Church of the Good Samaritans (Holland, Pennsylvania, USA)

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The Church of the Good Samaritans in Holland, Pennsylvania, USA was established in 1954. The congregation began as an outreach of the Home Missions Committee of the Eastern District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church.

In 1951, the Missions Committee began a search for a property. A down payment was made on a plot of ground in Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County in 1953. On 18 January 1954, an agreement for the property was signed by the Huntingdon Valley Mennonite Church. A parsonage was dedicated on 11 December 1955. The Missions Committee called Richard Ratzlaff as the first pastor. The first worship service was held in the basement of the parsonage on 1 January 1956, with two families attending. The initial vision was to become a community church in an upper-middle-class area.

On 3 February 1957, the new congregation chose the name Church of the Good Samaritans. Eighteen members adopted a new constitution on 12 April 1957. Over the next year, the church determined the location was not conducive to growth.

On 1 March 1959, the Eastern District Conference purchased 10 1/2 acres in Holland, Northampton Township, Lower Bucks County. Before a building was available, the group met in the Richboro Elementary School. A parsonage was constructed in late 1960, and a new church building was dedicated on 23 September 1962.

The Church of the Good Samaritans became a self-supporting congregation in the early 1980s.

By 2021 the congregation had a number of active ministries. It added a playground to advance its outreach to the community and enhance its children’s ministry. Each month a ministry team traveled to the Helping Hand and Whosoever Gospel Missions in Philadelphia to lead worship, bring an evangelical message, and serve a meal to the homeless. It worked closely with Child Evangelism Fellowship and Ambassador Football in summer outreach events like Bible clubs and soccer camps.

The Quilting Ministry involved 25-30 women in creating quilts that were given to sick children in local hospitals. By 2020 these women had completed 2769 quilts.

Each year the church sent a team to financially depressed communities located in Webster County, West Virginia where it helped build wheelchair ramps, steps, and porches to assist those with physical disabilities, as well as fixing leaky roofs and making needed repairs.

In 2021 the congregation was part of the Mosaic Mennonite Conference. The minister was Bob Pirylis.

Bibliography

"History of Church Of The Good Samaritans." Church of the Good Samaritans. Web. 14 June 2021. https://www.churchofgoodsam.org/history-of-church/.

"Pennsylvania church builds new parsonage." The Mennonite 75, no. 46 (22 November 1960): 758.

Pirylis, Bob and Charles Bergey. "Congregational profile: Church of the Good Samaritans." Mosaic Mennonite Conference. 2020. Web. 14 June 2021. https://mosaicmennonites.org/2020/02/18/congregational-profile-church-of-the-good-samaritans/.

Unruh, W. F. "A new church in Northeast Philadelphia." The Mennonite 71, no. 18 (1 May 1956): 284.

Additional Information

Address: 964 Holland Road, Holland, Pennsylvania 18966

Phone: 215-355-1442

Website: https://www.churchofgoodsam.org/

Denominational Affiliations: Mosaic Mennonite Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at the Church of the Good Samaritans

Name Years
of Service
Richard Ratzlaff 1955-1962
Wilmer S. Shelly (Interim) 1963 (Jan-May)
John Sprunger 1963-1975
Martin Fry 1976-1977
William Tilghman 1978-1987
Don Stott 1987-1990s?
Stephen C. Strunk 1990s?-2005?
Robert R. Zweitzig 2006?-2007
Robert F. Pirylis 2007-present

Membership at the Church of the Good Samaritans

Year Membership
1960 17
2000 80
2007 56


Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published June 2021

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Church of the Good Samaritans (Holland, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2021. Web. 26 Feb 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Church_of_the_Good_Samaritans_(Holland,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=171616.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (June 2021). Church of the Good Samaritans (Holland, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 February 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Church_of_the_Good_Samaritans_(Holland,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=171616.




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