Church History

In 1931 Caldwell Temple A.M.E. Zion Church was originated as a mission church in a Bronx store front. Caldwell was founded by Anna Leftage, a Sunday School teacher in the A.M.E. Zion Church and a devout Christian. In 1933 the mission had grown so successfully that it was accepted as the first Zion church of the New York Conference, away from the Mother Church. Caldwell was named after Bishop Josiah S. Caldwell.

The reverends John A. Matthews and George A. Taylor were some of the initial pastors of the new Caldwell Church. On September 10, 1944, Anna Leftage’s dream finally came true when the Reverend Carnes Mckinney, a hard working pastor, relocated the congregation to its present site. Reverend McKinney served Caldwell and the Community for 33 years. His spiritual guidance and leadership made Caldwell into one of the more notable churches in the Bronx.

Reverend Paul McGuire succeeded Reverend Carnes McKinney. Reverend McGuire served from 1976 to 1978. Although his assignment was for a short time, he led Caldwell in the tradition of the A.M.E. Zion denomination.

Reverend McGuire’s successor was Reverend Dr. Paul F. Thurston. He brought with him a multitude of devout wisdom and understanding and community service knowledge. Reverend Thurston was faced with many challenges including the changing condition of the Caldwell community and the blighting neighborhood. He initiated the Thurston Plaza Housing Project which is responsible for financing the new housing in the neighborhood. Reverend Thurston pastored Caldwell until his demise, before his dreams were realized. Presiding Elder David Pharr acted as supply past in 1984 to 1985 after the demise of Reverend Dr. Paul F. Thurston.

In 1985 Reverend Robert L. Perry, Sr. assumed the pastoral duties at Caldwell. He continued to forge on with the Thurston Plaza Housing Project to its completion. Reverend Perry’s hard work and leadership in completing the Housing Project made Caldwell a stabilizing force in the Bronx. Under Reverend Perry Caldwell also purchased a parsonage.

Reverend Samuel Hill joined this impressive legacy and was assigned to Caldwell until his demise in 1997. During Reverend Hill’s tenure, he not only delivered religious messages, he was a champion in initiating and taking part in the much needed renovation of our church building at the time. Presiding Elder George McMurray supplied Caldwell after the demise of Reverend Samuel Hill in 1997.

In June 1998 Reverend Nathaniel B. Legay was assigned to Caldwell. Rev. Legay completed a physical renovation of the church and implemented various leadership improvement methods, spiritual growth technique through teaching, and improvements in the total quality of life in our church which we once dreamed to be in the far future. Presiding Elder A. Alfred Carson was the supply pastor for Caldwell from July 2007 - February 2008, after Reverend Legay returned to the New Jersey Conference.

On March 2, 2008, Reverend Henrico D. White has joined the illustrious ministers as pastor of Caldwell. We were blessed with this visionary and his profound ministry. During his four-year leadership (March 2008 - August 2012), our mortgage was burned, our praise, worship, fellowship and increased.

Our rich ministry continued with Rev. Monte Witherspoon-Brown, NC native who who joined us on September 9, 2012 as the pastor of Caldwell. In September of 2016 the Rev. Ezra Maize became our Pastor.

Through the godly wisdom of Bishop Dennis V. Proctor, he appointed the Rev. Edwrin Sutton on June 23, 2019 as the pastor of Caldwell Temple. In just a short amount of time we've witnessed phenomenal growth numerically, financially and spiritually. 

In 2019 we celebrate 88 years of ministry and by God's grace we believe that the "Best Is Yet To Come"!

Caldwell Temple AME ZIon Church