April 21, 2014 |
BUX-MONT'S landmark Bryn Athyn Cathedral looms large in its community - 180 feet large, measuring to the top of its tallest tower. Inside, the view from the pews is awe-inspiring. Artisans built the place just after the turn of the 20th century to resemble Europe's great medieval churches, down to blowing their own stained glass on site. Outside, the view overlooking the Pennypack Creek Valley from the vast, terraced grounds is breathtaking. But the church's congregation is as ordinary as they come: a button-downed collection of women in sensible, pretty dresses, men in jackets and slacks, and very well-scrubbed college students from Bryn Athyn College across the street.
April 7, 2014 |
There is something very new and very old happening inside the Circle of Hope. Born of the mid-1990's Philadelphia Christian punk scene, the church with four locations in the area is rooted in one of the state's oldest denominations, the Colonial-era Brethren in Christ. Some observers glibly dismiss the current iteration as a "hipster church. " And, sure, there are plenty of beards and blue jeans and a certain laid-back stagecraft. But the theology here is meaty. There may be talk of using Google maps to view Biblical sites, but there are also citations of the Law of Moses to help contextualize the scripture.
March 16, 2014 |
FOR 75 YEARS, the Crescentville Baptist Church has overlooked Rising Sun Avenue, watching it change with the decades. The church changed, too, said Pastor Charles Dear: It's now a diverse congregation with a global outlook, lending its support to the faithful all over the world. Who we are: Dear describes the church as "an independent Baptist ministry serving the community and the world. " His congregation of about 100 members consists primarily of neighborhood residents, with some members who hail from Roslyn and other nearby suburbs.
March 4, 2014 |
Rabbi Richard A. Levine, 75, of Voorhees, the longtime leader of what is now Adath Emanu-El, the Mount Laurel congregation, died of complications from a blood disease on Friday, Feb. 28, at Virtua Voorhees medical center. He was "a rabbi's rabbi, a mensch, a friend and a truly precious soul," Rabbi Benjamin David, senior rabbi at Adath, said in biographical notes written by Rabbi Levine's son Ari. Born in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., Rabbi Levine earned a bachelor's degree in 1959 at the Wharton School.
February 3, 2014 |
DECADES before Tim Tebow came onto the scene, the Eagles had Herb "The Praying Tailback" Lusk, who on Oct. 9, 1977, after his second touchdown of the day in Giants Stadium, made history as the first NFL player to kneel and pray during a televised game. (The Eagles won, 28-10.) Since 1982, the former player, now the Rev. Lusk, has done his praying from the pulpit at North Philly's Greater Exodus Baptist Church, where he's pastor. Greater Exodus was in a sorry state when he arrived - nearly bankrupt and with only a handful of members.
January 13, 2014 |
A MINISTRY THAT'S equal parts church and counseling center, Pastor Ray Barnard's Impacting Your World Christian Center takes the "impact" part of its name to heart. The center emphasizes "real-world applications" of Biblical teachings - like how to maintain strong marital relationships, build leadership skills and manage money wisely. "There's a lot of information in that book," Barnard said. Who we are: Barnard's congregation numbers about 3,000, drawing worshippers from Philadelphia, South Jersey and Bucks and Montgomery counties.
December 18, 2013 |
CAROL AMBRUSTER didn't hesitate to speak her mind when she saw injustice. Like the time the Philadelphia Orchestra raised its single-ticket concert price to make it the most expensive in the nation. Carol hit the ceiling. "Oh, my heavens, it's really a slap in the face," she told an Inquirer interviewer in 2002. "It's the arrogance of the rich toward those of us who love music. " Carol M. Ambruster, a retired assistant astronomy and astrophysics professor at Villanova University, was stabbed to death Dec. 9 in her Germantown apartment at Wayne Avenue and School House Lane.
October 6, 2013 |
FOR 107 years old, Calvary Baptist Church isn't showing any signs of slowing down. The West Philadelphia congregation is led by a dynamic music ministry that keeps worshippers on their feet, and a powerful preacher, Pastor Garth G. Gittens, who's the host of a daily podcast on Praise 103.9FM. Calvary, which celebrates its 107th anniversary this weekend, is about to start a multimillion-dollar renovation project that will expand the church's seating capacity, add commercial space for small businesses and include a community center.
September 23, 2013 |
THE REGION Bernard Gutkowski has spent much of his 65 years on earth inside the walls of the Sacred Heart Church in the Swedesburg section of Bridgeport. That's where Gutkowski was an altar boy, got married, and later brought his children on Sundays. "This church is my whole life," said Gutkowski, who has served on several church boards and runs a funeral home in the Montgomery County town. Last week, Gutkowski and other parishioners learned their church was one of 46 in the Philadelphia area that are next to undergo a review as the archdiocese assesses its parish structure.
September 15, 2013 |
MT. CARMEL Baptist Church is a West Philadelphia landmark, a place of worship where political heavy hitters come to pray, and a force for social change in its neighborhood and beyond. We talked with the church's pastor, the Rev. Albert F. Campbell, about his congregation's beliefs, its good works, its considerable history and its challenges in the here and now. Who we are: Campbell described Mt. Carmel as a "traditional Baptist church" that has evolved and adapted to the community around it. When Campbell, 81, became pastor 47 years ago, the congregation was made up of neighborhood residents, who'd walk to the church every Sunday with their families, he said.