The First 300

Mount Calvary Baptist Church

Walnut Avenue view of Mt. Calvary in 1909. The original design of the church was disallowed at the call of protesting white neighbors. Current design plans are based on the original plans and would allow the church more room to build. Renovations added a larger entryway to make it easier for caskets to be brought into the chapel for funeral services.

Mount Calvary (Walnut Avenue in Ardmore) was organized during a meeting at the home of Mrs. Flora Woodson of Simpson Road, Ardmore, in January of 1906. First services were held later in that month under the direction of Reverend E. Luther Cunningham, who served for two years. The church gained official recognition shortly thereafter (April 1906) by unanimous vote of the Baptist Churches of Philadelphia and Vicinity.

Since establishment, nine reverends have accepted the pastorate. Of these men, Reverend F. M. Hedgeman had served the longest: 1913 to 1953! During his long tenure, the church grew in size and relevance in the Ardmore community; a new church was erected and dedicated (the mortgage was retired after only nine years), a new entrance and additional Sunday School facilities were added and a new pipe organ was installed.

Mount Calvary is presently led by Pastor Albert Gladstone Davis, Jr. Under his leadership, many new and successful programs have been instituted, including the Board of Christian Education, Christmas Candlelight Services, Holy Week Services and the Parents Ministry Group, which works to address issues in local schools.

Having recently celebrated their 90th anniversary in 1996, Mount Calvary boasts a steadily growing congregation of more than 300 members.

Sunday School 1956. Sunday School is an important way for youth to learn the Christian faith in a classroom setting. Learned adult members of the congregation serve as teachers; with the assistance of clergy, lessons are planned to introduce children to the Bible. Prayer and song complement the lessons.
Rev. F.M. Hedgeman, who served as Mount Calvary’s pastor for forty years. Under his leadership, church membership grew and capital improvements increased the physical capacity of the chapel.
1937 view of the interior. The pipe organ, originally installed, has since been removed. The magnificent ceiling was plaster-crafted by hand and contains a beautiful artistic canvas.