Davis


“…therefore, select from you people of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge…” Acts 6:3 The diaconate serve in support of the Pastor and the church in worship, as spiritual leaders, and giving guidance to all ministries and discipleship groups of the church. TCCP is tremendously blessed to have members of the diaconate, both men and women called by God, to serve and care for His people at The Christian Church in Philadelphia.

Deaconess Hazel Bailey

Deacon Ronald V. Cole, Esq.

Deaconess Ayana S. Bradshaw

Deacon Howard M. James Jr.

Deaconess Roseanna Diggs

Deacon Ernest Parks

Deaconess Ily J. Houston

Deacon Norman E. Powe Jr.

Deaconess Cora Ingrum

Deacon Brian A. Smith

Deaconess Lucille S. Rochester

Deacon Michael White

Deaconess Linda Pierce

Deacon Morris N. Thomas Jr.

Deaconess Estella L. Thomas

Deacon Robert White

Deaconess Genevieve Wilson

Deacon Kenneth Wilson

Deaconess Valerie L. Wakefield

Deacon Ralph J. Gibbs

Advisory Council

The Advisory Council of The Christian Church in Philadelphia is dedicated to the service of stewardship to the church, the community, and everyone who comes here to worship. We welcome your prayers, your support, and your input. The Advisory Council derives its authority to organize and operate under Cannon Law, of the Canon Laws of The Christian Church in Philadelphia, which is our governing document of The Christian Church In Philadelphia, and the state and federal laws applicable to nonprofit organizations. There are currently 12 Advisory Council Members:

Reverend Dr. Alexander G. Houston

Reverend Gordon S. Houston Sr.

Deacon Jason M. Wingard, PhD

Deacon Ralph J. Gibbs

Deaconess Estella L. Thomas

Reverend Leslie R. Cook

Deacon Ronald V. Cole, Esq.

Reverend Harry Wilson

Deacon Norman E. Powe Jr.

Deaconess Lucille S. Rochester

Deacon Howard M. James Jr.