Church History

Leverington Presbyterian Church was founded May 9, 1878 with 67 charter members as an extension/plant of Roxborough Presbyterian Church. For their 50th anniversary in 1904, Roxborough Presbyterian Church had their history published. A copy donated to the New York Public Library was later scanned and can be read online at http://www.archive.org/stream/roxboroughpresby00mcma. An excerpt from pp47-48:

About this time [1877?] an earnest request came from a number of Presbyterians residing in Lower Roxborough, asking that a preaching service might be held by the Pastor of Roxborough Church in that vicinity. The Pastor was asked to examine into the matter and report upon the advisability of complying with the request. Several services were held in Lyceum Hall, and a resolution of Session on February 3, 1878, authorized the Pastor, with the cordial approval of the Session, to inaugurate a regular Sunday afternoon service at that point, if he deemed it expedient to do so.

This work was undertaken at the request of a number of persons, members of the Manayunk Presbyterian Church (and others), who found it inconvenient to attend services in Manayunk. (This was before the street car lines made the connection between Manayunk and Roxborough so close as it is today.) A large number of these people secured letters from the Manayunk Church and placed them in Roxborough Church, worshiping here with us on Sabbath morning or evening and attending the services in Lyceum Hall in the afternoon. The success of the new enterprise soon exceeded the anticipations of the originators of the movement. Many who did not formally identify themselves with Roxborough Church attended the services in Lyceum Hall and the Leverington Presbyterian Church was organized May 9, 1878.

Mr. Philips having received a call to become the pastor of the new congregation, tendered his resignation as pastor of Roxborough Church at a joint meeting of the Session and Board of Trustees, held in the lecture room on May 23d and in accordance with his request, his relation with this church was dissolved by Presbytery at its meeting on June 3d following.

On Sunday, June 9, 1878, the first Sunday School session was held in a white canvas tent pitched on a lot on Leverington Avenue. The floor of the tent was bare ground. They sat on wooden chairs and sang hymns to the accompaniment of a little cottage organ. On October 23, 1878, a furious storm blew down the tent and tore half of it to shreds. The congregation moved back into Lyceum Hall [corner of Lyceum and Ridge, destroyed by fire in 1966] where they held services until 1879. In the meantime, the church took possession of the lot on the corner of Leverington and Ridge Avenues, which the Trustees had purchased for $3,100. Work began on a chapel December 7, 1878 and the first church edifice was dedicated on October 19, 1880.

Over the years, the congregation grew; the present gothic Church and Sunday School structure was opened on Sunday, September 18, 1927. This time of dedication was marked with great jubilation as members of the Sunday School joined in a solemn procession from the old structure at Leverington Avenue to the new building at Ridge Avenue and Hermitage Street.