Adapted from Our First Forty Years by Mildred Howard
The vestry of Holy Apostles and the Mediator decided to sell the original Holy Apostles property at 21st and Christian Streets to Shiloh Baptist Church in 1944. One of the conditions of that decision was that money would be set aside from the proceeds of the sale for the construction of a new chapel in the growing western suburbs of the city.
Carroll B Maris, a parishioner of Holy Apostles and the Mediator who had recently moved to Penn Wynne, was instrumental in convincing the vestry to look here for the site of the fourth chapel. The site on Remington and Dover roads was approved for purchase on July 1949.
Walter H. Poole of Davis and Poole, Architects, was commissioned to submit plans for a chapel and parish house. Plans were approved in February 1950 with the parish house to be built first and the Chapel to come later. Construction costs were to be kept at $126,000!
The Rt. Rev. William P. Remington, Bishop of South Dakota and former vicar of the Chapel of the Holy Communion at 27th and Wharton Streets, presided at groundbreaking ceremonies on April 15, 1950. The Rt. Rev. Oliver J. Hart, S.T.D., Bishop of Pennsylvania, presided at the cornerstone laying on October 1, 1950.
The Rev. Robert Matthew Baur, assistant to the Rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, was called to be the first vicar of the Chapel of the Holy Apostles, Penn Wynne; his tenure to begin October 1, 1950.
Although the building was still under construction, it was decided to hold a Christmas Eve service. Without heat or light, wearing heavy coats and hats to ward off the cold and carrying flickering candles for light, an enthusiastic group of Christians prayed and sang Christmas carols. The Overbrook Hills-Penn Wynne fire trucks played their searchlights on the building to further illuminate the gathering.
Not willing to wait for the Parish House to be completed, church services were held at the Penn Wynne Library from February until Easter Sunday, March 24, 1951.
Our church service record book shows attendance that first Easter to be: 35 at the 9 a.m. service, 75 children at 10 o’clock Church School, and 170 at the 11 o’clock service. The altar and other furnishings were placed in what we now call the Godly Play room. The parish hall and temporary worship space of the Chapel of the Holy Apostles, Penn Wynne were formally dedicated at 5 p.m. on June 24, 1951. Bishop Oliver J. Hart officiated.