church

In 1975, 64 members moved from the Philadelphia church to the Blue Bell location. Eleven of those members are current members. A few are pictured with the 1975 cornerstone. From left to right, Joan Frizzell, Sue and Harry Jenkins, Carolyn and Lloyd Paullin, and Barbara and Ken Green.

BLUE BELL -- Forty-five years ago, on October 5, 1975, the congregation of Grace Baptist Church Blue Bell opened its doors in Blue Bell as the Baptist Temple after 103 years at Broad and Berks Streets on the Temple University campus in north Philadelphia. Sixty-four members made the move from north Philadelphia to Blue Bell. Eleven of the current members were members at the Philadelphia location.

The decision to move was a difficult one, but membership and attendance were declining as members moved to the suburbs. The congregation took five years to discuss, research, pray, and plan the move. Research showed growth in the Blue Bell community and some of the members already lived in the area. The price of land was good, and the lot found was large allowing for growth.

A special worship service was held on October 4, 2020 highlighting the church’s history with a video. Special music was provided by former members. During worship, the congregation renewed the litany of dedication from 1975 and pledged to continue the mission and work put forth 45 years ago.

While in Blue Bell, the congregation has grown to more than 200 members with outreach into the community. Grace is a church of service. Members participate in the community with the Mattie Dixon Community Cupboard, Interfaith Housing Alliance, Hope Gardens, serving breakfast in Norristown, the Whitpain Community Day, and Shady Grove Elementary School. A favorite day is our Faith in Action Program, when we do not have a worship service -- “we do not go to church; we are the church.” Instead we participate in multiple locations serving the community. There is something for everyone. This year was a different program due to COVID-19. It was a week-long opportunity for service.

Grace Baptist Church Blue Bell is an American Baptist Church. Founded in Philadelphia in 1872, it has a long history of service in the Philadelphia area. Temple University was founded in the basement of the Baptist Temple at Broad and Berks Streets. Soon after, the church founded Temple Hospital both under the leadership of Dr. Russell Conwell, our long-time pastor. We have started planning a big celebration for our 150th anniversary in 2022.

We are a diverse community of believers who believe in serving the community, loving each other, and spreading God’s love. Our worship service is Sundays at 10:45 AM. Sunday school begins at 9:30 AM. For more information about Grace, please go to www.gbcbb.org or call 215-628-2077. All are welcome.

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