Happy Birthday to Us!
For 137 years, our church community has faithfully served God by making his mission visible in Kennett Square. Here’s to many more years of making a difference together!
Do you know how and when Advent started? The following is a brief excerpt from A History of Church of the Advent by Bill Stelzer
On May 1, 1882, a Pennsylvania judge put pen to paper and the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Kennett Square was born. With the signing of that Charter, a small group of Episcopalians became a Church.
One of the petitioners who worked with the Diocese to request the charter was Theodore Hadley whose son, Charles, was to be the owner and publisher of the local newspaper. Later, Charles and his sister, Irene, established the Hadley Fund in memory of their parents, Theodore and Elizabeth. The Hadley Fund today still brings to Kennett highly acclaimed programs for, as stated, the civic betterment, social welfare, and education of our local communities.
The first job of the new church was to erect a church building. This went fast and well. A committee of three members pledged themselves to gather the money necessary to build a church building for the newly chartered parish. These three were: Theodore D. Hadley, S. Ashton Hand, and Henry C. White. The money flowed in and in just a few years’ time, the cornerstone for the new building was laid in 1885 on a site on the west side of South Broad Street, just below Union. In 1886 the first service was held in this new church that held the Kennett Square Episcopalians for the next seventy-plus years. After the congregation moved to our present location from South Broad Street in 1956, this First Church was sold to the Lutherans of Kennett Square and when they moved to a new location, the church building was bought in turn by the Presbyterians, whose church building was located across the street. At some point the Methodists purchased it and currently operate the Church of the Open Door out of the 1886 church building.
A Rector was appointed to lead the new church: G. Livingston Bishop who served as Advent’s first rector for three years, 1885 – 1888.