For more than 50 years, Faith Chapel has been a small congregation that’s found a way to do big things in Germantown and beyond. The founder of Faith Chapel, the late Bishop Eugene H. Graves, led both the church and the Faith Community Development Corporation (FCDC) for 48 years to “address the spiritual and physical needs of the [Germantown] community.” The son of Bishop Graves and current Pastor, Reverend John H. Graves, said that Bishop Graves was, for him, “one of the greatest examples of a social activist and pastor outside of Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Faith Chapel under the strong and steadfast leadership of Graves the father and now, Graves the son, continues to make an impact both inside and outside the walls of the church. Members are inspired to go above and beyond the weekly allotment of food that they receive from the SHARE and Philabundance programs to ensure that tens of thousands of people and families across Philadelphia receive food assistance. Also, FCDC has conducted clothing drives to benefit local families as well as families in Africa. And, as a Registered Community Organization (RCO), Faith Community Development Corporation weighs in on important matters affecting the changing face of Germantown. It is vitally important to show the community that it cares not just by being physically located in the neighborhood and holding worship services on Sunday, but being a part of the community Monday through Saturday, 50 weeks a year.
Pastor John Graves once said that the legacy of Faith Chapel is grounded in a steadfast “faith (that) gives us endless possibilities,” and “the fuel to go after things that they wouldn’t otherwise attempt.” Faith is not just part of the name of this congregation, but a guiding principle in everything they do. Faith guides the congregation’s spiritual mission to spread the Christian gospel through its example of social action that uplifts the downtrodden and activates in others a spirit of collaboration and openness. Faith guides the keepers of a legacy to boldly envision an expansion of its current footprint in East Germantown, a footprint anchored by a modest but beautiful brick building on East Price Street. Faith and love are in each and every smiling face that warmly greeted you on Sunday mornings. The legacy of Faith Chapel is one that recognizes that faith, service and social activism, will appeal to “people,” according to Pastor Graves, “(who will) want to be a part of what we do; (that, even if) people may not believe like us, they will believe in us.”