PENNSYLVANIA SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE
OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
Olivet-Schwenkfelder
United Church of Christ

619 Township Line Road, East Norriton, PA  19403
"An Open and Affirming Community of Faith"
EXPLORE


Church History


Olivet-Schwenkfelder United Church of Christ

July 1999
Olivet-Schwenkfelder UCC - Norristown was the 298th UCC to become an
Open and Affirming Congregation.

Having publicly declared a welcome into the full life and ministry of its church to persons of lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual orientation Olivet was certified as an open and affirming congregation.


Our Humble Beginnings

From courageous yet humble beginnings the first church services of Olivet UCC were held in a fire hall in Philadelphia. In time membership expanded and they bought land in Norristown to build a church.

The winter of 1995-1996 was an especially stormy one, with a historic blizzard in January. The snow accumulation and ice kept the congregation of Norristown Schwenkfelder Church from accessing its building for worship. An invitation went out from Olivet United Church of Christ, offering the use of its facilities during the storm.

From those earliest days of cooperation, the two congregations recognized their similar needs and goals. Throughout 1996, both congregations held meetings and retreats focused on future sustainability and growth. Following months of study, prayer, and reflection, both Norristown Schwenkfelder and Olivet UCC voted on merging. Both congregations voted overwhelmingly in support of becoming one church.

Olivet-Schwenkfelder United Church of Christ was born, blending and celebrating the rich heritage of both traditions. The Schwenkfelders sold their church building on George Street in Norristown, and moved into the Olivet building in East Norriton. The UCC members welcomed Norristown pastor, Rev. Gene F. Jerge, as their new minister. On May 18, 1997 Pentecost Sunday the new congregation officially gathered as one.



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