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210 Years and Ministering

30. June 2008

Columns, Congregation of the Month,


Broomall RPC

Location:Philadelphia, Pa.


Organized:Jan. 28, 1798

Membership:60 communicant; 11 baptized

Pastor:William J. Edgar

Web Site:

Early History

Founded in 1798, the congregation met in a schoolhouse until 1803. In the same year, they completed work on a new church building, installed their first pastor, and took the name First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. At that time there were 35 members.

In 1800, the Presbytery of Philadelphia concluded that slavery was a sin and resolved to prohibit slaveholders from taking communion in any RP church. The future pastor of First RPC, Samuel B. Wylie, was sent with a committee to share the news of this resolution with congregations farther south. After his ordination and installation in 1803, Wylie taught Latin and Greek at the Theological Seminary of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. He was famed for his knowledge of 14 languages.

By 1833, the church had grown to over 400 members thanks to immigration. Sadly, the First RPC split that year over the issue of their dissent from civil government. Those who maintained the covenant position of dissent called themselves the Old Lights, and their congregation became Second RPC of Philadelphia. God ...

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