Our Story

Our story has deep roots in both gospel-centered and people driven ministry.
 
The earliest records indicate that our present day congregation was conceived in 1846 when ministry workers from the ‘Methodist heritage’ organized a mission in Lancasterville, Pa (a few miles away from Plymouth Meeting). Starting in 1861, the mission was moved to Plymouth Meeting, where it operated out of a saddle shop.  By 1870, the Methodists abandoned the work , but a few of the locals did not want to yield to that decision and continued on.  The group experienced some hardship and struggle; but at their core was a deep love of Jesus and His good news, and they continued on. The congregation was  then formally organized in the summer of  1874 consisting of 18 “charter members.”
 
The original church building construction began 2 years later in 1876. In 1877 the first story was completed. The construction of the second story began in 1878 and was finished in 1884. 
The congregation was affiliated with the Evangelical Association (EA) up until October 1881, when it was decided to reorganized under the new United Evangelical Church denomination (UE). 
 
Sadly because of denominational politics, in December 1894 the congregation was kicked out of their church building.  But the faith-driven community pressed on, and from December 1894 to February 1896 the congregation  meet at a nearby location (Cold Point). When the congregation had enough money to buy back the building from the EA (who owned the building), they did so for $1,000.
 
In 1922, there was an attempt to bring the EA and the UE back together.  But the Plymouth Meeting congregation was not interested in the merger, and so, along with other churches, they banded together to form the Evangelical Congregational church
 
That’s an interesting denomination name. What does it mean?
The word “Evangelical” simply means we are people of the Good News.  
We believe the Bible to be the authoritative, inspired and infallible Word of God. we affirm that people are saved by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ. We are compelled by this good news, and commissioned to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
The word “Congregational” simply means we are our own unique family.
We recognize that our congregation (i.e. faith family) is unique, and we own the responsibility of being a healthy body, and  we intentionally, actively and collectively pursue God’s mission.  We don’t have a “hierarchy” telling us what to do. We employ our gifts and callings to the glory of God. Though we are congregational, we are not independent. We strive for connection with other churches and use relationships and resources for the Kingdom of God. 
 
Over the years the church has gone through many seasons, and has seen 40 different pastors since 1874.  Today, Plymouth Meeting Church has entered into a new season, as the 41st pastor, Reverend Cameron Smith faithfully looks to God our Creator, and presses forward to sow the seeds of love through Jesus Christ in an ever changing culture. 
 
Our story continues with a refocus on biblical teaching, simple church structure, community, and a commitment to spiritual formation. We embrace the fact that “church” started about 2,000 years ago, and that we are one tribe of many. We recognize that there are different expressions of Christianity. We, as Plymouth Meeting Church see the early church practices found in the New Testament of the Bible as a vital spiritual resource for today. At the same time, we also exist in the unique context of the Philadelphia suburbs. We are a church that has ancient roots, a strong local context, and we are enthusiastically biblical. 
An old photograph of our church building.

An old photograph of our church building.