Prophet William S. Crowdy arrived in Philadelphia, PA in May, 1899 after leaving the area of New York, NY and Newark, NJ.
He began preaching the Word of God on the southeast corner at Broad and Rodman Streets. His voice was so electrifying that people were attracted and compelled to see who this brave and courageous man was, speaking words about God, that they had never heard before.
He set up the first “Tabernacle” called O’Neil Hall, (1900-1901) located at the northeast corner of Broad and Lombard Streets. This place of worship was procured and obtained by a curious member, namely Calvin Skinner. Prophet William S. Crowdy’s call was so overwhelming that people came from near and far to hear him and to align themselves with his doctrine. The congregation began to quickly grow so that a larger place of worship was needed. Prophet William S. Crowdy was able to obtain Quaker City Hall (`1901-1937) to hold services.
It was in this place the first Passover was held, immediately preceded by “a feast in the wilderness”, during which time “goodies” of all kind were served prior to cleaning out all leaven foods. In 1937, services were held at 1626 Federal Street until August 13, 1954 when the congregation, under the pastorate of Rabbi Jehu A. Crowdy, moved to our present edifice at 602-614 S. Broad Street.
Other places of worship were located at –
1701 Kater St – 1933 & 1700 block of Montrose St. – 1931. Both places were utilized less than one year.
The following ministers held the prestigious office of being Pastors/Overseers of Zion Tabernacle:
1901 – Church of God Publishing House (Home of the Weekly Prophet)
1901 – Church of God Restaurant
1901 – Church Warehouse – located at Delaware Ave. & Front St.
1901 – Noah’s Ark Store – located at 1628 Fitzwater Street
1902 – Barber Shop – Coal & Wood shop – Photographer Office – Grocery Store Locations of above businesses unknown; however they were all in the vicinity of Fitzwater Streets.
During the Pastorship of Chief Joseph W. Crowdy (1908 – 1917) and Bishop William H. Plummer (1917 – 1921), the Widows & Orphans Home was located at 16th & Webster Streets (809 S. 16th St), and operated by St. Katie Gordon. She served as the Matron of the Home. When Bishop William H. Plummer moved to Belleville, VA. and it became Headquarters, the Widows & Orphans Home was relocated to Headquarters in Belleville, VA.
Humbly Submitted By:
The Late St. Barbara Dickerson-Davis