Congregational Profile: Church of the Good Samaritans

by Pastor Bob Pirylis and Elder Charles Bergey

The Church of the Good Samaritans began like many churches, as a vision given by God.  This vision was placed within the heart of Reverend J. J. Plenert, Pastor of First Mennonite Church of Philadelphia. He had an idea to plant a new church to minister to the spiritual needs of those living in the rural areas surrounding the city.

In 1957, many important things took place in the new church.  On February 3, the name “Church Of The Good Samaritans” was chosen.  The church’s constitution was drawn up and adopted by eighteen members on April 12, and later that month, the Sunday School was organized. In March 1959, a ten-and-a-half acre plot of property was purchased from William and Anne Fisher in Holland, PA (Northampton Township, Lower Bucks County).  In 1960, ground was broken to build a parsonage on this property.  All worship services, Sunday school classes, meetings, dinners and other events and gatherings were held there in the parsonage.

In 1961, construction started for the new church building to be located between the parsonage and Holland Road. The first worship service was held on the site of the new building at 6:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday 1962, without walls or a roof. The building was completed and dedicated on September 23, 1962. Over the next five years many new families began worshiping with us and thirteen people become official members of the congregation. God continued to be gracious to us throughout the years. Our mission verse is 1 John 1:1, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of Life.” This continues to be our passion to “Reach and Teach the World!”

Through God’s blessings and provision, we were able to add a playground to advance our outreach to the community and enhance our children’s ministry. Between Vacation Bible School and LEGO nights, we offer opportunities for children and young people to learn important Bible truths about Jesus and other skills to help them apply these lessons to their lives. We continue to seek God’s direction in how we should proceed in bolstering a youth ministry and using our puppet ministry to work outside the walls of the church.

Each month, a ministry team travels to the Helping Hand and Whosoever Gospel Missions to lead worship, bring an evangelical message, and serve a meal to the homeless. We partner with Crossroads Community Center through Easter egg hunts, campout & hayrides, movie nights, and children’s fun days. In addition, we work closely with Child Evangelism Fellowship and Ambassador Football in summer outreach events like Bible clubs and soccer camps.  

Our Quilting Ministry has been meeting every Monday evening for the past 15 years. Approximately 25-30 ladies of all ages create beautiful quilts that are given to sick children in local hospitals to bring them comfort, warmth, and love as they struggle through their treatments and recovery. To date these women have completed 2769 quilts. They work with “Quilts For Kids,” a national organization that distributes these labors to troubled children all over the world.

Carrying the Word of Life to the world has always been a key component of the ministry of this congregation. Each year, in addition to our local and urban outreaches, we send a team to tend to the needs of the sick and elderly in several financially depressed communities located in Webster County, West Virginia.  We combine our love, resources, and talents to build wheelchair ramps, steps, and porches to assist those with physical disabilities. We also fix leaky roofs and make desperately needed repairs to raise their quality of life, both spiritually and physically.

We are thankful to our Lord for constantly sending us and challenging us to be “Good Samaritans,” servants to His hurting world.  

Prayer requests:

  1. That we continue to seek God’s direction on trying some new and different ways to impact the community and the world with the Gospel of Jesus.
  1. As we make adjustment to our AV capabilities the congregation would be flexible to adjust with these advances to bring into the technological era.
  1. Ask God to show us how we would allow people to see the full image of Christ through us in everything we do inside and outside the church.
  1. That God would guide us to the new missionary we are add to our missionary support group.