The Church that Caldwell Built: The Cornerstone of the PAW, Inc. in the West
Today, thousands of souls over several generations trace their Apostolic-Pentecostal roots
to the historic site where Bishop Caldwell first planted the PAW flag, nearly 100 years ago. Generations of families have seenLauded in the U.S. House of Representatives as a “religious landmark,” the historic church located at 138 28th street, between L and Hensley streets, in San Diego, California has its roots in the early history of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. (“PAW”). Erected in 1933, by the late Bishop John A. Caldwell, an understudy to the late Honorable Bishop G.T. Haywood, the church that Caldwell built played a critical role in the expansion of the PAW in the western United States. their loved ones born, dedicated, saved, married, and eulogized within its walls. Moreover, the Home church launched hundreds of ministries that now span the globe.
PAW standard-bearers of every generation have traveled to the church that Caldwell built to fellowship and preach in its pulpit, including, but not limitThe church saw the elevation of its founder from Pastor to several inaugural posts within the PAW, including District Elder of the then-California District Council; Chairman of the then-California State Council; and Bishop of the 16th Episcopal District (then-encompassing California and Arizona). Caldwell’s elevation to Bishop made the church he built the first-ever West Coast headquarters of the PAW, solidifying its place in the organization’s illustrious lineage – and earning its revered title, the Home church.
Following the death of the church’s founder, then-Pastor Charles Taylor assumed the pastorate of the church that Caldwell built, having merged his congregation with Caldwell’s. A crowning accomplishment of Taylor’s legacy was the modernization and expansion of the church building, which concluded in 1982. As in the case of Caldwell, the Home church saw the elevations of Pastor Taylor to the posts of District Elder, Suffragan Bishop and ultimately Bishop and Diocesan of the Nevada District Council.
ed to, the late Honorable Bishop Paul A. Bowers; The late Honorable Bishop Norman L. Wagner; the late Honorable Bishop Frank R. Bowden; the late Bishop Arthur Braiser; the late Bishop Samuel J. Grimes; the late Bishop Joseph R. Hall; the late Bishop A 1 Johnson, the late Bishop Henry L. Johnson, Bishop Donnie N. McGriff (present Diocesan Bishop, Southern California District Council); the late Bishop Robert McMurry; the late Bishop Theophilius A.E. Price; the late Bishop William L. Smith; the late Bishop Carl W. Stewart; the late Bishop Samuel Wright; the late Suffragan Bishop Charles Robinson; the late District Elder A.J. Cross; the late Pastor Renix Graham; the late Pastor Jellett Grantoz, and countless others.
In 2015, seventeen years following the late Bishop Taylor’s death, the PAW landmark in the West lost its affiliation with the organization. In late 2020, a local developer purchased the Church that Caldwell built with plans to demolish it and erect an apartment building in its place. God had other plans, however. Suffragan Bishop, Dr. William A. Benson, Chairman of the Southern California District Council and Pastor of Total Deliverance Worship Center, connected with the new owner of the church, explained the historic significance of the church building and expressed his desire