Our Founding Pastor, Bishop Felix F. Poyser
Before coming to Philadelphia, Bishop Felix F. Poyser served as a Pastor and District Overseer in the United Kingdom for 18 years. Through his efforts and the efforts of his contemporaries, which included knocking on doors to get people together for worship, Bishop Poyser became one of the pioneers of The Church of God in that region. His hard work and servanthood did not stop when he migrated to Philadelphia. Under his leadership, the 53rd Street (Poyser Way) New Testament Church of God that started with 7 members in 1974, at a storefront on 944 S. 58th Street, now has over 400 regular attendees at what once was a former factory in Southwest Philadelphia.
Bishop Poyser was a remarkably faithful, unusually humble and caring Pastor, known for his interest in each member of his congregation and the larger community. He served as the District Overseer for the Philadelphia Westside District of Churches and also was a member of the Pennsylvania State Prayer Team.
His life modeled the words of one of his favorite songs, “If I can help somebody as I pass along, my living shall not be in vain.” He was recognized by diplomatic and government officials, as well as the National Association of Caribbean Organizations for his efforts to bring together people of various cultures, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds.
In 1999, the City of Philadelphia honored this remarkable servant of God by naming the church block “Reverend Felix Poyser Way”, a deserving tribute. In October 2013, Bishop Poyser was awarded the Jamaican Consul General’s Heritage Award in New York, a distinguished award presented for outstanding service to the community and in March 2016, he was inducted into The Pentecostal Theological Seminary Hall of Prophets, which also provides a scholarship in his honor.
Bishop Poyser leaves to honor his memory his loving wife, Sis. Lilith E. Poyser, their three children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Sis. Poyser, a former midwife in England, retired as a nurse in Philadelphia and and the former President of the Philadelphia Westside District Ladies’ Ministries.