Anniversaries afford us the opportunity to celebrate accomplishments, reflect on the past, and hope for the future. Abington Presbyterian Church is joyfully recognizing 300 years of faithful witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ this year. The highlight of their celebration took place on June 8, 2014, Pentecost Sunday, when they held an “Old Fashioned Tent Revival Service” on the grounds of the College Settlement Camp in Horsham, PA.
What better way to honor the gift of the Holy Spirit and the consecration of the Church than by worshipping together with the ten congregations that trace their beginnings to Abington Presbyterian Church. Leading worship was Pastor, Rev. Brent Eelman, along with Pastors and members of partner congregations: Ms. Debbie Spade (Carmel), Rev. James Eby (Grace), Rev. James Farrell (Oreland), Rev. Dr. Janel Dixon (Cedar Park), Rev. Adan Mairena (West Kensington Ministry), Rev. Daniel Reid (Roslyn), and Rev. David Preisendanz (Willow Grove). The morning’s preacher was famous evangelist, Rev. George Whitefield himself, dressed in full garb of the time, enacted by Rev. Bill Jackson, former Associate Pastor at Abington. Rev. George Whitefield preached twice at Abington in 1739 and 1740, during “The Great Awakening”.
The service included liturgy from a 1612 worship book, and concluded with the hymn “Remember, Renew, Resound” written by Rev. Brent Eelman and Mr. John Sall (Director of Music Ministries at Abington) to commemorate the anniversary. As one Abington member, Don Brooks claimed, “I could not have been more proud to be a member of APC and it was great to share our many wonderful elements of our church with our partner churches.” The service was followed by a picnic lunch and time of fellowship for the members and leaders of all the partner churches in attendance.
While many of these connections to partner churches have faded into history because they are now independent, self-sufficient congregations, Abington Presbyterian Church maintains its desire to reach outside its walls to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. They are currently partnering with West Kensington Ministry to be a faithful presence in the lives of those living in West Kensington. Together with their Pastor, Rev. Adan Mairena, the members of Abington are continuing their long-standing tradition of spreading God’s love and mercy out into the world.
If you attend the Phillies game July 11, you will hear over 200 members of Abington singing our national anthem; another way they are celebrating this milestone anniversary. As part of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, let us all join in giving thanks for the faithful witness of Abington Presbyterian Church and their 300-year-old commitment to spreading the Church of Jesus Christ into the world.