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Old Pine Street Church - National Fund For Sacred Places
2020 Cohort

Old Pine Street Church

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Old Pine Street Church, formally known as Third, Scots and Mariners Presbyterian Church, is the oldest extant Presbyterian structure in Philadelphia.

Old Pine Street Church by Third, Scots, and Mariners

Old Pine Street Church by Third, Scots, and Mariners

2020 Cohort

Old Pine Street Church

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Old Pine Street Church, formally known as Third, Scots and Mariners Presbyterian Church, is the oldest extant Presbyterian structure in Philadelphia.

The congregation was founded in 1768 and began meeting in a Colonial meeting house designed by Robert Smith. The church’s first minister, Rev. George Duffield, was the chaplain to the Continental Army and Continental Congress, leading hundreds of parishioners to enlist voluntarily in the Revolutionary War and inspiring political leaders such as John Adams to attend the church frequently. The British Army occupied the sanctuary during the Revolutionary War and burned the original pews for firewood. Nearly 300 Revolutionary War soldiers are buried in the church’s graveyard. Building additions in the 1800s transformed the simple structure into a grand Greek Revival church.

Today, Old Pine supports a wide range of education, arts, and mental health services in Philadelphia. In 1976, the church built the neighboring Old Pine Community Center. Equipped with a gym and classrooms, the center provides outreach to unsheltered community members, GED preparation, after-school programs, hot meal distribution, and space sharing with diverse community groups. The church also hosts the Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble and 12 meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous each week. The graveyard serves as an open-air museum and public park, displaying signs that share the history of the congregation and its role in the founding of America.

A National Fund grant of $200,000 and $400,000 in matching funds raised by the congregation will allow Old Pine to improve the functional use of its space and better meet the needs of its growing congregation and the Philadelphia community. Work will include redesigning an accessible entrance, completing interior and exterior repairs, and upgrading water drainage systems.

Old Pine Street Church by Jason Ferris

Old Pine Street Church by Alyssa Maloof

Stories and Media Coverage

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