A church built on the Word of God

The bible is the cornerstone of our belief system. We study God’s Word each week and encourage the members to find solace in its books. The answers to life’s questions can be found in the pages of this book.

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Come worship with us

All are welcome to our services. Our congregation is blessed with talented musicians and a dedicated shepherd in Rev Damon Carver.

Our Services

Inspirational Messages

Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!

This first verse expresses the goal, the hope, the prayer of all Christians. What a great thing it would be if all the people could live together harmoniously! What things we could accomplish! What great pleasure we would have! How attractive that would be.

Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

Even though we might fancy ourselves as expert judges, at times it can be tricky to determine by observation whether the agape love is truly cooling. This is because the word “love” can be a subjective term, and even the phrase “sacrificial love” is wide open to interpretation.

We’d LOVE to hear from YOU!

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Our Church History

James Varick A.M.E. Zion Church is the combined congregations of the former Varick Memorial Temple A.M.E. Zion and Saint James A.M.E. Zion Church. Together, these two churches have served God and Zion for nearly 200 Years.

Varick Memorial Temple – On May 27, 1908 during a session of the General Conference, which convened at Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church in Philadelphia, PA the Varick Church, was set apart as a memorial to James Varick, the first Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. The first location for this new church was the corner of 19th and Lombard Streets. The first Pastor was Rev. W. D. Battle. Under his pastorate, the congregation grew and prospered. In 1910, they were able to purchase and move into a larger building, located at 19th and Catharine Streets. They remained at this location until the late 1990’s. Having survived “The Great Depression”, mortgages and changes in pastors, the church found they could not withstand the decrease in membership and the vast deterioration of the building. As they began the search for a new location, the invitation was extended to share space with St. James A.M.E. Zion Church. The Pastor, Rev. William G. Rogers accepted the invitation.

St. James – On October 3, 1936 Rev. James E. Dennis gathered together his family and a small group of Christians families, and together they established a Methodist Church that would spiritually enrich the South Philadelphia Community. In 1947, Rev. Dennis desired to become a part of an established Methodist body. Being inspired by Bishop C. C. Alleyne, it was decided they would become a part of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Rev. Dennis and the congregation worshiped in several locations throughout the city while searching for a permanent home for the church. Finding a lot at 20th & Reed Streets in South Philadelphia, he made the purchase and built the current building. After being consecrated by Bishop Dunston, the congregation of St. James A.M.E. Zion Church moved into their new building in the mid 70’s. They continued to grow and prosper; the families who comprised the original membership continued to support the church through the years. Like so many congregations, the membership began to dwindle and responsibilities became harder to meet.

James Varick A.M.E. Zion Church – Varick Memorial Temple and St. James shares worship space for several years, having their morning services at different times. However, due to the dwindling congregations of both churches, in September of 2007, the Presiding Prelate at that time, Bishop Warren Matthew Brown, officially combined the two congregations into one church. He gave the new name as St. James/Varick A.M.E. Zion Church, keeping parts of both names for the new body. The name was later changed by vote of the congregation to James Varick A.M.E. Zion Church. The first appointed Pastor of this new church was Rev. William Gary Rogers, Sr. On November 1, 2009 they held a Unity Service. There was a lighting of the Unity Candle by the oldest active member from each of the previous churches, Sis. Barbara Lucas from St. James and Sis. Louise Mack from Varick Memorial. During the candle lighting, a Unity Declaration was read to the congregation.
This combined church has a historic list of Pastors, three of whom have served the Connection on the Episcopal level as Bishops. They are: Bishop E.B. Watson, Bishop J. D. Cauthen and Bishop R. L. Speaks.
This congregation continues to thrive and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the community under the Godly leadership of our current Pastor, Rev. Damon N. Carver.

Mission Statement

James Varick A.M.E. Zion Church; REACHES out to the last, lost and least, DISCIPLES those seeking conversion and SERVES this present age.

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Times of Worship

Phone Prayer – Thursday @ 6:30 PM
Bible Study – Tuesday @ Noon and 6:30 PM
Sunday School @ 9:00 AM
Sunday Worship @ 10:00 AM

Ministries

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Gospel Choir

Render selections during worship service – several Sundays.
Head: Lloyd N. Carver

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Trustee Board

Responsible for all Church property.
Head: Paul H. Johnson III

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Stewards Board

Insure temporal comforts for the Pastor.
Head: Patricia S. Griffin

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Stewardess Board

Make provisions for the support of the Pastor and his family.
Head: Denena Smithwick

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Daughters of Miriam

Senior dance ministry.
Head: Cathy Mason

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Home Missions Board

Raise funds and awareness for the work of the ministry. Raise money for special projects of the Pastor.
Head: Patricia S. Griffin

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Lay Council

Purpose to deepen the spiritual life of the Laity. Anyone not in the ministry can join.
Head: Patricia S. Griffin

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Class Leaders

Persons devoted to God who regularly check on their members.
Head: Cleo P. Southern

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Deaconess Board

Consecrated based on good character. Duties include preparing elements for Holy Communion.
Head:  Sandra Edwards

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Christian Education

Promote and Supervise the Christian training and development.
Head: Darlena Johnson

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Sunday School

To give interpretation and guidance in the Christian way of life.
Head: Darlena Johnson

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Combined Usher Boards

Children, Youth, Young Adult and Adult Usher boards.
Head: Cleo P. Southern

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Men’s Ministry

Men who are making a difference in the lives of young people.
Head: Lloyd N. Carver

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Conference Workers

Raise money to support those attending Conference.
Head: Fay Carver             

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Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society

  • Parent Body:  Members over age 41 who promote the knowledge and understanding of God, teach the concept of Christian mission.
    Head: Ida B. Wilson
  • Bureau of Overseas Supply: Donations of clothing, medicine, literature, finances, etc. collected for those in need.
    Head: Marlene Thomas
  • Life Members Chairman: Life members, honorary life members, matrons, and patrons whose donations support education, training, field missions and other work of the WHOM Society.
    Head: Yvonne Williams
  • YAMS:  Women age 22 to 40.  Objective includes social concerns (Child abuse, teen pregnancy, dependency, HIV/AIDS, world hunger, etc.)
    Head : Natasha Sephes
  • Youth Missionary Society:  Young women age 13 to 21. Purpose to give young women the opportunity and privilege to serve others.
    Head:  Patricia S. Griffin
  • Buds of Promise:  Age 1 to 12. Purpose is to establish Christian learning environments and experiences through mission education.
    Head: Annette Noelcin        

Ministry Staff

We’re blessed to have a caring and spirit led core of leaders in our ministry.

Reverend Damon N. Carver

Pastor

Rev. Dr. Thelma Fletcher

Associate

Rev. Walter K. Little

Associate

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