A meeting was called at the residence of Mr. W. A. McLaughlin, Wells Avenue, May 7, 1903 for the purpose of determining the advisability of establishing a new Church in Glenolden Borough. Visiting Pastor Rev. McLane of Philadelphia suggested it be a Congregational Church.
On June 22, 1903 The Glenolden Congregational Church was formed with a membership of 60 and was recognized by a regular Ecclesiastical Council on June 30, 1903. Reverend George R. Lockwood was called as the first pastor on December 2, 1903 and served as the spiritual leader for eight years.
Reverend Parke H. Heller joined us in September of 1934. A men’s fellowship was organized and the Men’s Chorus sang at the evening service the first Monday of each month.
Reverend Ralph M. Anderson started in 1937. In the fall of 1937 a new kitchen and heater room was built as an addition to the church. A new heating system was installed; funds were borrowed from the building fund. The men of the church remodeled the social room and constructed 2 new choir rooms. Rev. Anderson organized a Church Council which was to promote the spiritual, education and social life of the church.
At the Annual Meeting in January 1948 the congregation requested the Board of Trustees consider plans for a new church. On April 27 of 1949, at a Congregational Meeting, plans were presented for a new church sanctuary and a remodeling of the present building for educational purposes. Plans were approved, and the ground breaking was held on July 2, 1950. A document of this historical event was placed in the cornerstone at the ceremony held on Sunday, September 24, 1950. The larger part of the Service was held in the Church Chapel and Rev. Lockwood the first Pastor, Rev Harry Myers Jr., who helped organize the congregation, Mr. Charles Holmes, our Summer Supply and Mrs. W. Gilbert Condit, wife of the late Rev. W. Gilbert Condit, a former pastor of the church all participated in the service.
An Every Member Canvass, for pledges for funds with which to purchase church furniture was conducted in the spring of 1951.
A weeklong series of services where held in the church.
The “DEDICATION of the CHURCH” was held on Sunday, November 4, 1951 at 11 am.
“OUR ASSOCIATION FELLOWSHIP” service was held Sunday, November 4, 1951 at 7:45 pm.
“OUR COMMUNITY FELLOWSHIP THE CHURCHES” Tuesday, November 6, 1951 at 8 pm
“OUR ORGANIZATION FELLOWSHIP” Thursday, November 8, 1951 at 8pm
“OUR COMMUNITY FELLOWSHIP” “THE SERVICE GROUPS” Friday, November 9, 1951 at 8pm
“OUR DEDICATION DINNER” Saturday November 10, 1951 6:30 pm
The 47th birthday party for the Glenolden Congregational Church was held on June 7. At that time Mr. and Mrs. Anderson presented an unusual bell to the church. The bell came from Maine and had been in the Town Hall of Hancock, Maine. At one time the bell had been used by wives and daughters of fishermen to guide the men home during heavy fog. This bell, cast in 1876, continues to call out to those who are lost, and offers them opportunity to come home.
The Reverend Roger P. Horton became Pastor in September 1953. The Church was host to the State Conference May 21st to the 24th. The first “all church” bazaar was held in 1953, the same year a new nursery for children 4 years and younger was inaugurated by the Women’s Bible Class. In 1954 the Deacon board took the nursery over, and instituted the “welcoming couple” that we are greeted with each Sunday. One year later, in 1955, the Pilgrim was created and mailed out to the members. This was the same year that Children’s Church was started. Womens fellowship was started in 1956. David Crowle a member of the church was ordained as minister in 1957.
Reverend Robert Chamberlin, February 1961. The property at Gardner Avenue and Chester Pike was purchased and named Plymouth Chapel.
Reverend Robert E. Paulie was installed in 1965. The property at 119 South Scott was purchased. In 1970 Rev. Pauli resigned and Rev. Richard Flowers was Interim Pastor until August at which time Rev. A.E.K. Brenner came as Interim Pastor, and then Pastor of the Church in October 1970. In 1970 the burning of the second mortgage took place. Reverend Arthur E. K. Brenner became pastor and in 1972 we withdrew association from the United Church of Christ and in 1973 became affiliated with the National Association of Congregational and Christian Churches. In May of 1973 a service of Ordination was held at the church for the Son of pastor Brenner, Mr. Peter R. K. Brenner.
Reverend Joseph Stanley in 1976 guided us for a year and resigned on orders from his doctor. Interim Pastor Cecil Jones and his wife Kay did an excellent job preparing the church for the next minister. In 1977 Plymouth Chapel was sold (corner Chester pike and Gardner Avenue).
Reverend Bruce D. Hersey became the spiritual leader in June of 1978, after returning from studies in Switzerland. Reverend Pooyed Ellefson in 1985 served a short stay. Reverend James L Beinke (1986) was a beloved pastor who also served as choir director for a short time. He was followed by Reverend John Lowmaster. The Reverend William Hillman (wife and active member Mary Jeanne) served the church as interim pastor. Reverend Cecil Jones (his lovely wife Kay) was interim pastor several times throughout the years helping the church with his positive presence.
Reverend Philip Brookes 2001-2014 (wife Lynne) retired. He worked in close contact with both boards, and together with the Director of Music, Don Hughes. The church was their home, which you could see with the many seasonal decorations. Pastor Brookes took over the duties in the main office and organized the church each week for the Sunday services. He supported those members in need with prayer and help. In 2011 the property at 119 South Scott land was sub divided so the garage would be facing 115 South Scott Avenue then the house sold. The property at 20 Garner Avenue house was demolished making way for a parking lot. A handicap ramp was also built leading from the parking lot to the Narthex porch. In 2013 the stairs where replaced with a bathroom in the Narthex.
Pastor Michael Dorich August 2015 – December 2015
Reverend William E. Bounds January 2016- Rev.Wm Bounds was elected as Pastor at the 2016 annual meeting. Rev. Wm Bounds and his wife Debbie bring an atmosphere of hope and encouragement to the Church. His desire is to serve in the capacity of under-shepherd to God’s call. To use his gifts of evangelism, shepherding, discipleship, administration and encouragement to proclaim God’s kingdom in the lives of the congregation and the community.