Tenth Presbyterian Church

Tenth Presbyterian Church is a congregation of approximately 1,600 members[citation needed] located in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Tenth is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), a denomination in the Reformed (Calvinist) tradition.[2] It is located at the southwest corner of 17th & Spruce Streets in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, in the southwestern quadrant of Center City.

Tenth Presbyterian Church
Current church building
Tenth Presbyterian Church is located in Philadelphia
Tenth Presbyterian Church
Tenth Presbyterian Church
39°56′49.19″N 75°10′11.52″W / 39.9469972°N 75.1698667°W / 39.9469972; -75.1698667
Location17th & Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, PA
CountryUnited States
DenominationPresbyterian Church in America
Previous denominationReformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod
Weekly attendance1,000[1]
Former name(s)West Spruce Street Presbyterian Church
Architect(s)John McArthur Jr.
Frank Miles Day (1893 alterations)
Architectural typeLombard Romanesque
Spire height250 feet (150-foot wooden spire removed from east tower 1912)
Minister(s)Rev. Timothy Geiger (XM)
Dr. Enrique Leal (Mercy)
AssistantRev. Josiah Vanderveen
Senior pastor(s)Vacant
Director of musicColin Howland
Session clerkDr. George K. McFarland
Youth ministry coordinatorDora Phan
Parish administratorMelissa Frederick

History edit

Tenth Presbyterian Church, interior prior to 1893 remodeling.

The original Tenth Presbyterian Church, founded in 1829 as a congregation part of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, was located on the northeast corner of 12th & Walnut Streets. It established a daughter church in 1855–1856 called the West Spruce Street Presbyterian Church on the southwest corner of 17th & Spruce Streets. The two churches worked together, with the ministers exchanging pulpits each week. Because of membership decline in the original Tenth Church caused by population shifts, the two churches merged in 1893 at the 17th & Spruce Streets location, taking the name of the older church (Tenth Presbyterian Church).

West Spruce Street/Tenth Church was designed by architect John McArthur Jr., who was a member of the congregation. Its 250-foot (76 m) tower-and-spire was the tallest structure in Philadelphia from 1856 to the erection of the tower of Philadelphia City Hall in 1894, also designed by McArthur. In 1893, architect Frank Miles Day was hired to perform major alterations to the church's exterior and interior decoration. The church's steeple with its 150-foot wooden spire was weakened due to structural decay of the timber frame, and was removed in 1912 due to fears that it would collapse.

The Philadelphia Presbytery (PC-USA) was a conservative bastion during the fundamentalist-modernist controversy of the 1920s and 1930s, and Tenth Presbyterian was no exception. Under the influence of longtime pastor Donald Barnhouse (1927–1960), the congregation became the conservative Presbyterian church in Center City, and it has remained a conservative and evangelical congregation until this day. Under James Montgomery Boice (1968–2000), the congregation continued to be a center of conservative Reformed theology. Tenth membership continued to grow after World War II, and ministry efforts to college students gave the congregation a metropolitan focus.[3][4]

Tenth Church before the removal of the spires in 1912

Under Boice's pastorate, Tenth grew from 350 members to a congregation over 1,200.[5]

In 1979, following a denominational ruling by the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America requiring congregations to elect both men and women as ruling elder, Tenth Presbyterian left the UPCUSA in 1980, joining the more conservative Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod.[6] Three years afterward, Tenth followed the RPCES into the Presbyterian Church in America, a church of Southern origin.

After a lengthy property battle, the congregation was allowed to leave the UPCUSA while keeping its Byzantine-style property. Tenth Presbyterian is considered the "big-steeple" PCA congregation in the northeastern United States. The church sponsors an extensive global missions program, and an outreach to the neighborhood includes a strong connection to the rising generation of doctors, interns, and residents attending the medical schools in the neighborhood.[3]

Senior Ministers edit

Philip G. Ryken, in front of the pulpit, June 27, 2010
William "Liam" W. Goligher, at Tenth Presbyterian Church, 2011

Some notable staff members of the church from its founding include:

Notable members have included C. Everett Koop, Surgeon General of the United States during the Reagan administration and one-time head of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Ministries edit

  • Three Sunday services with approximately 1,400 people in weekly attendance
  • ACTS Ministries: mercy ministries to the poor and homeless near Tenth Church
  • Tenth College Fellowship (TCF) is a group for college students.
  • Tenth City Network (TCN) is a group for young adults.
  • Maranatha is the youth group for students in grades 7–12, begun in 1984 and still continuing to meet weekly on Sunday nights and sponsor other events throughout the year.
  • Medical Campus Outreach is a ministry to medical and other health professional students on medical campuses in and around Philadelphia.
  • Small group Bible studies meet weekly in host homes across the city of Philadelphia and throughout the suburbs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
  • Various other discipleship groups, support groups, and prayer groups meet regularly in the church facilities and elsewhere

Gallery edit

References edit

  1. ^ "About - Tenth Presbyterian Church". Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  2. ^ "About Tenth". tenth.org. Tenth Presbyterian Church. 2007-02-02. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  3. ^ a b "The Reformed Church in America". Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Medical Campus Outreach - Tenth Presbyterian Church". Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Archives - Philly.com". Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  6. ^ D.G. Hart and John Muether Seeking a Better Country: Three Hundred Years of American Presbyterianism (P&R Publishing, 2007) pgs. 239 & 240
  7. ^ "Tenth Presbyterian Church". Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Statement Regarding Our Senior Minister". Tenth Presbyterian Church. Archived from the original on 14 December 2023. Retrieved 14 December 2023.

External links edit

Preceded by Tallest towers in the United States outside of New York City
76 m
Succeeded by
Preceded by Tallest building in Pennsylvania
76 metres (249 ft)

Succeeded by
Preceded by Tallest building in Philadelphia
76 metres (249 ft)

Succeeded by