HISTORY & MISSION
Summit began on Carpenter Lane as a mission of the Second Presbyterian Church in Germantown, with evening prayer meetings and a Sunday School. By 1894 there were enough people to organize a new congregation called the Summit Presbyterian Church, and by 1895 the church had built a sanctuary on Westview and Greene. As the neighborhood grew, so did the church. By 1927 a new sanctuary and education wing had been added. The expanded building is now also home to the Summit Children’s Program, the P’nai Or Jewish Renewal congregation, Free to Be Performing Arts Center and other community groups.
The church’s mission has always included the nurture of children, caring for neighbors, and Christian witness in the world. In earlier decades Summit had a large Sunday School and welcomed neighborhood youth through Friday night basketball and other activities. Summit supported missionaries in China, Korea and Iran, and YMCA workers across the country. It was a founding member of the Northwest Interfaith Movement (NIM), which had offices at Summit and worked to build a diverse and caring community in Mt. Airy. NIM also provided many community services until its closing in 2012.
In 2023, Summit’s mission includes membership in POWER Interfaith, a grassroots organization of Pennsylvania congregations and individuals committed to racial and economic justice on a livable planet. The Social Justice and Environment committee sponsors programs to help the congregation understand and advocate for more just policies around racial justice, climate change, gun violence and more. Summit also supports Family Promise, that helps families experiencing homelessness achieve sustainable independence, and Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, people of faith responding to climate change as a moral issue. You can learn more about our ministries of compassion and local outreach on the "Ministries" page.
We believe that outreach and witness for social justice must be grounded in a Christian faith nurtured through worship, study, and community. As it says in our mission statement:
We, the people of Summit Presbyterian Church, believe God calls us to: grow and be nourished by the Holy Spirit, scripture, tradition, and reason; comfort and encourage one another; rejoice in the diversity of the human family; find Christ in service to others; and fearlessly proclaim God’s love for all.