THE HISTORY OF THE BIRDSBORO CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE
The founding of the Birdsboro Church of the Nazarene began with the vision of five men: Reverend William Maurer, Jacob Houck, Walter Johnson, Samuel Johnson and Hunter March. These men felt the need of organizing a work dedicated to the task of preaching and teaching holiness. In 1934, they united under the name of the Birdsboro Camp Meeting Association. A short time later they changed their name to the Birdsboro Holiness Association.
In the summer of 1937 the Royersford Church of the Nazarene, under the leadership of Rev. James I. Beideman and the Association united to hold a camp meeting in Brook’s Grove, South Birdsboro. Rev. E.E. Grosse, the pastor of the Norristown Nazarene Church, and Rev. James I. Beideman, the pastor of the Royersford Nazarene Church, led this campaign where many were saved and sanctified. Prayer meetings were held in local homes under the guidance of Rev. Beideman. Many of those who were saved, joined the Twin Boro Church of the Nazarene. In August of 1937, the Birdsboro Holiness Association purchased the Orpheus Band Hall in South Birdsboro for a place to worship.
Under the supervision of Rev. James I. Beideman, renovation work began on the Band Hall to be made into a church building on January 1,1938. Men gathered in the evenings and worked until midnight four days a week. The building was ready for its first service on Sunday March 3rd.
That first Sunday service on March 3, 1938 was significant as the First Church of the Nazarene of Birdsboro was organized by the Reverend D.E. Higgs, District Superintendent of the Washington-Philadelphia District Church of the Nazarene. The church began with forty charter members.
A mortgage burning service took place on March 30, 1947 with Rev. Ketner as the special speaker and the Rev. Jerold K. Jones as the pastor in charge, which added to the 9th anniversary celebration of the church. These steps helped to pave the way for the church’s next endeavor of the construction of a church parsonage at 220 Hopewell Street. In 1950, under the supervision of Mr. Oliver Maurer and Senior Pastor Rev. Jerold Jones, the church parsonage was started and completed with the majority of the work done by men of the church who put in many long hours after working at their own place of employment. During that same year, Rev. Robert O. Parry was the first pastor to move into this parsonage.
In 1958 the lot on which the current church building stands was purchased. It provides a wonderful location for our church here in Birdsboro. Rev. Fred M. Henck was the pastor at the time of the purchase. Plans were made, money was raised through a building fund campaign and the blueprints were drawn up for the construction of a new church building. A ground breaking service took place in July of 1962 with District Superintendent William Allshouse as the guest speaker. Rev. Richard W. Jarvis became the pastor at Birdsboro Nazarene that same month. Under his leadership the excavation and construction for the new church building began. The building project took place during one the coldest recorded winters in Birdsboro’s history. In May 1963 the roof was finally place on the building and after hours of donated labor and sacrificial giving, a completed church was dedicated on September 8,1963.
Rev. John Buchko, Rev. John C. Slyter and Rev. Philip R. Doyle provided fine senior pastoral leadership at Birdsboro from the years 1967 to 1978. In May 1978, Rev. Dennis Boel came to serve as senior pastor. Shortly thereafter, the 718 East 3rd Street parsonage was purchased and 220 Hopewell Street parsonage was sold. In the following years, Pastor Boel and church leadership sought after God’s direction, considered the needs of the church body, established goals and evaluated ministry, leading them to the realization that additional facilities were needed for the mission of God to be carried out to the community of Birdsboro. Church leadership met several times with Cogun Industries, an organization specializing in preliminary planning and actual construction of church facilities, and after several drawings were considered the ground breaking for the expanded facilities took place July 10,1988. The construction would include educational rooms, office complex, enlarged narthex, fellowship hall and kitchen and construction would commence on October 17,1988. On Sunday November 5, 1988 in a special afternoon service the expanded church facilities were dedicated to the Lord.
After 31 years ministering to the Birdsboro community, Reverend Dennis Boel retired from pastoral ministry in the spring of 2009. The search for a new pastor commenced and Rev. Don Allison served as the interim senior pastor for the summer and fall months. On November 1,2009, Rev. William Foss was installed as 14th senior pastor and has faithfully served this community ever since. Birdsboro Church of the Nazarene has experienced a great deal of change since its days at the Orpheus Band Hall to our current building on 715 E. Third Street, but one thing has remained the same, the faithfulness of God to sustain His people here at Birdsboro.