Reverend Melvin Floyd

John C. Haas
1975
Dr. Perry C. Fennell, Jr.
1975

Reverend Floyd wants to scare the hell out of you—literally. He would often preach: “You can carry 50 pistols. You can carry 100 knives, but the day is going to come when the pain gets hard enough on you, you gonna pray. And you won’t turn to your corner boys, either. You’ll start calling on Almighty God.”


 
T his former gang member, turned gang-patrol cop, turned gang-ministering crusader, acquired a reputation for fearlessness when confronting gang members and drug dealers. After a life as a troubled youth, Floyd reformed his ways, eventually joining the Philadelphia police force, specializing in juvenile aid, community relations, narcotics, gang control, human relations and the morals squad.

A thirteen-year police veteran, Floyd left the force to found the Agape Christian Chapel in Germantown in 1972. Most Philadelphians did not know the church, but they knew its van, outfitted with a stuffed torso sitting up in a coffin with the message: “Take Dope and End up a Dummy.”

Floyd is a relentless crusader (again literally—he founded Neighborhood Crusades, Inc.) against drug dealing, absentee fathers, street crime, and, of course, gangs. He has produced and directed films and commercials depicting the horrors of drug addiction and gang violence.

Floyd has received numerous awards, including Philadelphia Outstanding Policeman (1968), Philadelphia Tribune Humanitarian Award (1971), and Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons’ Man of the Year (1977).