2018 Cohort

Broad Street Ministry

(Presbyterian)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Broad Street Ministry rejuvenated a dormant downtown church building that symbolizes the vibrant presence of Presbyterianism in Philadelphia for more than a century.

Broad Street Ministry by Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0

Broad Street Ministry by Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0

2018 Cohort

Broad Street Ministry

(Presbyterian)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Broad Street Ministry rejuvenated a dormant downtown church building that symbolizes the vibrant presence of Presbyterianism in Philadelphia for more than a century.

In 1887, two downtown Philadelphia churches, the Chambers and Wylie Memorial churches, merged into the Chambers-Wylie Memorial Presbyterian Church. The combined church commissioned notable local architects Rankin & Kellogg to design a Gothic Revival building modeled after Ripon Cathedral in Yorkshire, England. The building features stained-glass windows by Nicola D’Ascenzo. The Chambers-Wylie Church closed in 1999. After the building was briefly occupied by the University of the Arts, Rev. Bill Golderer opened Broad Street Ministry’s doors in 2005. Located on Avenue of the Arts, Broad Street Ministry developed “as an innovative Christian faith community that emphasizes the Gospel imperatives of extending generous hospitality, demonstrating justice and compassion, and providing a ground for artistic expression,” according to the congregation.

Since its founding, Broad Street Ministry has created a number of programs that largely focus on providing services for Philadelphia’s low-income residents and people experiencing housing insecurity. The congregation’s flagship program, the Hospitality Collaborative, serves over 7,000 people a year. The program offers a daily meal for almost 250 people, health services, personal care items, clothing, therapeutic arts, and a mailing address to over 3,000 guests. Broad Street Ministry is also collaborating with the Philadelphia Department of Prisons to assist formerly incarcerated individuals with finding employment and case management services.

A $250,000 National Fund grant with $500,000 in matching funds raised by the congregation will allow Broad Street Ministry to stabilize the stone masonry on two stone towers. This exterior repair work is essential for ensuring the stability of the towers’ upper portions and the safety of all who utilize the building.  

Breaking Bread

In the boiler room in the back of an old urban church, a barber with a graying goatee and a do-rag has set up a small but serviceable “salon.”

Broad Street Ministry courtesy Broad Street Ministry

Stories and Media Coverage

Read more about how the National Fund for Sacred Places is helping congregations around the country rehabilitate their sacred places.

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church by Luis P. Gutierrez