1896: Elkins Park Presbyterian Church, Elkins Park, PA
In 1896, residents of the McKinley section of Abington Township started a Sunday School under the leadership of M. Y. Smith as a church plant of Grace Presbyterian Church which was a daughter church of Abington Presbyterian Church. In 1917, the Presbytery of Philadelphia officially charted the congregation which later became known as the Olivet Presbyterian Church. The congregation outgrew its small building so in 1954 so the church moved into a brand new building on Cedar Road. In 1965 the Ashbourne Presbyterian Church closed and joined up with the congregation on Cedar Road to become the Olivet-Ashbourne Presbyterian Church. In 1971 when the Dales Memorial Church closed, their remaining members joined officially with the Ashbourne-Olivet congregation and it was renamed the Elkins Park United Presbyterian Church. In the early 1980s the congregation composed of 3 churches and additional new members decided to remove the word “United” and become simply the Elkins Park Presbyterian Church. When the Melrose-Carmel Presbyterian Church closed to allow a Ghanaian congregation to utilize the worship space about a decade ago, some of its remaining members became active at EPPC, adding yet another congregation to the history of combining congregations into this one church.
Today, the Elkins Park Presbyterian Church is trusting in God and serving the community under the leadership of its 6th pastor, Rev. Cynthia Betz-Bogoly. The congregation is excited about Cedar Tree Child Care which opened in our facilities in September 2014, as well as the continued connection with the community through Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, a children’s dance program, and the church’s programs which support members and friends alike locally and all over the world through our missions, especially with children in India. Elkins Park Presbyterian Church is eager to see how God will continue to stretch us in to the future, broadening our ministries and continuing to bring new members into our dynamic congregation. We have great satisfaction in our evangelism of our community and the world through our own members and friends sharing the Good News of Christ and the prayer-filled support of the many missionaries whom we consider friends. In 2017, we are especially looking forward to the continued use of our recently re-organized church library, rapidly expanding children’s ministry, the enthusiasm of our community service minded seniors club known as Keneagers, and the amazing diversity of religious backgrounds present in our growing worship community.
This brief history was recently updated as a part of the Presbytery of Philadelphia’s 300th Anniversary Year of Celebration and Witness. The story of the congregations throughout the Presbytery were revised to remind us of our past even as we live into the present and move towards God’s promised future. Read more about the 300th Anniversary: www.presbyphl.org/300th-Anniversary.