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February 4, 2016 | Valerie Russ, Staff Writer
An overflow crowd packed the sanctuary and the balconies of Mother Bethel AME Church and the first floor of its Fellowship Hall Tuesday for a ceremony celebrating the new stamp in honor of Richard Allen, founder of the historic house of worship. The stamp's release coincides with the 200th anniversary of the 1816 conference of African American Methodist ministers called by Allen to form a new independent African Methodist Episcopal Church. Allen was born into slavery on Feb. 14, 1760 on an estate owned by Philadelphian Benjamin Chew.
NEWS
February 4, 2016 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Staff Writer
CYNTHIA KING drove from her home in Stamford, Conn., for the ceremony at Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church honoring the first day of the U.S. Postal Service's Richard Allen forever stamp. "This is a historic moment in time," said King, 62, historiographer of the AME church's first district, which includes the region from Boston to Philadelphia. "I had to be here. " The stamp is being released in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the 1816 conference at which Allen called for other African American Methodist ministers to form an independent African Methodist Episcopal Church.
NEWS
February 2, 2016 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Staff Writer
THE REV. Robert Levan Gravely II, a Mantua church pastor, died after suffering a heart attack Jan. 17, the day after his 61st birthday, a son said. Gravely had worked in management for Rite Aid before becoming pastor of the Jesus Christ Church of the Apostolic Faith. He lived in Yeadon, Delaware County. "He was an excellent father," his son Steven said, "dedicated, hardworking. He wanted the best for his family and he worked hard to provide the best for us. " Gravely had worked his way up to become a regional manager with Rite Aid, his family said.
NEWS
February 1, 2016 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
A shocking act of vandalism has inspired an outpouring of love from outside and inside a Catholic parish in Lindenwold. "We're praying for whoever did this," says the Rev. Joseph Capella, the pastor of St. Lawrence Church, where sections of stained-glass windows were smashed and the central altar was trashed shortly before noon Jan. 6. The perpetrator "must have been filled with rage," says Capella, 54, a Hammonton native who continues to set...
NEWS
January 26, 2016 | By Julia Terruso, STAFF WRITER
The roof of a Downingtown church caved in Saturday under the weight of two feet of snow, leaving the pastor to live-stream Sunday's services from his living room and leaving a congregation of 1,600 without a place to worship. Pastor Lee Wiggins of Calvary Fellowship said an alarm alerted a security company that sprinkers had gone off Saturday night. Wiggins drove through the blizzard to find the source of the alarm and walked into the 1,100-seat auditorium to find the roof collapsed.
NEWS
January 25, 2016 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Staff Writer
The Rev. Ernst Gerhart Schmidt, 84, of Huntingdon Valley, founding minister of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and a writer, TV preacher, and creator of senior communities in the Philadelphia area, died Friday, Jan. 15, at Luther Woods Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Hatboro. He died of complications from a stroke, his family said. Born in Chicago, at the start of the Great Depression, he moved with his family to Olney when his father, the Rev. Ernst Schmidt, a well-known German Lutheran pastor, was assigned to Philadelphia's Tabor Lutheran Church.
NEWS
January 18, 2016 | BY JASON NARK, Staff Writer
A DARK TOWER ON Chestnut Street was the beacon that David Braverman said he needed to navigate his way out of the Church of Scientology. Braverman, founder and owner of LeBus Bakery, says he spent close to $1 million on Scientology during nearly four decades - on the church's so-called auditing sessions to restore "beingness and ability," on travel to its massive Flag Building in Clearwater, Fla., and in fulfilling constant requests for donations....
NEWS
January 9, 2016 | By Michael Boren, Staff Writer
A Lindenwold church was vandalized Wednesday when someone hurled glass candle holders through several stained-glass windows and knocked over the cross on the altar, authorities and church officials said. The incident happened between 11:30 a.m. and noon at St. Lawrence Church at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Shrine in the 100 block of North White Horse Pike when someone walked inside. A worker had stepped out at the time, but the doors were unlocked for visitors who wanted to worship, Lindenwold Police Detective Christopher Sherrer said.
NEWS
January 5, 2016 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Staff Writer russv@phillynews.com 215-854-5987 On Twitter: @ValerieRussDN
THREE DAYS BEFORE Christmas, the Rev. Adolphus C. Prince, the ousted pastor of Zion Baptist Church, filed a lawsuit against the historic church of the late Rev. Leon H. Sullivan, seeking $50,000 and reinstatement as pastor. The suit seeks temporary and permanent injunctions to stop the congregation from having a second vote, scheduled for Jan. 9, on whether Prince should return. In the Dec. 22 filing, Prince asks Common Pleas Court to overturn the July 2014 vote, saying that he "was pastor of Zion Baptist Church from January 2012 until he was illegally removed on July 12, 2014.
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