Hello All, -- [Last revised 7/30/2011]
Welcome to the WebSite of Good Shepherd, a PC(USA) congregation in the Overbrook section of West Philadelphia, (not too far of Highway US-1 and the Philadelphia Main Line), that demonstrates its ecumenical faith by, among other things, sharing our church facilities with the congregations of five other denominations for their worship and other church activities. Our Mission Statement says, that
Good Shepherd is a multicultural Christ-centered church
— in the Presbyterian tradition —
affirming both Old and New Testaments
as a witness to the ministry of reconciliation: so that
all families and nations of the earth may bless themselves.
Reverend J. B. Adams III is our Pastor and Stated Supply,
always available by cell phone at 267-608-5362
Good Shepherd's mailing address is:
6439 Lansdowne Ave at No. 65th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19151-3314
Our Church phone is (215) 879-9232.
Our new Internet Web address is:
Like ourselves, this web site is a work in progress...
Good Shepherd is "The (big) Church on the (little) Hill" in the heart of the Overbook Community in West Philadelphia, PA for one hundred years, (it's solid two-foot granite Gothic walls were quarried from the very bed rock on which she stands, according to tradition). Historically, through its lineal descendants in 2009 celebrated its 150th Anniversary of service to the wider surrounding community, within the historic Philadelphia Presbytery, of the Synod of the Trinity. It remains the very hub and center of the Overbook Community (which quickly grew up around it), in the days when most people walked to their houses of worship, before and after the wide-spread use of the Ford Model "T", or use the excellent Philadelphia SEPTA surface trolly and "elevated" transportation system that still exists today.
Outstanding preachers (and its fine organ with WWI Veterans Memorial chimes played at the end each service) drew visitors, then congregants, from all parts of Philadelphia on Philly's excellent public trolley, then bus, "elevated" and train transportation, -- which still serves the church and community, see directions using the Number 10 trolley and the 31 & 65 SEPTA air conditioned buses today.
Near by is the pioneering 176 year old nationally famous Overbrook School for the Blind, along with the Melvern terminals for the SEPTA trolleys, bus lines and commuter trains of the "Main Line" that serve and define the "Philadelphia Main Line" with stops at Melvern, Narberth, Ardmore, Paoli, the blue blood suburbs and beyond, not to mention the near by dozens of other younger Gothic and "store front" churches and congregations. We are also hoping to serve the Overbrook community with the Overbrook eTimes, (a Web 2.0 community Internet replacement for the long defunct legacy weekly paper Overbrook Times).
Even today Good Shepherd, and the other four congregations that share the near 100 year old venerable Gothic J. Addison Henry Memorial Church Building, still serves as a virtual hub of Overbrook, with vital organizations using the building, even as it is no longer in its glory of highest membership, partially because it lacks off street parking. Yet that actual total numbers who worship in its sanctuary and use all its facilities is still quite high, thanks to:
Good Shepherd also regularly hosts daily, weekly or monthly activities of:
- New Maranatha Haitian Company Creole and French-speaking 7th Adventist, West Philadelphia branch, now newly pastored by Jean Fenelon, who can be reached by phone at 201-966-1213, or email: Jnfenelon@aol.com
- Christ Temple Fellowship Baptist Church, Pastored by Rev. Anthony Jenkins
- Arc of Refugese
- Formerly, Christ Liberation (now Redemption) Fellowship, a thriving "church plant" of historic 10th Presbyterian Church (in American), pastored by Rev. Lance Lewis, phone 215-500-6009, which still serves the community
- Formerly, KOGISH (Kingdom of God Is At Hand), which worships at 5pm Saturday/Sabbath, during school months.
- (And formerly housed the international ministry of Bishop Terrence Priester)
And has recently met some of the changing community needs by providing:
- NOAH, Neighbors of Overbrook Area Helping, a recognized community association that includes Neighborhood Watch,
- Little Peoples Village "annex," run by Lisa Iliopoulos (215) 878-3011; an outstanding pre- and after-school.
- Philadelphia Senior Citizens Resource Center, in Overbrook West Philadelphia, with a number of programs for seniors, run by Christina Randell, (215) 796-9973.
- City of Philadelphia handicap-free Precinct 34 Voting;
- A summer Bible School program of Hosanna Christian Family Ministries,
- (And formerly housed Dwayne Meng's O.V.E.R.C.O.M.E)
- Home Maintenance Workshop - partnering with homeowners to assist with repairs;
- NOAH's Neighborhood Greening efforts resulting in three years the planting of over 150 new trees in the adjacent neighborhoods,
- Participating in the Rain Barrel Project with American Cities Foundation;
- and our first projects of benches on the corner at our bus stop and some ramps for access to parts of the building for the "physically challenged."
- In the past the church classrooms were also used by the public school for Lamberton and Cassidy.
- And for over four years, until quite recently, hosted the Overbrook Athletic Association's , Sports and Learning of Overbrook, directed by Jeffery "Jeff" Bowker, of Overbrook Presbyterian Church, PC (USA);
- O.V.E.R.C.O.M.E., which focuses on its youth
programs, that includes hip hop dances many Friday and Saturday
evenings, run by Dwayne Ming
Some other Overbook community members, not congregants of Good Shepherd, still choice the classic Gothic sanctuary with beautiful stained glass windows, fine organ and large social hall with ample kitchen facilities for wedding and funerals, birthdays and christenings, engagements and graduations, baby showers and community events as well as other significant celebrations.
Perhaps our most continuous and pervasive special mission is
Peacemaking. Peacemaking at all levels, the self, the family, the
neighborhood and community, as well as the city, the state, the nation
and even the world, see Peacemaking in our Site Navigation TOC (Table of Contents).
- "Our Controversial Bible Study" has chosen to look at issues few preachers will tackle from the pulpit including re-opening old wounds -- to permit fresh new healing -- for real reconciliation: such as with those who still cannot in all conscience ordain women or gays. We will also look at the possibility of God's judgment in 9/11 - other than those selected by the late Jerry Falwell: which might have begun a real dialogue.
- Overbrook eTimes: To
end debilitating community anonymity and individual isolation and
reestablish a sense of personal community identity, Good Shepherd seeks
next to create a separate, parallel pilot model easily replicatable
Internet free Google WebSite, with eMail delivery, of an alternative to
defunct labor-intensive and costly paper weekly Overbrook Times, with a
Google-based Overbrook eTimes,
to restore the "intra-community communications" within Overbrook,
where perhaps 60% to 80% may have eMail and/or Internet Access. (If
of our large venerable big city newspapers, like the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer, and even national magazine across the nation are
folding and/or trying
to come back or recreating themselves as electronic media, why can't
small community weekly, like Overbrook Times, -- or any community that needs one, do the same. This is what the
Wayne Church is trying to do for Southwest Philadelphia through the
- Bottle Bill: By
advocating a return to deposits on reusable and recyclable bottles and other containers - often called the Bottle Bill - we not only plan to help our environment
through better stewardship, -- especially through the elimination of "recyclables" that all too often litter our streets and neighborhoods. When children can pick up this recyclable litter and earn money, they not only slowdown the increase in the consumption of oil and oil prices, as well as help to cut
down on the real cost of municipal trash disposal, but it thus provides a "real" source of "service income" for
our youngest children. thereby reducing the need for older kids without income possibilities to bully and rob younger weaker children, which is one of the first, and perhaps most import step, that school bullies start down the path toward handt gun violence. These possibilities are a necessary first step to provide additional
employment for unskilled youth through understanding the "service" pays.
- Overbrook Sports and Learning. In conjunction with the more crowded Overbrook Presbyterian Church, Good Shepherd provides a physical "home" for an outstanding pre-school, after school and pre-kindergarten programs, including a dozen computers, two very short blocks from the crowded Cassidy Elementary school, (which in even more crowded day has as many as 5 pre-schools classroom operating out of Good Shepherd as its Annex. Our location just 4 more blocks beyond Cassidy are Papa's Playground and the Morris Park Nature Refuge, two outstanding recreational area are also naturally made use of by the 501(c)(3) Sports and Learning.
- Papa's Playground: With almost no indoor facilities, Papa's Playground or basketball facilities, Papa's Playground also makes seasonal use of our indoor basketball facilities, especially for indoor soccer practice and other community activities involving our social hall.
- Little Peoples' Village: One of Overbrook's best pre-schools, one of the few with a waiting list, is an all too small Little Peoples' Village. Now that Cassidy has vacated the last of their rented classrooms, we have been able to make at least one classroom, also with up to another dozen computers, available for their of pre- and after-school overflow.
- PU-BRIG: Philadelphia Urban - Bioretention Rain & Infiltration Gardens. Philadelphia is taking a lead among the 700 urban areas in America which "mix" urban sewage and stormwater rain runoff and send into STP "sewage treatment plants" that are inundated and grossly overfeed the capacity of the STP which results in washing raw sewage -- and you know what that is -- untreated into our rivers and streams, often 'upstream' from where other cities further downstream draw their drinking water. [More.] Good Shepherd is planning 10 or 11 PU-BRIGs so it can disconnect its roof down spouts from it 8" sewer lines to earn credits toward reducing it storm-water treatment costs which monthly will rise from about $50 a month to 3 or 4 times that a month! [More!] because of its 10,000 sq ft of impervious roofs, walks, steps and postage stamp parking facilities.
So, if you are in the neighborhood, do call or drop in where you are a stranger only once.