Our Church History


Reverend Cromwell said a prayer, rolled up his sleeves and set about making Childs Memorial Baptist Church bigger and better than it had ever been. He wanted all members of the church to be involved with its operations and growth, from within and from without.

Reverend Cromwell had worked long and hard for our church and, eventually, his health began to weaken. While at a Baptist Minister’s conference, he happened to hear a preview by Reverend Hill Lloyd Norris. Reverend Norris agreed to help Rev. Cromwell with his pastoral load and served as assistant Pastor before and after Rev. Cromwell’s retirement. Reverend Cromwell retired and was named Pastor Emeritus in 1972.

In July, 1973, the search for a full time pastor was ended when Childs Memorial was blessed with Reverend Louis Cunningham (4th), a man of God, a dynamic preacher, teacher and counselor.

Reverend Louis Cunningham came to us, with his wife, Rebecca, and two children in September, 1973. In his 11 years of service, Rev. Cunningham oversaw numerous changes and accomplishments, working closely with the congregation to make our Lord’s house shine.

Much of the shine he helped to provide came from changes he made to the physical plant of Childs Memorial, including the installation of a new baptistery, wrought iron rails around the pulpit, a new public address system, air conditioners, heating system conversion and much more. Rev. Cunningham also had the wisdom to purchase a vacant lot from the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority which became the church’s parking area.

Later Rev. Cunningham, after expending much strength and vision to contribute to Childs Memorial Baptist Church, saw the need to employ his ministry calling elsewhere and so, in July, 1984, he left the church to organize the Love Zion Baptist Church on North 23rd Street.

Through prayer and unflagging determination, Childs was lead to Reverend Marvin LaMont Caldwell (5th) in July, 1985. At his side came his lovely, talented wife, Dianne Burton Caldwell and their daughter, Khaalisha, and son, LaMont.

Reverend Caldwell came to Childs Memorial with the goal of unifying her members completely so there would be ever-present cooperation in its functioning, that no members would be un-involved, either spiritually or physically. Rev. Caldwell in his tenure also led the church through more physical improvements, acquisition of a parsonage, as well as much ministry expansion and service to the community.

After thirteen years of dedication to the Childs Memorial Baptist Church, Rev. Caldwell, during a Sunday morning service, informed the church he felt the Lord was leading him to sojourn elsewhere. He told the church he was going to follow the leading of the Lord. The Childs Memorial family prayed, and wished him God’s blessings.