Parkway Christian Center is one of the few churches in the area that can say we have been ministering here for more than 75 years. We are proud of and thankful for our heritage. We believe in honoring the legacy of what God has done in the past and eagerly live to expect what He will do in the future. Take a look at our history: see where we have been, and see where we are going!
Established in January, 1932, Parkway Christian Center began as Norfolk First Pentecostal Holiness Church. The two founders, Mrs. L. I. Taylor and Mrs. Alice Messick, both felt a desire to establish a “full gospel place of worship.” Due to the churches nine charter members, all being women, the church was affectionately dubbed “The Ladies’ Church” by the Baltimore Conference, which it joined in March of 1932. The Ladies began by renting a small chapel on East 27th Street in Norfolk. However, that place would prove temporary for the growing congregation.
Between the years of 1932 and 1938, the church was constantly growing and constantly moving. Over this short period of time the church moved from the 27th Street Chapel to an abandoned church, a tent, two missions, the second floor of Tatem’s Drug Store, and a converted store front. Still, during this time, the church was marked with notable outreach efforts, which included bus ministries, which brought people to church. One determined believer even bought a used hearse to bring people to church. Eventually, by 1937 the pastor at the time, Reverend L.B. Edge recognized the need for a larger and more permanent facility to worship.
Construction of the new building was completed, thanks to the tireless help of volunteers, by November of 1938. The opening service was packed out in attendance. The church continued to grow and prosper, and by the mid-1940s the building was overflowing. There were two Sunday school classes going on in the sanctuary at the same time, and another in the balcony. One class was even being taught in the furnace room of the church. They added on an addition which lasted them ten years but soon, they would outgrow the facility. Plans to raise funds to build another church building began.
By Christmas, 1960 the First Pentecostal Holiness Church of Norfolk was meeting in their new, bigger building on the corner of Chesapeake Boulevard and Shoop Avenue. This building would serve the church well for 25 years.
However, by 1985 many of the church members were moving away from Norfolk into Chesapeake. Under the visionary leadership of Pastor E.L. Trueblood, the church bought a portion of land on Volvo Parkway and decided to build. Meeting in the parking lot, in the shadow of the half completed sanctuary, the congregation looked forward to a bright future. In 1989, they moved into their new church home, with a new name, Parkway Temple.
In 2007, under the leadership of Pastors Robbie and Lynn Jones, the church changed its name to Parkway Christian Center and is looking forward to the promises of God for our church and our community. We celebrate that we have had the privilege to serve and minister in the Tidewater area for over 75 years. We invite you to come and be a part of this great story God started so long ago.