History of Parham Chapel Ministers’ & Laymen’s Church
On June 20, 1960 – As organizer in the U.M, Church, duty called for Rev. Melvin L. Rogers to hold a revival at 2339 Jefferson Street. He had the help of the Knights of Christ Singers and the help of the Lytle Missionary society of Frankford, PA and many other friends.
The revival proved successful thus taking in five members during this time. The movement had started. The work had begun! The presiding Bishop, Bishop I. F. Parham awarded Rev, Melvin L. Rogers the rights of pastorate until the 5th Annual Conference.
New Members were coming weekly. The Church was organized. “Standards and Principles” were established.
1. We must not continue ourselves to denomination. Being interdenominational in mind, makes us liberal, open mended and understanding.
2. We must work the communities for youth movements.
3. Unity is more vital that uniformity.
After a few weeks, Rev. James Z. Jenkins was voted as an assistant pastor. The first officers were as follows: Church Clerk and Pastoral Secretary – Evelyn Talley; Trustees – Albert Talley, Rev. Jenkins, E. Rogers; Steward – J, Lytle; Stewardess – F. Lytle; Usher President – R, Scott.
The Church through faith and prayers of the members, grew and many souls were added. The church was formed of many young people and families. They were ambitious, eager and faithful in their works and above all, they put Jesus first in all of their undertakings and endeavors. We continued to have steady growth in our membership and, stepping out in faith, much prayers and sacrifice, the Pastor and members n the year 1961, focused their eyes for a new Church Home – due to the new housing development.
On December 25, 1961, we moved to our present site, 326 South 52nd Street which was as most people say, a storefront.
The members rallied together to purchase and renovate this building. They continued to band together, working in peace and harmony and making their own improvements on the property. This temporal change brought in many visitors and friends to see the fast rising church and to marvel at the transformation of the physical church.
Throughout the seven years of existence, the members have helped in the community works, encouraged helpful Christian Social activities for the youth, aided our Senior Citizens and given programs for the sick, needy and the poor whenever called upon. We distributed our own Newspaper, written and edited by the members.
In 1970, we the ministers, officers and laymen of Parham Chapel found it necessary to separate ourselves as an independent church; holding its own property, forming its conference and writing our own discipline. We secured our Charter under the name of Calvary Ministers and Laymen’s church with Reverend Rogers as Executive President and with the Lytle Prayer Room (of Frankford) as one if its tenants.
In 1971, Parham Chapel Evening bible School merged with the Gospel Crusades Bible School. We then had 60 members and 18 instructors of various denominations.
In 1974, Full Gospel Church, located at 2077 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia PA , united to work as one of our sister churches. After granting this privilege, we revised our Charter and became Ministers and Laymen’s Churches.
In May 1975, due to the poor health condition of Reverend Rogers, he was compelled to resign his position, thus leaving the school to continue in the Gospel Crusade Conference, independent of our conference.
In September 1975, we continued back in Bible teaching adults every Thursday evening.
On October 16, 1975, we organized a day Bible study called Mid-Day Missionaries Bible Classes.
In 1981, Parham Chapel’s members suffered a great loss. The church was partially destroyed by fire. For approximately one year, Parham Chapel Church held service at New Third Antioch Baptist Church, 5145 Delaney Street, Philadelphia, PA.
In 1982, renovations were made on Parham Chapel’s buildings allowing our members to once again worship in our own church home. The upper level of the Church was now converted into a dining room, kitchen, Trustee’s Room, Sunday School Room and Pastor’s Office. Architectural plans had been made prior to our returning to our own building. A new building was estimated to cost at least $700,000.
In 1983, Parham Chapel purchased the corner building located at 330 S. 52nd Street. This building was converted it into an auditorium and classrooms.
In the summer of 1985, The Parham Chapel Day Camp was initiated, with the Parham Chapel Preschool Learning & Activity Center beginning in the fall of the same year. Both were organized and directed by Sister Claudia Boatwright.
In 1989. Reverend Rogers felt lead to write and direct a “Heaven or Hell” pageant. This pageant, its cast involving members from various churches, was presented for many years through Philadelphia and its surrounding counties.
In 1991, because of the great influx of younger children, Sister ShaQuan Boatwright organized our first Junior Church.
In 2002, our first Computer Lab was established. With over a dozen computers, each student was able to experience “hands on” training. The instructor was Reverend Cherrilynn Bango.
Our goal at Parham Chapel Church is to increase the number of souls to our Church so that our current site will not house them.. We are also looking for greater things from the Lord in the near future. With your personal help we will we will do greater things. YOUR ARE OUR FUTURE.