Christian Assembly is a member of IFCA (International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies), formerly known as the CCNA (Christian Churches of North America), a cooperative fellowship among Pentecostal churches.
Founding Pastor- Rev. Silvio Margadonna
Around the turn of the 20th Century, the Biblical truths which distinguish Pentecostal people from other denominations were first brought to a group of Christians in Chicago, Illinois; also known as the “Chicago Awakening.” Revival fires burned in the years to come as spreading flames reached a group of Italians in New York City.
Among them was a man named Silvio Margadonna. He served as a lieutenant in the Salvation Army. Without any formal education, but moved by love and the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit, through much persecution and sacrifice, he was greatly used by God to pioneer and pastor churches in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. In 1927, the Italian Christian Church at 188th Street in
the Bronx (currently Christian Assembly) was established. Rev. Margadonna pastored our church until his Homegoing on Dec. 10, 1956.
Rev. Dr. Gaetano Bavaro
Affectionately known as “Brother Guy,” Rev. Bavaro was called to preach while stationed in the army in 1945. He was ordained to the ministry by the CCNA in 1952 and received his Th. D. from the Clarksville School of Theology. Pastor Bavaro served as an assistant pastor in the local churches beginning in 1946 and then became the senior pastor in January of 1957. He also served as a presbyter for the Eastern District of the CCNA. An accomplished artist, his beautiful handiwork of scripture can be seen around the walls of the sanctuary.
Brother Guy and his wife, Carmela, served the Lord at Christian Assembly for 41 years! A humble and steadfast pillar of the Faith, he vowed he would preach the Word until his very last breath. He was called Home on Nov. 11, 1998 at the church altar after preaching a sermon during a morning Italian service.
Rev. Stephen Bavaro
Pastor Steve was ordained to the ministry by the CCNA in Sept. 1987. He served on the Board of elders, was caretaker, youth leader, teacher, musician and Associate Pastor, working alongside his dad in all aspects of the ministry. After the passing of his father, he became our Senior Pastor in Nov. 1998. Rev. Bavaro also began service as a presbyter for the Eastern District of IFCA (formerly CCNA) in 2003. He loved music and could be heard playing the trumpet at every service!
Holding a Master’s degree in counseling, he worked for the NYC Board of Ed as a teacher and guidance counselor prior to becoming Pastor, affecting many lives for the kingdom. He and his wife, Elizabeth fully embodied what it meant to have a “Pastor’s heart.” Under their leadership, the name of Italian Christian Church was formally changed to Christian Assembly of the Bronx, which reflected Pastor Steve’s vision of Isaiah 56:7, “For My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” This vision is continually being fulfilled today. Pastor Steve was promoted to Heaven on April 27, 2012.