Pastor Evelyn Holman Westfield is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Temple of Refuge Evangelistic Church. She has served in this position for 39 years. Pastor Westfield was born in Russellville, SC and raised in Charleston, SC. She came to Philadelphia in 1952. Evelyn accepted Christ as her personal savior in 1950, but renewed her commitment to Him in July of 1970. Soon afterwards she became a faithful steward at New Birth United Holy Church under the leadership of the late Pastor Camilla Brown. Pastor Brown also served as Pastor Westfield’s (then known as Sister Holman) mentor.
Evelyn was married to Roosevelt Holman for 15 years, until Roosevelt was involved in a fatal accident that left Evelyn a widow with 7 young daughters. This was a pivotal time in her life as her faith in God was tested and tried, but she found the strength to move on. Pastor Westfield began her ascent in church leadership in the youth department of New Birth Church. Evelyn led the youth as their leader for many years. Later, Evelyn led the choir and taught Sunday School. She also served as the President of the Pastor’s Aide committee. She was appointed as an Evangelist in 1975 and has worked tirelessly as a missionary in the streets of Philadelphia for many decades.
In February of 1974, she was led by God to start a weekly Bible Study in her home. She was later led by the Holy Spirit to leave New Birth and birth a ministry of her own in the basement of her home. “Our Mission United Holy Church” opened its doors on March 4, 1980 for Sunday morning worship. Its membership was small but vastly grew. Under the leadership of Pastor Westfield and under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the church was re-named Temple of Refuge United Holy Church. The church became independent in 1994.
Through Pastor Westfield’s preaching and teaching, Temple of Refuge outgrew their basement home and relocated to its current location at 7544 Fayette Street and it continues to grow. Many ministries have been started out of this church and some former members have gone on to pastor their own churches. Because of the Pastor’s vision, Temple of Refuge has become just that: a place for those that are spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially wounded and in need of a safe place to find God; to find refuge and strength.
Pastor Evelyn H. Westfield previously studied at Delaware Valley School of Ministry, Jameson Bible School, and more recently, Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary. Her favorite bible passage is Isaiah 54th chapter and she aspires everyday to be more and more like Christ.
She is married to Michael A. Westfield (re-married in 1977) and has eight daughters (Alfreda, Nancy, Betty, Sheila, Rochelle, Gail, Kimm, and Ava), fourteen grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren. She resides in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia.