FIRST CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
Philadelphia in 1813 and re-located to Springfield Township, Montgomery County
since 1956, we are a Protestant
church, Christ- centered in its theology, congregational in its
government, and world- minded in its missions, with a special concern
for the quality of life in our community.
Although we have been a large congregation in the past, current
trends have reduced us to a smaller, more dedicated group of
congregants who choose to minister by setting an example to others
with our life styles, rather than by imposing our beliefs on others.
welcome people from the community of all faiths, races, and
nationalities to visit our church and to celebrate the gift of life
If you are not already active in a church we hope that you
will be led to make our congregation your new church home, that
together we may grow toward the plan God has for your life and ours.
Sunday Prayer Group: 9:00 AM
School: 9:45 A.M
Informal Singing & Sunday Worship: 11:00 AM
Social Hour Immediately Following Sunday Worship
evening Bible Study Group at 7:00 PM, starting September 23
Feast and Communion
Sunday & Easter Services
White Gift Celebration
Denominational Annual Conference
Older Adult Conference
Adult Service Work Camps
The mission of
First Church is: "To worship God, and to live our lives guided by
the teachings and example of Jesus, encouraging others through our
service and actions to do the same."
AT FIRST CHURCH
The following are forms of outreach, other than
our regularly scheduled services, that we consider outreach to the
Top of the Hill Day Care (in our church
building, Monday thru Friday from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.)
Founded in 1995, in Wyndmoor, PA,. Keystone Hospice is a
not-for-profit organization providing specialized care to the needs
of the terminally ill and their families in their own homes and at
assisted living facilities throughout the greater Philadelphia
region, with special outreach to the medically underserved,
financially disenfranchised, and HIV/AIDS communities.
Keystone House-This is a
19-bed, restored Victorian home in Wyndmoor, PA that provides
comprehensive hospice services for those in the greater Philadelphia
area whose care cannot be managed at home.
Aid for Friends- Once a
Tuesdays, we fix 100+ meals for people who are not able to leave
their homes on their own. The frozen meals are then delivered to the
Aid for Friends distribution center and are then delivered to
individuals who need them the most.
Missionary Support- We
support missionaries stationed in Guinea-Bisseau, missionaries JoAnn
Gladd and Patricia Vander Waal and Brethren missionaries in the
Service Work Camps-Opportunities
are provided on a "as needed basis" to bring relief during
disaster situations throughout the world.
ORGANIZATIONS WE SUPPORT
The following are Brethren related
organizations that are physically close to us, that we give
spiritual and financial support to:
Bethany Theological Seminary
Peter Becker Retirement
Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS)
an alternative to military service
Brethren Disaster Response
FIRST CHURCH HISTORY
First Church of the Brethren
(formerly German Baptist Brethren) was
founded in 1813 by members of the Germantown congregation
who had moved to the city. Members worshiped
at first in homes and a schoolhouse, led by Elder
Peter Keyser, Jr. A meetinghouse was built on Crawn St. in
1817. The congregation has had three additional
church buildings: on
Marshall St. (1874); at Carlisle and Dauphin
(1891); and on Cheltenham Ave. north of Philadelphia
(1957). The congregation has been active in planting
congregations, notably (Philadelphia, PA) Geiger
Memorial CB and (Philadelphia,
PA) Bethany CB. It
strong support to denominational programs.
its history, Philadelphia First Church has
had strong leadership, both
professional and lay. Among
the early ministers were Keyser,
James Lynd, Sr., John Heisler, Timothy Banger, John Righter, Thomas
Major, Sarah Righter Major, John Fox, David Harley,
Henry Geiger, John N. Wenger,
Christian Cutter, Amos Cowell, Jacob Spanogle, and Emanuel
Heyser. Later leaders were
Jesse P. Hetric, Howard Millor, T. T.
Myers, D. W. Kurtz, H. Stover Kulp,
Jesse Reber, William I. Book, C. C Ellis, Elmer Q. Gleirr, Charles
A. Bame, Ross D.
Murphy, and many others.
The congregation often pioneered practices that were later generally
accepted in the denomination. These included property
insurance, salaried ministry, indoor baptistery, musical
instruments, Sunday schools, contemporary dress, and others.
These innovations often brought
committees from the Annual Meeting to attempt
to bring the members into line
with general church practices. Philadelphia First
Church has not been seriously affected
by any of the schisms within the Church of the
Brethren Encyclopedia, The Brethren Encyclopedia Inc., Philadelphia,
PA, 1983, p. 1015
R. L. Howe, History
a Church (1943)
CB: Some Observations
(1948) 24-26; E. Pennsylvania (1915) 107-36; N. Atlantic
(1975) 164-92; W. 1. Book, "Some
Personalities of First CB,
Philadelphia" (1963); H.
Record(1882)9; F. E.
Studies (1954) index;
G. Brumbaugh, History GBB (1899)
509-12; H. R.
Tunkers (1901) 186-87; Vindicator
(1879) 204-6, (1884) 10-12; GM (April 25, 1964) 24.