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News, events, updates, and tidbits from the Presbyterian Historical Society. Use tags to read related articles or sort by author for similar posts written by PHS staff members and volunteers.

April 1, 2015 to September 6, 2017

During its 292 years of history the church has been known by three different names:

(Deep Run Presbyterian Church) - 1725-1821

Seeking religious freedom, some 6,000 Scots-Irish debarked at Philadelphia in 1720; one small group ventured north and settled in the Bedminster wilderness near a creek called Deep Run. These immigrants were Presbyterians from Scotland, but because their forebears had spent a hundred years in Ireland, they were known as Scots-Irish. The Irish Meeting House, our historic sanctuary at Deep Run, reflects that...

March 17, 2015 to August 4, 2017

Lower Providence Presbyterian Church was founded in 1730 by a Scots-Irish Presbyterian Congregation.

They built a log church on the highest hill in Providence Township later known as Mount Kirk (Kirk-Scottish for church). As the church family grew, larger buildings were built in 1775, 1846 and the current sanctuary in 1868.  The Narthex, balcony and belfry were added in 1878.  The church continued to expand with the additions of Sunday School rooms in 1913.  Since then Williams Hall-1951, Rowland...

March 4, 2015 to September 7, 2017

Overcrowding at First Church on Market near Second Street by a burgeoning Scots-Irish immigrant population living and building several blocks south created a need for a Third church to serve that neighborhood. In October 1764, Thomas and Richard Penn gifted a lot at Fourth and Pine Streets to the First Church…to establish a new burial ground and build a Third church. Designed by Robert Smith, construction was funded by subscriptions and lottery. Beginning in 1768, the Pine Street pulpit was supplied by rotating ministers form the First and Second churches. That was…until the...

March 1, 2015 to August 28, 2017

The Frankford Church was originally a German Reformed congregation, planted by Market Square Church and served by the same German pastor. The German founders were joined by a group of Swiss Calvinists from Basel, including Hans Georg Gerster, who changed his name to George Castor.  Castor was the son of a single mother and a boyfriend who promised marriage, then abandoned her and refused to acknowledge his child.  Without a father to admit paternity, no Swiss canton would give Castor citizenship.  Yet there was one advantage to being a nobody, an un-citizen, an “illegal”, so to speak—he...

February 25, 2015 to September 7, 2017

In 1804, a group of English independents withdrew from Second Presbyterian Church to form the “Independent Tabernacle Church.” After several years as both an independent and then a Dutch Reformed congregation, they rejoined the Presbytery as Seventh Presbyterian. In 1873, Seventh Presbyterian merged with Sixth Presbyterian under the new name “Tabernacle Presbyterian Church.” In 1883, the church relocated to West Philadelphia; the cornerstone of our present building at 37th and Chestnut was laid in 1884.

The years from 1902 – 1957 saw the start of...

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