OF THE LEGENDARY PEACEMAKER:
THE REVEREND MELVIN FLOYD
With the current violence and unrest facing our City, Dignitaries, City Council Members, and people from all walks of life will gather to honor this “Peacemaker”, for his many contributions and achievements on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 9:30AM at his street-naming at 5200 Wayne Avenue, (on the corner of Hansberry Street), Philadelphia, PA 19144.
The youngest of five children, Rev. Melvin Floyd, lovingly revered as “The Dean of Evangelism”, was born to the late Arthur & Sallie Mae Floyd on February 20, 1935, and grew up in North Philadelphia. As a young man, he became a member of the 12th & Oxford Street gang, but needing and gaining employment gave him a way out. Because of the turbulent relationship between his parents, he was forced to move quite frequently with his Mother. This impacted his ability to remain current with his studies, so he dropped out of Benjamin Franklin High School in the 11th grade. At the age of 18, he joined the United States Army and served during the Korean War from 1953 to 1955 and received an honorable discharge.
Soon after, he met a young lady named Elizabeth Georgine at New Psalmist Baptist Church where they served faithfully. After a brief courtship, they married on August 4th, 1962 and remained together until her death in September 2015. From this union was born three daughters: Mary Elizabeth, Ruth Naomi and Esther Melvina. Following in his footsteps, Esther now serves as the Administrator of Neighborhood Crusades and its ministries, Ruth travels the world as an accomplished gospel jazz singer and photographer, and Mary has become the 1st female Archbishop in the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a Chaplain with the United Nations, and is the Founder of the Community Healing Campaign 4 All.
Rev. Melvin Floyd held several jobs until he joined the Philadelphia Police Department on February 2, 1959, and served until July 8, 1972. While there, he was assigned to the Juvenile Aid, Community Relations, Narcotics, Human Relations, Morals Squads, and in particular, worked with Gang Control. As a Juvenile Aid and Gang Control Officer he investigated over 4,500 cases and gained an in-depth knowledge of the contributing factors which influenced young men to get involved in gangs and drugs.
Many remember his unique intervention of “scared straight talks” at school assemblies throughout the city in the late 1960’s. At the invitation of superintendent Connie Clayton, he conducted and spoke in over 600+ schools, and impacted over 600,000 young people who listened and valued hearing the message that their lives mattered. His tireless efforts gave way to street ministry, and his Neighborhood Crusades, Inc., was founded in 1970, where he served as its Director for over 45 years. This urban ministry appealed to youth and families, and ultimately, led thousands to Jesus Christ. He was best known for driving his signature vehicle, the van with a coffin on top, around the City. It became a mobile and visible message of the consequences of gangs, drugs and violence. One of his most notable achievements was brokering a truce between the warring Wallace and Moraco street gangs.
On February 1, 1987, Rev. Melvin Floyd founded Agape Christian Chapel in Germantown. Approximately 100 people came and established the Charter of this new church entity. Later, in 1993, he also founded the Mel Floyd School of Evangelism which graduated over 3,000 students from its inception. He conducted weekly Marriage and Family Life Seminars on Thursday evenings covering over 375 subjects dealing with relationship issues. Hundreds of people faithfully attended including clergy, community and public servants.
An ardent Believer of education, Rev. Floyd returned to school to obtain his high school diploma, and continued until ultimately he received his Master’s Degree at age 40. His matriculated through Benjamin Franklin High School & Lincoln Preparatory School, Antioch College (BA); Philadelphia College of Bible (specialized studies), Temple University, and Antioch Graduate School of Education (Masters Degree). He went on to hold teaching positions in the Philadelphia Public School System, Temple University, Antioch Graduate School of Education, Philadelphia College of Bible, and other universities lecturing on evangelism and urban intervention strategies. He was rewarded with an honorary Doctor of Ministry Degree for his efforts.
He was a member of numerous associations and affiliations including the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists, the Pennsylvania Association of Marriage & Family Therapists, the National Christian Counselors Association and the Police & Fire Credit Union. His Board service included the Board Trustees of the Philadelphia College of Bible and USO of Philadelphia. His Chaplaincy services extended to the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Philadelphia Bicentennial Commission (1976), and Philadelphia’s beloved sporting teams: the Eagles, the 76ers and the Phillies.
His creative side was evidenced as a Film and Commercial Producer. He directed five commercials on Drugs, Gang Warfare, and Teenage Alcoholism which he showed in his school assemblies, aired on local news networks as PSAs, and produced four films entitled "On Patrol for God" (1968), "The Last Trip" (1972), "The Gang's All Here" (1976), and The Last Trip II (1986).
In 1976, at Philadelphia’s Bicentennial Celebrations, Queen Elizabeth II was given the Liberty Bell upon her visit. But, part of the ceremony involved Queen Elizabeth bestowing knighthood up him for his major contributions to the sanctity of life and society. He was deeply honored to receive the rare distinction of being addressed as “Sir Melvin”. Over the years, he was the recipient of numerous citations and prestigious awards in recognition of his service from political, social, fraternal, governmental, masonic, corporate and faith-based organizations worldwide.
Some of most notable awards were:
· Philadelphia's "Outstanding Policeman" (1968)
· Philadelphia's Outstanding Young Man of the Year" (1969)
· One of the "Ten Outstanding Policeman in the World" (1969)
· One of the "Ten Outstanding Young Men in America” (1969)
· One of the “Ten Outstanding Men in the World” (1970)
· One of "Three Outstanding Men in Pennsylvania” (1970)
Citations and Letters lauded his involvement with Philadelphia’s Youth and were presented by:
· President Richard M Nixon
· Vice President George Bush
· Governor Milton J. Shapp
· Mayor Frank L. Rizzo
· Mayor W. Wilson Goode
· Philadelphia City Council
· District Attorney Lynne Abraham
· The National Publishers Association (Chicago, Illinois ,1979)
· One of Ten Americans Known For Bettering Race Relations (The National Publishers Association, Chicago, Illinois, 1979)
· "Volunteer of the Year" (Delaware Valley Council of Volunteers, 1970)
· Philadelphia Tribune’s Humanitarian Award (1971)
· The National Exemplar Medal (1972)
· The Freudian Foundation Good Citizenship Medal (1973)
· The Philadelphia Bar Association’s Most Distinguished Award
· The Edward Bok Philadelphia Award (1976)
· The Man of the Year Award (Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, (1977)
· The 1st Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award - United States Navy Yard in Philadelphia (1979)
· An Ecumenical Honorary Humanitarian Citation (1982)
He departed this life on April 20, 2020 having left an indelible footprint in the sands of time. His legacy continues through his daughters and grandchildren.
Who: Philadelphia Legend:
Rev. Melvin Floyd (Former Anti-violence Leader)
When: Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 9:30AM
Where: 5200 Wayne Avenue, (on the corner of Hansberry Street), Philadelphia, PA 19144.
For more info, visit www.BishopMary.com or call 833-722-4748.