Who we are

"The Episcopal Church Welcomes You," is not just a slogan, it’s who we seek to be and the witness we seek to make, following the way of Jesus.

Statement from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry November 14, 2016

The Church of the Messiah community welcomes all people who seek to know the love of God in Christ Jesus. We value every person as a child of God – without precondition.

​We are inclined to joyful and contemplative worship, a thoughtful and courteous exchange of ideas, and acts of compassion for those whose lives are caught in a web of poverty, illness and homelessness.

OUR VISION​

Church of the Messiah seeks to be an inviting, welcoming and compassionate Christian community which encourages spiritual growth by inspiring and uniting people to be examples of Christ’s love and celebrating the glory of God.





Location of worship

Church of the Messiah
1001 Dekalb Pike
Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania 19002
United States
Phone: 215-699-9204
Download Church of the Messiah vCard with Service Times   Edit

Church Pastor

The Rev. Keith Marsh
Rector
1001 Dekalb Pike
Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania 19002
United States
Phone: 215-699-9204
Download Rector The Rev. Keith Marsh vCard with leader Bio   Edit

Quote of the Day
Psalms 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

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Leadership

Leader Name:
The Rev. Keith Marsh   Edit
Leader Position:
Rector   Edit
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Our StaffRectorThe Rev.Keith A. MarshFatherMarsh, is a dynamic part of the parish life at the Church of the Messiah. Keith has been serving with us since June 2005. He arrived here from Louisville, Kentucky where he served as Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. He graduated in 1991 from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, sponsored by the Diocese of Rhode Island. Keith often jokes about having an ‘eclectic’ job history that led to ordination: Prior to entering seminary, Keith worked for the Navy as a defense contractor after servingas a Supply Officer in the Submarine Corps of the Navy.

His first job after graduating with a BS degree in Marketing/Advertising from Indiana University was in Miami, where he worked as an assistant buyer of men’s clothing for Burdine’s Dept. Stores. Within a few months of his arrival in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, he was appointed to serve a three-year term as a member of the Philadelphia Cathedral Chapter, and he is currently serving on the board of Episcopal Community Services.

Having taken Masters level courses in liturgy at The University of Notre Dame, a primary focus for Keith has been the construction, execution and expansion of worship experiences here at Messiah. In addition to his other duties, he enjoys teaching and is frequently found leading classes for adults, youth and children.

Keith and his family live in Lansdale. His wife, Deb, grew up traveling the world before her father retired from the Air Force. A Registered Nurse, she has worked in a variety of hospital, home health and private duty settings through the years, including a tour in the Air Force Nurse Corps. They have two grown children: Trevor and Lauren. For leisure activities, in addition to working on projects around the house, Keith enjoys gardening, cooking, reading and travel.   Edit
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Church of the Messiah Leadership Photos



Administration

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Sue Phillips   Edit
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Parish Administrator   Edit
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Mailing Address

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Driving Directions to Church of the Messiah

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1001 Dekalb Pike, Gwynedd Valley, PA
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Travel/Directions Tips

Need a ride to church?
Give us a call Mon-Fri at 215.699.9204   Edit


Parking

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Church of the Messiah Service Times

SUNDAY MORNING

8:00 am Holy Eucharist
Quiet Service

9:15 am Church School & Nursery Care begin

9:30 am Holy Eucharist
Family Service with music and choirs

10:45 am Adult Forums (September through mid-May)

Refreshments and fellowship follow both services

Service Times last updated on the 13th of May, 2019   Edit


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Children and Youth Activities

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Prayers and Hymns

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Other information

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Church of the Messiah Photos





History of Church of the Messiah Gwynedd Valley PA

In 1855, the Pennsylvania Railroad expanded service into the sparsely settled, agricultural areas north of Philadelphia as far as Gwynedd Valley Station. Philadelphians seeking escape from the city’s summer heat discovered the pastoral and tranquil countryside, and farmers began to take in summer boarders. Soon, inns to accommodate visitors and summer homes for wealthy families, were built in the area.

In 1861, with no Episcopal church located this far from the city, services for summer visitors were held in the local home of Rodolphus Kent. Growth of these services prompted a group of summer residents to hold an organizational meeting in December of 1866; the name ‘Church of the Messiah’ reflects the fact that the parish was born in the same month as the Church celebrates Christ’s birth. Within two years, attendance had grown too large for private homes and Sunday services were moved to the Gwynedd School, opposite the intersection of Plymouth Road and State Road (now Rte. 202).

In 1870, two acres located between the school and William Penn Inn were purchased. The church women hosted a fair to raise funds for the builder’s first payment, and, in recognition of their contribution, the women were given the honor of turning the first sod at the official ground-breaking. In the weeks following, the men of the parish labored to excavate the site and dig the cellar by hand. Stone from a local quarry was then brought to the site along State Road (now Rte. 202, as previously mentioned), then a toll road, but the road’s private owners waived the tolls in order to spare the congregation the expensive transport. On August 10, 1871, the cornerstone was laid; and only four months later, the congregation gathered on Christmas Day to celebrate Messiah’s first service. In the summer of 1877, after a fundraising junket to Long Branch raised enough money to pay off the mortgage, the building was consecrated and the parish welcomed into the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

In the early years Church of the Messiah served only as a summer chapel, but as the surrounding area developed, the congregation grew steadily until year-round services could be supported. A full-time rector was hired, requiring the building of the rectory, the Patterson House, which is still in use as Belfry Bargains Thrift Shop. Later the school building was acquired and expanded for use as the Parish Hall. Growth of the Gwynedd-area suburbs prompted the parish to establish three missions, now the independent parishes of Holy Trinity in Lansdale, St. Dunstan’s in Blue Bell, and St. Matthew’s, Maple Glen. While continued parish growth necessitated expanding the Parish Hall and 100-seat sanctuary and purchasing ‘the Cottage’, the historic flavor of the original buildings has been faithfully maintained.   Edit


Church of the Messiah Historical Photos

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The power of Christian prayer Open our ears.
Blessed Lord, open our ears to hear what Thou speakest and our eyes to see as Thou seest. Give us hearts to beat in sympathy with Thine at the sight of every little child; and above all, our Lord, to understand and experience how surely and how blessedly Thou fulfilest Thy promise, "Whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me."
This page was last updated on the 13th of May, 2019
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