St. George's United Methodist Church, Philadelphia, PA



St. George's United Methodist Church, Philadelphia, PA


Historic St. George’s United Methodist Church of Philadelphia is the oldest Methodist Church in America. Located in Philadelphia, the Church was founded by Captain Thomas Webb and the Methodist Society of Philadelphia in 1769 for the purpose of practicing Methodist religion. In December of 1769, a Missionary of John Wesley, Joseph Pilmore, held the first prayer meeting at church followed later by Thomas Coke and Bishop Francis Asbury. Bishop Asbury was the first pastor of St. George’s United Methodist Church and ordained as many as 35 ministers in the Methodist faith within America during his travels.

Two African Americans, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, licensed as lay preachers of Methodism eventually left the church because of racial tensions and formed two new congregations. Richard Allen formed Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Absalom Jones turned to the Episcopal faith and established St. Thomas’ African Episcopal Church.

St. George’s is known as “the church that moved the bridge” as the Benjamin Franklin Bridge was rerouted in the 1920s, so the Church would not be demolished by its construction. St. George’s records consist of conference letters, account books, baptism, death, and marriage records as well as Journals, Diaries, etc.

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