November 19 Today in OPC History

Atonement Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia


Five months after the now Orthodox Presbyterian Church was formed on June 11, 1936, Atonement Church was established in south Philadelphia. Dr. J. Gresham Machen communicated to Pastor David Freeman and the session of New Covenant Church that he believed it was important to have a congregation centrally located in the city of Philadelphia. Although efforts were made, expansion into the middle of Philadelphia proved difficult. When the congregation of New Covenant Church had to move to west Philadelphia, some members living in south Philadelphia - including ruling elder Robert Gordon and his family - were willing to try to start a new mission work, which became Atonement OPC.

Although two young men from its midst, Robert Gordon's son, A. Culver Gordon, and F. Clarke Evans, would be ordained as OPC pastors, Atonement Church was never able to raise enough support to call a pastor of its own. Lacking property, it met in a rented hall on Point Breeze Avenue for nine years before being dissolved as a congregation on this date in 1945.

Picture: A. Culver Gordon



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