Into the Light

January 20, 2012 | by Laura Kicey

Editor’s Note: The Internet is a marvelous resource, but sometimes the Great Brain just doesn’t have very much to tell us, which is the case with the former Fourth Reformed Church on the corner of Manayunk and Monastery Avenues in Roxborough. The church was formed in 1827, and moved to Manayunk and Monastery in 1900. Fourth Reformed sold the property to the Holy Church of Christ in 1969 when it merged with the Talmadge Memorial Reformed M.E. Church, also in Roxborough, at Pechin & Rector Streets. The congregation later affiliated itself with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, took the name Pilgrim Church, and is now located on Terrace St. in Manayunk.

Developer Andy Thomas, whose renovation of the church for residential units was discussed in today’s article about creative re-uses for churches, said that from what he could learn, the Holy Church of Christ operated a Christian radio station there along with holding services, but left at some point and allowed the buildings to deteriorate. They sold the property to Thomas in March of 2011. If anyone knows more about the history of the building or the congregation, please chime in. 


About the Author

Laura Kicey Laura S. Kicey is a photographer and artist based in Ambler, Pennsylvania. Kicey is a 1999 graduate of Kutztown University, where she studied graphic design and photography. Since 2004, her work has been shown in numerous galleries and museums across the U.S., and has been licensed by such clients as Architectural Digest, Urban Outfitters, Terrain at Styers, AMC Network, Lensbaby, Philly Weekly, and Pantone. Her photographs and digital composites can be found in several private collections and have been prominently featured in print 
publications internationally. Check out her website HERE and her Twitter feed HERE.


  1. citiesinpixiedust says:

    I grew up right by that church, and it closed in the late 80s/early 90s… The rumours were that they were holy rollers. I never went in there, but their services lasted a long time, and the churchgoers would spend a lot of the day outside afterwards too. We thought they were pentecostal (the kind of church where people speak in tongues) or Jehovah’s witnesses. You could probably keep searching or talk to people in the neighborhood to find out more.

    1. RU Green says:

      It’s been a long time since this comment posted. I attended the church on Monastery & Manayunk between 1971 and its closing. “The Holy Temple Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith” was its complete and official name. It was an offshoot of Pentacostalism, but they did not consider themselves as such. Your comment is both interesting and funny, I must say.

      My name is MissRuth, an indication I grew up a PK. I’d love to talk about the building that was formerly the church. If anyone is interested! The transformation is astounding!

  2. AE Cunningham says:

    I grew up in Talmage Memorial Church. It was named for Letitia Talmage’s father and around the turn of the century had affiiation with the Temperence League. Both Talmage and Fourth Reformed were Dutch reformed churches. They were not pentacostal. They merged and services were held alternating Sundays at Talmage and then 4th Reformed. The buildings began to deteriorate sometime in the 80’s when there was a fracture in the church and basically all the money left and the Manayunk dregs that were left behind founded Pilgrim Church. The money moved to Leverington Presbyterian at that time.

  3. RU Green says:

    I know it’s been a long time, but the person I’d like to converse with the most is “citiesinpixiedust”who posted back on 22 Jan. 2012 and actually lived in the neighborhood during the time I went there regularly. It’s been a decade since the post and hopefully, “citiesinpixiedust” is still around.
    So, if you can contact “citiesinpixiedust” -please pass on my information.

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