The Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd exists to make the love of Christ known within our parish community, northwest Philadelphia, and the wider world.
A Brief History of the Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd
(Adapted from a 1977 history by Jennie C. Adams)
Before 1910, the area from Stokeley Street west to Henry Avenue and from Coulter Street north to Queen Lane was woodland. Between 1910 and 1914 the woodland was replaced with homes and a thriving community developed. However, there was no Episcopal church school closer than either Calvary Church or St. James the Less, both of which were some distance away.
At the invitation of the Rev. J. C. Mitchell, then Rector of Calvary Church, Germantown, a group met to organize a Sunday School for this community, known as Queen Lane Manor.
From this humble beginning the Manor Sunday School Association was formed, and from it developed the Church of the Good Shepherd, Queen Lane Manor.
In 1919 a small churchly building was erected at McMichael Street and Midvale Avenue, and the Rev. William Y. Edwards was appointed by Bishop Rhinelander to be its minister.
The church was successful from the start and in 1921 became an independent Episcopal parish with Mr. Edwards as Rector. Before long the building became too small, and steps were taken to enlarge the church.
At this point good fortune came our way. The sons of the late Henry W. Brown offered to build a church on The Oak Road, in memory of their parents. Sufficient ground was provided also for a parish house. This offer was gratefully accepted; and on October 30, 1926, the cornerstones were laid for the church, now the Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd, and the parish house. The church was built and given by the Browns, but the congregation built the parish house. On October 16, 1927, the church was consecrated and the parish house dedicated.
Within the eighty years since the church’s consecration the membership has been blessed with the leadership of a devoted clergy. In 1937, Dr. Hugh E. Montgomery succeeded Mr. Edwards; in 1945 the Rev. John Vander Horst was instituted as Rector. In 1951, Dr. R. Dunham Taylor was called. He remained until his retirement in 1974. The Rev. Dr. Maurice Coombs began his ministry on The Oak Road in 1974 and served until his death in March of 2002. The Rev. Robert C. Smith served as the sixth Rector of Good Shepherd from 2004 to 2012. He was succeeded by The Rev. Jon Richardson until 2014. The parish has since been served by Interim Rector The Rev. Isaac J. Miller.