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Who We Are

Meet the Pastor

Rev. Denise L. Davenport is the oldest daughter of Robert and Rev. Norma D. Joseph.  She is a native New Yorker and has lived most of her life in the Bronx.  Rev. Davenport is married to Bro. Charlton Davenport and has 3 adult children. China, Xellex and Chaz.

She has been a nurse for over 25 years and currently is the Director of Education at ABC Training Center, an allied health vocational school which trains essential workers such as certified nursing assistants, EKG technicians and phlebotomists to name a few.

Rev. Davenport was ordained a deacon on October 1, 2011 and then Elder in June 2013.  She has served as pastor of  Bell A.M.E. Zion Church, Center Moriches, New York and St. Mary A.M.E. Zion Church, Medford, New York.  She also served as the Long Island District Director of Christian Education.

In June 2021 Rev. Davenport was appointed pastor of the Caldwell Temple A.M.E. Zion Church, Bronx, New York.

Rev. Davenport is pursuing her Masters in Divinity and is currently enrolled in Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, North Carolina.

Who Rev. Davenport is can be summed up in three points…..

  • She Loves God!
  • She Leans on, who she calls her big brother, Jesus!
  • And She’s Led by the Holy Spirit!

Our Belief

There is but one living and true God

...of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness. In unity of this Godhead there are three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ, the Son, is God in the flesh - fully human and fully divine.

He was crucified, died, and buried, to reconcile humanity to God, and to be a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, waiting for the day when He will judge all humankind.

The Holy Spirit is God.

All the divine attributes ascribed to the Father and the Son are equally ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit instantly resides within every person who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit is a comforter, a teacher, guider, and helper. The Holy Spirit enables every believer to live lives filled with the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

The Holy Bible has all information necessary for salvation

...and living a life of holiness and righteousness. The Old and New Testaments both point toward Christ as the savior of the world.

All people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

There is nothing that any of us can do to earn salvation. It is only through God’s grace, by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that we are able to enter into right relationship with God. Only by faith that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, died for our sins, and was resurrected on the third day, can we be saved.

The AME Zion Church

In America, it is generally conceded that Methodism first shed its light in the city of New York. About the year 1765 when a plot of ground on John Street was leased and two years later purchased and the first chapel built. During the entire early struggle of the new organization, Black people figured prominently in Methodism even to devoting the building for the first organization. Between the years 1765 and 1796 the number of Black members increased greatly. So much so that caste prejudice forbade their taking the Sacrament until the white families were all served. This and the desire for other church privileges denied them induced them to organize among themselves.

The first church organized in 1796 and built in 1800 was called Zion. The founders chose this name because, “it was the name most frequently used in the Bible to designate the church of God,” even Zion Hill before there was a worship house. Among the leaders of the movement was James Varick, who was the first Bishop and to whom is attributed the founding father of the Zion Church. Zion church was incorporated in 1801 by the name “The African Methodist Episcopal church in New York.” Methodist Episcopal was always in the title to exhibit the retention of the doctrine and form of church government under which the denomination originated. “African” was prefixed to the rest of the title of this church because it was to be controlled by descendants of Africa, in the interest of humanity, regardless of race, color, sex, or condition. Therefore, these people of African descent, with an indubitable pride in the Fatherland and abiding love of kinship, desired to maintain their identity, their ancient cultures and background for posterity. Because another organization came into existence around the same time, with the same title, and so much confusion was brought about, the General Conference of 1848 voted to make ZION a part of the denominational name, henceforth, to be known as the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church.

From the very outset the Zion Church has been in the forefront in the battle for full citizenship and freedom in this country. The AME Zion Church encompasses all of the United States, Canada, Caribbean Islands, England, Africa, India and South America, and it is under the supervision of twelve (12) elected Bishops. The New York Conference, of which we are a part, is a part of the North Eastern Episcopal Area. This Episcopal Area includes New York, Western New York, New England and The Bahamas Conferences.

Methodist - It's Beginning

WHERE: The Methodist Church started in Oxford, England, in the Holy Room on the campus of Oxford University.

WHO: John Wesley, an evangelist and his brother, Charles Wesley, a writer.

WHY: Out of protest. The religion of England was Roman Catholicism, a faith which gives the Pope all the authority in to how one should worship God. The Wesley brothers felt that each individual should be free to worship God at will. So, out of protest, the Protestant Church, which is simply a Christian Church or a group of Christians, split from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th Century because of a desire to study the bible and worship God in their own way, was organized.

HOW: These brothers along with a few other students held services daily in the Holy Room. Other students on the campus; in an attempt to make fun of them, would say, “… there goes those Methodists.” This was in reference to their methodical worship. From the repetition of this scenario, the name “Methodist” was accepted.

What Methodists Believe

  • We believe that all men are sinners.
  • We believe that God the Father loves all men and hates all sin.
  • We believe that Jesus Christ died for all men to make possible their salvation from sin through their belief.
  • We believe that all who repent of their sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ receive the forgiveness of sin.
  • We believe that all that are accepted as the children of God may receive the inward assurance of the Holy Spirit to that fact.
  • We believe that all who truly desire to seek it may love God with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength and their neighbors as themselves.
  • We believe that a man born of god is consecrated and set apart for service unto God and that the process of growth begins and is followed by degrees of development ever having as its goal entire sanctification and Christian perfection.
  • We believe that the gift of the Holy Spirit is possible unto all men as a guide, a teacher and a light.
  • We believe in the Kingdom of God which means the reign of God in every area of human life and society.
  • We believe that all who persevere to the end shall be saved but that souls may lapse from grace and become partially corrupt or even fall wholly away from God and be lost forever.
  • We believe that God is eternal and Jesus is the conqueror of the grave and we, being united by faith with Him, share His everlasting life.

What Zion Methodists Believe

  • Zion Methodists believe in the basic rules of Methodism.
  • Zion Methodists believe in the spirit of evangelism and a heat warming experience that operate in the areas of thought, feeling and action.
  • Zion Methodists believe in the practice of democracy and brotherhood in all relationships.
  • Zion Methodists believe that every man is a free man and should not be shackled by chains of discrimination and prejudice.
  • Zion Methodist believes in every man having a full opportunity of exercising his spiritual and natural gifts within the Christian fellowship.

Brief Church History

In 1931 Caldwell Temple A.M.E. Zion Church which is named after the late Bishop Josiah Caldwell was organized as a mission church in a Bronx store front. Caldwell was founded by Anna Leftage, a Sunday school teacher in the A.M.E Zion Church and a devout Christian. In 1933 the mission had grown so successfully that it was accepted as the first Zion Church of the New York Conference, away from the Mother Church. The Reverend’s John A. Matthews, George A. Taylor, and B.H. McCellen were some of the initial pastors of the new church. On September 10th, 1944, Anna Leftage’s dream came true when the Reverend Carnes McKinney, a hard working pastor, relocated the congregation to its present site located at 1288.Rev. James A. Polite Avenue (formerly Stebbins Avenue). Reverend McKinney served Caldwell and the community for 33 years. His spiritual guidance and leadership made Caldwell into one of the more notable churches in the Bronx. Since Reverend. Carnes McKinney, we have also been blessed by the service of the following pastors:

  • Reverend Paul McGuire [1976 to 1978]
  • Reverend Dr. Paul F. Thurston [1978-1984]
  • Presiding Elder David Pharr [1984 to 1985] supply pastor
  • Reverend Robert L. Perry, Sr, [1985 to 1993]
  • Reverend Samuel Hill, Sr, [1993 to 1997]
  • Presiding Elder George McMurry [1997 to 1998] supply pastor
  • Reverend Nathaniel B. Legay [1998 to 2007]
  • Presiding Elder Dr. A. Alfred Carson [2007 to 2008] supply pastor
  • Reverend Henrico D. White [2008 to 2012]
  • Reverend Dr. Monte D. Witherspoon Brown [2012 to 2016]
  • Revered Ezra T. Maize [2016 to 2019]
  • Reverend Edwrin Sutton [2019 to 2021]


On June 26, 2021 during the 200th Session of the New York Annual Conference our presiding prelate Bishop Dennis V. Proctor made a historic decision by appointing the Reverend Denise Davenport as Caldwell’s pastor making her the first woman to hold the position in the church's 90+ year history. She has outreached to the community, encouraged our spiritual growth and physical growth.

These many years have been filled with difficulties, hardships, highs and lows, great love, and great loss. We have had renovation, transformation and spiritual growth. This has made us wiser, and with this wisdom more able to meet the challenges of today and the future. Our vision is to do the will of God whole-heartedly so that the Lord may be glorified.





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