The dates below show when each congregation organized. An asterisk means it no longer exists.
   St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church 1765
   Little Bethel* (closed 1896) 1850
   St. Mary's Episcopal Church 1887
   Ardmore United Methodist Church 1894
   Matthew Simpson Methodist Church
   (merged with above)
   Zion Baptist Church 1894
   First Baptist Church of Ardmore 1895
   Ardmore Presbyterian Church 1902
   Mt. Calvary Baptist Church 1906
   Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church 1908
   St. Colman's Roman Catholic Church 1917
   First Church of Christ, Scientist 1921
   St. John's Episcopal Church 1863
   St. Asaph's Protestant Episcopal Church 1887
   Presbyterian Church of the Covenant 1901
   United Methodist Church of Bala-Cynwyd 1905
   St. Matthias Roman Catholic Church 1906
   Lower Merion Synagogue 1954
Belmont Hills
   United Methodist Church, Ashland Avenue 1896
   St. Lucy's Roman Catholic Church*
   (Members joined St. Justin Martyr, Penn Valley)
   St. Andrew's Episcopal Church*
   (Merged with St. John's of Bala-Cynwyd, later
   dissolved and township took over building about 1977.
   St. John's Roman Catholic Mission*
   (Members joined St. Justin Martyr, Penn Valley)
   Nes Ami Synagogue*
   (Used vacated building of Episcopal Church until
   1977. Now used as community building.)
Bryn Mawr
   Lower Merion Baptist Church 1808
   Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal) 1851
   Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church 1873
   St. Luke United Methodist Church 1876
   Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church 1878
   Our Mother of Good Counsel Roman Catholic Church 1885
   Saints Memorial Baptist Church 1903
   Gladwyne Methodist Church 1830
   Baptist Chapel*
   (used as chapel until 1884)
   Gladwyne Presbyterian
   (First Presbyterian of Lower Merion)
   St. John Baptist Vianney Catholic Church 1927
   Merion Friends Meeting 1695
   Temple Adath Israel of the Main Line 1947
Penn Valley
   Har Zion Temple (moved to Lower Merion 1973) 1924
   Beth Am Israel Congregation 1927
   St. Justin Martyr Roman Catholic Church 1964
Penn Wynne
   Christ Community Church*
   (Merged with West Hope Presbyterian Church 1948
   to become Christ-West Hope Presbyterian. Both merged
   with Wynnewood United Presbyterian Church 1975
   to become Penn Wynne United Presbyterian.)
   Overbrook Park Presbyterian Church*
   (See Wynnewood United Presbyterian Church)
   Church of the Holy Apostles (Episcopal) 1950
   Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic 1953
   Penn Wynne United Presbyterian Church 1975
   Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal) 1869
   Faith Presbyterian Church 1964
   All Saints Episcopal Church 1911
   Armenian Church of St. Sahag & St. Mesrob 1917
   St. Mark Armenian Catholic Church 1923
   Wynnewood United Presbyterian Church
   Began in Philadelphia 1848. Became Overbrook
   Park Presbyterian in 1944, Wynnewood in 1949,
   Penn Wynne in 1975.
   Main Line Reform Temple 1952
   Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El 1958

Roman Catholic Churches

Our Mother of Good Counsel Church in Bryn Mawr was founded in 1885. The building, designed by Edwin F. Durang, was built in 1896, after the construction of the rectory in 1894. Augustinians have always served the parish, with the Sisters of Mercy in charge of the school, which was built about 1904. A convent was added in 1912 and a new school in 1965. The church began as a mission church of the Augustinian Fathers in Villanova. In 1980 the congregation included twelve hundred families.

Saint Matthias in Bala-Cynwyd was founded in 1906 with the Reverend Michael McCabe as its first pastor. Parishioner John Lougheran bought the land on which the church now stands. Father McCabe stayed twelve years; by 1918 both the church and the first school were completed. The Sisters of Mercy arrived in 1914, started the Sunday school, and finally had a full school for boys and girls from first to eighth grades. Father McCabe's brother, the Reverend Luke McCabe, was rector from 1918 to 1930. He was succeeded by the Reverends Thomas Haney (1930-48), James E. Heir (1948-80), Monsignor John J. Noone (1980-81), and in 1982 the Reverend Thomas Kane.

Saint Colman's Roman Catholic Church in Ardmore was founded in 1907 with the Reverend James J. Carton as the first rector. The school opened in 1915 under the direction of the Sisters of Saint Joseph from Chestnut Hill. The present church was completed in 1926. In the 1970s the school combined with the parochial school in Bryn Mawr.

St. John's Roman Catholic Mission in Belmont Hills began in 1920 in the former Ashland School. When the mission congregation was incorporated into St. Justin's parish in Penn Valley, the former school building was demolished.

The Reverend Augustus J. Schulte founded Saint John Baptist Vianney in Gladwyne and celebrated the first Mass in 1927. In the early days folding chairs were placed on the porch for the overflow crowd, and families went to Ardmore to Sunday Mass. The church was not built until 1940. Since Father Schulte's death in 1961 the parish has been under the direction of the Reverend Ignatius Reynolds, who established the school and convent in 1963.

A Catholic chapel in Rosemont was started by the Saint Thomas of Villanova parish in 1948 in celebration of its one hundredth anniversary. A school building and convent were also built. In 1973 renovations provided a new altar for the renewed liturgy. Since then three beautiful stained glass windows have been installed in the nave. The number of students at the school, from kindergarten through eighth grade, declined, and in 1981 the children joined the classes of Our Mother of Good Counsel School in Bryn Mawr.

Saint Mark's Armenian Catholic Church, at 400 Haverford Road, Wynnewood, came to Lower Merion in 1975 from Sixtieth and Market Streets in Philadelphia. In 1980 it had a membership of about 135 families. It is the only Roman Catholic church in the Philadelphia area where services are conducted largely in the Armenian language.

Jewish Synagogues and Cemetery

In 1893 the Har Hazaysim (Mount of Olives) Association, which had been formed by several beneficial societies based in Society Hill in Philadelphia, bought a twenty-acre site in Gladwyne off Conshohocken State Road between Mill Creek and Youngs Ford Roads. No one lived near the proposed burial ground, and this was fitting as Jewish tradition since Talmudic times shows that Jews prefer to bury their dead at a distance from their homes.

In 1898 Jewish immigrant families in Philadelphia paid less than fifty cents a year to guarantee that the Independent Chevre Kaddishe (Holy Brotherhood), which had eventually become solely responsible for the cemetery, would provide a ritually correct burial for each member. Hundreds of Jewish immigrants were buried at Har Hazaysim, but by 1910 burials were diminishing. The last person to be interred thee was Seaman Second Class Benjamin Shurr, who died on March 28, 1945.

Temple Adath Israel, the first Conservative synagogue on the Main Line, now located at Old Lancaster Road and North Highland Avenue, Merion, was established in 1946 by a group of six men representing eighteen families. Its congregation had grown to seven hundred families by 1980. Rabbi Martin Berkowitz, its first rabbi, is still serving.

Other Conservative synagogues now include Beth Am Israel congregation and Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El. Beth Am Israel led by Rabbi Andrew Sacks, moved from South Philadelphia to Hagy's Ford Road, Penn Valley, in 1973. Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, led by Rabbi Marshall J. Maltzman, was founded in 1958 and is located in Wynnewood at Lancaster Avenue and Remington Road.

The call to organize Main Line Reform Temple, Beth Elohim, Montgomery Avenue and Penn Road, Wynnewood, was issued in 1952 by Natalie Lansing Hodes. She became the temple's founding president and, it is believed, the first woman president of a Jewish congregation in the United States. Rabbi Theodore F. Gordon, its first rabbi, served until 1972. The rabbi in 1980 was Dr. Max Hausen. The congregation of Main Line Reform Temple, Beth Elohim has expanded from 55 families to 1,050 in 1980.

The first High Holiday services for the Orthodox congregation of Lower Merion Synagogue were held in a log cabin owned by Vandiver-Moylan American Legion Post 355, Manayunk and Conshohocken State Roads, Cynwyd, in 1954. The congregation later found a home at 123 Old Lancaster Road, Bala-Cynwyd. Rabbi Abraham A. Levene has served the congregation since 1967.

Lower Merion Synagogue provides classes in Jewish subjects ranging from the Talmud to cantillation and has active committees on Soviet Jewry and on fostering interest in Israel. Temple Adath Israel conducts a Hebrew school, a nursery school, and, until 1980, a private day school, as well as sponsoring lectures and cultural events. Main Line Reform Temple, Beth Elohim serves as a house of worship, a house of study, and a house of assembly for social celebrations.

Apostolic Church

The Armenian Church of St. Sahag-St. Mesrob has a congregation of 450 families living in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The Armenians keep alive their language and the Armenian form of Christianity adopted in 301 A.D. In 1962, the churchmoved from Philadelphia, where it had been organized in 1917. Its new residence became Ballytore, the castle like mansion built in Wynnewood for Isaac Clothier in 1885. The interior was gutted and renovated for the church.

Protestant Churches

Merion Friends Meetinghouse was built in 1695 by Welsh Quakers who had settled Merion. It is the oldest place of worship in continuous use in Pennsylvania, a fact substantiated in the pamphlet entitled Merion Meeting House, 1695-1945: A Study of Evidence Relating to the Date by Samuel J. Bunting, Jr.

Merion Friends Meetinghouse has been a place of worship, celebration, and schism. Here meetings for worship every First Day (Sunday), marriages, and memorial services as well as forums and Scouts ceremonies are held. Its bicentennial celebration took place in a tent on Seventh Day, Tenth Month, Fifth, 1895 (Saturday October 5, 1895) near the original building, to which an addition had been made in 1714. Its members experienced the schism that split Ouakerdom in 1827. The two groups, the "Orthodox" and the "Hicksites" attempted to share the building, but eventually the Orthodox withdrew to Hestonville, near what is now Fifty-second and Jefferson Streets in Philadelphia. Unity was restored in 1955.

The meeting decreased in size during the first part of the twentieth century, but never actually closed its doors. In the years before World War II and during the war, however, there was a marked resurgence in the number of members. A new activities building was constructed in 1949 to accommodate the First Day School, committee meetings, and social events, and in 1950 the Merion Friends Nursery School began its use of the building, which lasted until 1979.

Merion Meeting acquired the status of a "monthly meeting" in 1951, meaning it continued to meet for worship every Sunday but conducted its own business meetings once a month. Until then it had been a "preparative meeting" participating with Old Haverford and Radnor in the Radnor Monthly Meeting. The meetinghouse stands beside a walled burial ground in which lie thousands of members and a number of nonmembers who are consigned to the now indistinguishable Strangers' Row. A double line of hybrid Yoshima cherry trees noted for their deep pink double blossoms borders its walkway.

The Lower Merion Baptist Church was founded in 1808. The congregation built its meetinghouse in 1810 on ground at New Gulph and Old Gulph Roads presented by Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress. His likeness is represented in a stained-glass window contributed later by George W. Childs, publisher of the Philadelphia Public Ledger. Other memorial windows were added in 1887 when renovations changed the style of the historic building. It was restored to its original plain lines in 1930, when interior improvements were also made. Although the meetinghouse, built before there was any village, railroad, or college in Bryn Mawr, remained the heart of the church, the congregation had missions in several other locations. A chapel and educational building on Lancaster Avenue were in use until a few years before the property was sold to the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company in 1952. The church also organized a Sunday school in Merion Square (Gladwyne) in 1873. In 1884 a chapel was erected at Conshohocken State and Youngs Ford Roads to house the school. This building was used by the church until the fifties. It was sold to the Gladwyne Boy Scouts in 1961.

In 1880 it was still the only Baptist church in the township and had two hundred members. Between 1894 and 1906 four additional congregations were added until, by 1980, the township had fourteen hundred Baptist members.

The burial ground adjacent to Lower Merion Baptist Church, nonsectarian since its establishment in 1810, had little empty space in 1980, necessitating limiting future sale of lots to church members only. Sixteen descendants of William Penn are buried here, as well as members of the armed forces from the Revolutionary War to the present.

Zion Baptist Church (1895) seems to be the first attempt to organize a Black church in Ardmore. It grew from a Sunday school class that met in the Ardmore Baptist Church. Services were held in a frame building on Cricket Avenue for a short time. But the independent minded people, wanting a church of their own, soon purchased land at Greenfield and Spring Avenues. The need for a church on that site brought about an unusual event.

A diligent handful of people procured a frame building on Lancaster Avenue, where the Ardmore trolley terminal had stood. Measuring about twenty-seven by sixty feet, the building had once been used as an ice cream parlor. It was moved whole across soggy fields and mired roads to its present location. The frame building was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1915.

Another account says a new edifice was built in 1899, five years after the presentation of the organizing charter by Pastor Jeremiah Gregory of Philadelphia. Extensive renovations were started in the 1960s under the inspired leadership of the Reverend and Mrs. Leonard Jones. The pastoral couple in 1982 were the Reverend and Mrs. James Pollard.

Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Ardmore was organized in 1906 by a dissident group from Zion Baptist Church. They began meeting in the home of Mrs. Flora Woodson in 1906 and for a time met on the third floor of Sutton Hall on Lancaster Avenue. Eventually a site was acquired at 127 Walnut Avenue, and the church built at that location has remained in service. Most of the construction work for the new building was undertaken during the pastorate of the Reverend F. M. Hedgeman, who served from 1912 to 1953. The 350-member congregation called the Reverend A. Davis to the pastorate in July 1982.

The First Baptist Church of Ardmore began as a Sunday school in 1891. In 1895 twenty-four members formed the First Baptist Church under the leadership of the Reverend Charles M. Reed. The Sunday school building, dedicated in 1893 and located on Cricket Avenue, became the home of the new church until its present sanctuary at St. Paul's Road and Athens Avenue was completed in 1924. A parsonage adjacent to the church is now used for educational purposes. In 1975 the Overbrook Baptist Church, founded in 1916, merged with the Ardmore congregation. In 1980 the Reverend Charles A. Paul was pastor, and membership numbered 157.

Saints Memorial Baptist Church in Bryn Mawr was originally called Second BaptistChurch of Bryn Mawr. First services were held in a blacksmith shop across from its present location. The present church was built in 1928, under the leadership of the Reverend James Arthur Younger. In 1982 the Reverend and Mrs. Barry Hopkins were continuing the active community involvement and multifaceted church programs of theirpredecessors. A new area of endeavor was the production of a radio ministry.

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Ardmore began at the Ardmore Woman's Club in 1921, the same year a Sunday school started. It was originally established as "Christian Science Society of Ardmore, Pennsylvania." In 1923 it became a branch church and received its present name.

The site at Athens and Linwood Avenues was purchased and the building was ready for use in 1929. Services continued at the Woman's Club until the dedication on December 24, 1939, after all debts had been paid, a requirement of the Manual of the Mother Church. The Reading Room at 21 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, opened in 1947 and is available to the public as well as to church members.

Thirteen Episcopal churches composed the Merion Deanery in 1980, seven of which, plus Christ's Chapel at Episcopal Academy, were in Lower Merion.

The Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr is the oldest in the township. In 1851 vacationers from Philadelphia began holding services in Temperance Hall, which stood slightly beyond the eight-mile stone on Lancaster Pike in today's Haverford. The first church, at Lancaster and Buck Lane, is no longer standing. The first rector, Henry Brown, was followed by the Reverend Edward L. Lycett, who organized a mission for workers from factories along Mill Creek and supervised a Sunday school in Ardmore's Masonic Hall, both of which became thriving churches in later years. In 1879-81 a new church, designed by Charles M. Burns, Jr., was built at Pennswood and New Gulph Roads in Bryn Mawr to serve the many prosperous parishioners. Cassatts, Wheelers, and Ewings, among other notable Main Liners, are buried in the adjacent cemetery. The church had major renovations in 1976. In 1980 the pastor was the Reverend Timothy Pickering.

St. John's Episcopal Church, built in what was then called Merionville and today is Bala-Cynwyd, is the oldest Episcopal church still in use in the township. Construction was hurried so that the new building could be used on Sunday, August 6, 1863, President Lincoln's day of national thanksgiving for victory at Gettysburg. By 1901 other buildings had been built to form a quadrangle, and a Lady chapel was consecrated in 1906. The pastor since 1965 has been Father Robert Keel.

St. Christopher's Church in Gladwyne began in the Reverend Edward L. Lycett's St. Joseph's Mission for mill workers. The mission was under the leadership of the Church of the Redeemer in the 1860s and 1870s. The chapel subsequently came under the care of St. Mary's Church in Ardmore and, in 1930, of All Saints Church in Wynnewood. To supplement services in the chapel, a Community Hall was built by the diocese in Merion Square during the Depression. In 1950 a new church building was erected on Righters Mill Road and used for the first time on Christmas Eve. The first rector, the Reverend Robert Q. Kennaugh (1950-55), promoted activities especially for the young. The first woman graduate of the Philadelphia Divinity School, Helen McHenry, became St. Christopher's Christian education director. The pastor in 1982, the Reverend Warren H. Davis, Jr., wrote and hosted a TV interview series on the aggression of man.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church was also begun by the Reverend Edward L. Lycett and established as the Chapel of the Church of the Redeemer and as a Sunday school in 1873 in the Masonic Hall in Ardmore. It later moved to the Odd Fellows Hall on Lancaster Pike. In 1886 the congregation chose St. Mary's for the name of its new church being built on Ardmore Avenue. In 1982 the rector for 285 families was the Reverend Harry Mayfeld.

The Church of St. Asaph's in Bala-Cynwyd was built in 1889 on Conshohocken State Road by a congregation that first met in a cold, leaky frame building near City Line Avenue in 1887. Since the area had been settled by Welsh, the church was named for the twelfth-century cathedral of St. Asaph in northern Wales. A walled-in cemetery is entered through a roofed lich gate, defined by Webster's dictionary as "an opening or gate to a churchyard where a bier is placed to await the arrival of the clergyman." In 1982 the pastor was the Reverend Edgar G. Adams.

The Church of the Good Shepherd on Lancaster Pike at Montrose Avenue in Rosemont, given by Harry B. French as a memorial to his wife Augusta, first opened its doors for services in 1894. The congregation, founded in 1869, began worship in an earlier church on Lancaster Avenue near Garrett Avenue in1872. In 1873 members opened the Hospital of the Good Shepherd in a rented farmhouse on Ithan Avenue. The hospital, first on the Main Line, was primarily organized to render medical help to children whose parents could not otherwise afford such care; doctors donated their services. In 1883 a building was built on Conestoga and Garrett Roads in Delaware County. The Good Shepherd facility later became an orphanage, and in 1921 was absorbed into the Church Farm School. The Reverend Andrew C. Mead was pastor in 1982.

All Saints Church began in 1910 when residents of Narberth and Wynnewood asked the Reverend Andrew S. Burke to conduct Episcopal services in his home on Manor Road on Sunday afternoons. In 1911 Mrs. Burke's mother, Mrs. Alford Forbes Fay, gave land for the construction of a church on the corner of Montgomery Avenue and Gypsy Lane. Services were first held at All Saints Church in December 1911. The Reverend Gibson Bell of All Saints founded and served as headmaster of the Montgomery Country Day School, and for twenty years held services at St. Joseph's Mission on Mill Creek in addition to ministering to his own parishioners. The pastor in 1982 was the Reverend Harry E. Krauss III, following the Reverend John J. Albert (1956-80).

The Episcopal Academy has a striking chapel, built in 1960 and designed by Vincent Kling, on its campus in Merion. It holds services daily for the students, but has no parishioners or Sunday worship. Marriages, funerals, and special services are held upon the request of alumni.

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church has had a long history. It began when ground was secured in Ardmore in 1765 for the first Lutheran log church. Nicknamed the "Dutch Church" and built about 1769, it was established by the first German immigrants, and services were in German. A stone schoolhouse (20 by 25 feet), built on the land in 1787, is still standing and is now a Pennsylvania landmark. The church assumed the corporate name of "The Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Saint Paul's Church" in 1833, when it moved into its third building. The sexton's house and the parsonage were added in 1844 and 1852. In 1873 the cornerstone was laid for a fourth church structure. A fifth building was constructed in 1941 at Argyle and Wynnewood Roads, and the Luther Parsons Bell Tower erected in 1957. After renovations to the sanctuary and parish building in 1961, the church was rededicated. Further renovations were made in 1977. Although the church uses an Ardmore address, it is actually in Wynnewood. Membership was still growing in 1980, when the church had about eight hundred baptized members.

A burial ground, started by the earliest settlers, now surrounds the "Old Dutch Schoolhouse" and fills the entire block bounded by Athens Avenue and Argyle, West Wynnewood, and Hood Roads. Nearly 4,500 burials of several faiths have been recorded here. The remains of over 200 veterans, including 42 from the Revolutionary War, are recognized each Memorial Day and on other patriotic occasions.

The Gladwyne Methodist Church was organized in 1830 as a church school in Fritz's School House, where the congregation met only from March until late fall. The church records note that annual picnics, called "a celebration," were all-day affairs held in September. Traditionally one of the leading men in town donated a long rope. The superintendent would take hold at the beginning of the rope and then all the others grabbed on behind to keep all in line and to prevent the youngsters from getting lost as they traveled from one cow path to another until they arrived at the picnic site. The original one-story building erected in 1840 is now used as the Fellowship Hall.

St. Luke's Methodist Episcopal (now St. Luke's United Methodist) Church began in 1876 when a committee, presided over by Bishop Simpson, made plans to establish a Methodist church in Bryn Mawr. By August 29, 1877, ground was broken on the southeast corner of Penn Street and Montgomery Avenue. Until 1883 St. Luke's shared the pastor of Radnor Methodist Church. The educational building was erected in 1950. The original church building, now used as a chapel, was replaced by a new sanctuary dedicated March 23,1962. After a succession of thirty-one pastors, the Reverend George C. Lurwick of St. Luke's completed his thirty-fourth year of ministry in 1981.

Narberth Methodist Episcopal Church began in 1885 when Methodists worshiped at the Union (or Fairview) Sunday School, which was known as "Beth Raffen." In 1892, three years before the borough of Narberth was established, land was donated for the new church at Narberth and Price Avenues in Narberth.

The first preaching service of the Ardmore Methodist (later United Methodist) Church was held on Sunday afternoon, October 7,1894, in Dirigo Hall on Lancaster Avenue opposite Ardmore Avenue. Two years earlier a group had reorganized a Methodist Sunday school at the home of Henry Adams, postmaster of Ardmore. The church building at the corner of Argyle Road and Lancaster Avenue was dedicated on April 26, 1896. The Reverend John Galen McEllhenney wrote a brief history, which was printed in 1973 in Ardmore's Centennial publication (Ardmore Centennial Corporation, 1973, p. 9). As the Methodist church approached its fiftieth year in 1944 the Gibbons estate (location of the Holman School) at Argyle Road and Linwood Avenue was purchased. Here ground-breaking ceremonies were held in August 1948 and, according to the Reverend Dr. McEllhenney, "the beautiful Georgian colonial church with its white spire soaring upward through stately old trees was consecrated in December of 1949." Since 1961 a new Christian education building has served both church and community.

In Belmont Hills, the Ashland Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church of West Manayunk was organized on May 17, 1896, in the home of Archibald Gilmore, and ground was broken for the chapel at Ebenezer and Price Streets in July. A new lot at 35 Ashland Avenue was secured, the cornerstone was laid in 1924, and the present church was dedicated in March 1925. Later an army surplus building served as a Sunday school building and social hall. The church, now Ashland Avenue United Methodist Church, has a part-time minister, is self-supporting, and is the only active church left "on the hill."

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, standing at 505 Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, houses the oldest black congregation on the Main Line. It was started as a mission in 1878, in the residence of John Hooper, a local minister. Although his wife was an infidel and his children were untrained in Christian doctrines, he conducted services in his home, securing the presence of two or more persons to join him whenever he could. He was joined by George Barrick, and the two of them held services wherever they could until Hooper's death two years later. Barrick carried on the services, with some help, for a year, until he was joined by Samuel Curtis. The main meeting place was at Duty Hall on Buck Road, Haverford. Unable to stay current with the rent of four dollars per month, they were compelled to move from place to place. Having ninety dollars in their possession, they attempted to purchase a plot at White Hall in Haverford. But the minister needed the money to support his family, so the group lost possession of the ground.

After an appeal to the Philadelphia Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for the assignment of a minister to serve the mission, the Reverend J. B. Hill was sent in 1888. In the absence of a parsonage or church building, Pastor Hill, his wife, and their seven children moved from place to place.

Because all authentic records of the founding of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Ardmore, have been destroyed, information has been obtained from people associated with the founders. Their accounts vary. Thus, there are three versions of the founding of Bethel. This account is based on Sunday school records substantiated by parallel facts of the founding of other AME churches in the area.

In 1894 a group of people living on a farm section called Wyola (Delaware County), located between Leopard and Newtown Square, thought it wise to start a mission. They met one Sunday afternoon and organized. The Reverend L. W. Thurston, who was serving the AME churches in the area, preached the first sermon. The services began with house-to-house meetings, most of which were probably held in the home of Matthew Shippen. There was no regular pastor. The Reverend George Thomas, the local preacher who served the Wayne church, in the absence of the Reverend Thurston, was also assigned to serve Bethel for about a year. The Reverend I. J. Thomas, of the church in Centerville, Maryland, also assisted.

The Reverend William J. Oliver, who had just been called into the ministry, came into their midst and began holding the services in a blacksmith shop. He, along with Matthew Shippen, was sincerely interested in the progress of the mission. Soon after his arrival, heapproached William Rhodes, his employer, and asked for community support in building a church. Eventually the blacksmith shop was condemned, and, with money reserved through the endeavors of Wyola, those raised in camp meetings, and other efforts in Ardmore, a little mission was built on land between Walnut Avenue and Sheldon Lane.

Under the leadership of the Reverend C. W. Stewart from 1915 to 1920, the little mission on the back lot was moved forward and became a fine building. The Reverend J. A. Portlock, who served the congregation from 1928 to 1931, purchased the present parsonage at 208 Simpson Road, Ardmore.

During the 10 A.M. worship on Sunday, February 18, 1973, the church was destroyed by fire, the cause still unknown. The congregation worshiped for three years in St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Ardmore and then rebuilt the church with its entrance on SheldonLane. The five-hundred-member congregation, led in 1982 by the Reverend and Mrs. Richard R. Stokes, prides itself on "serving God and Man in the heart of the Main Line since 1895."

The Cynwyd Methodist Episcopal Church (now the United Methodist Church of Bala-Cynwyd) was organized with ten members in 1905 under the leadership of the pastor of the Gladwyne Methodist Episcopal Church. It received its charter on August 12, 1916, but continued to hold services in the room over the Cynwyd Fire Company, as it had since July 1905, until a chapel was built at Levering Mill Road and Bala Avenue in 1922. The first full time pastor, the Reverend Frank M. Gray, served from 1925 to 1930.Ground breaking for the Gothic "Methodist Cathedral of the Main Line" was held on Sunday, June 14, 1931, under the Reverend Franklin Duncombe; but dedication was interrupted by the Depression and bank closings until Sunday, May 26, 1935. During the interim, services were held in the Bala-Cynwyd Woman's Club across the street. Improvements were steadily completed on the new Gothic sanctuary, and a memorial carillon was installed in 1947. In October 1950 the education building was consecrated at 314 Levering Mill Road. Its pastor in 1981 was the Reverend Andrew Schultz.

Headquarters of the Peace Mission Movement are in Gladwyne, just off Spring Mill Road. Followers of Father Divine purchased Woodmont, the estate of Alan Wood, Jr., in 1953.

Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church began informally in January 1873 in the Temperance Hall on the Lancaster Pike. The officially recognized group soon bought a larger piece of ground on Montgomery Avenue where the church stands today. The first pastor, the Reverend William H. Miller, began his work in the new chapel in September 1874 and stayed for thirty-three years, helping to build the church in 1886. The Reverend Dr. David B. Watermulder was minister to a congregation of 3,400 in 1982.

The First Presbyterian Church of Lower Merion began as the Gladwyne Presbyterian Church in October 1874, when a group in Gladwyne reorganized after two years of inactivity. The seventeen members held their first services in the home of Mrs. Margaret Egbert. Later the Gladwyne Presbyterian Church was erected on the corner of Righters Mill and Black Rock Roads. In 1958, changing its name to the First Presbyterian Church of Lower Merion, the church moved to a piece of land off Monk Road, where it remains today. The minister in 1982 was the Reverend Howard E. Friend, Jr.

The Presbyterian Church of the Covenant of Lower Merion began at the turn of the century when George Barr invited some neighbors to join him in worship at his home on Cynwyd Road in Bala-Cynwyd. He found that many of his friends wanted to worship in a place close to where they lived. Worship, with a congregation of forty-nine people, began in a tent on the ground where the church stands today--the corner of Montgomery and Bryn Mawr Avenues. Services officially began on June 23, 1901. Membership in 1980 was 300, the Reverend Robert S. Williamson having served since 1975.

When the Ardmore Presbyterian Church began in 1907, Ardmore had seven churches, but none for Presbyterians. T. Edwin Ross gathered some thirty-two Presbyterians at a meeting that led to organizing the church on October 4, 1907, in the Assembly Hall of the old YMCA. The group bought ground at Mill Creek Road and Montgomery Avenue and began building a chapel in December 1909. The sanctuary was built in 1924. The pastor in 1980 was the Reverend David V. Yeaworth.

The Penn Wynne United Presbyterian Church, located at Haverford and Manoa Roads, is the result of several mergers of city and township churches. Christ Church of Overbrook Hills, established in 1931, merged with the West Hope Presbyterian in 1948. Then the Christ-West Hope Church merged with the Wynnewood United Presbyterian in 1975 to form the Penn Wynne church. In 1981 the sanctuary, built in 1948, served a congregation of 140 members. The pastor was the Reverend C. Russell Doherty.

The Faith Presbyterian Church, previously named the Faith Bible Presbyterian Church, joined the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in the 1970s. Its congregation, organized in 1964 as an outgrowth of a Bible Study group in Gladwyne, meets at 711 Mount Moro Road in Villanova in a former private residence. The pastor in 1982 was the Reverend Peter C. Jensen.

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