Community Service–Wellspring Ministries

At Old First, we take seriously the call to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” We have learned that when we serve others we gain much more than we give. Since our congregation moved back to its original site at 4th & Race in 1967, our mission commitment has been clear: “to be a church for this whole city…all the way to its last and its least.”

“Wellspring” is the name of Old First’s ministries of service and social justice to disadvantaged neighbors. That name derives from the well that is at the east end of the lower narthex in our church building; it is believed to be the oldest existing architectural feature of the property.

We pray that Old First is a “wellspring of hope for diverse people.”

Wellspring Programs

  • Alcoholics Anonymous — Every day a group gathers to share their experiences, strength and hope and help one another recover from alcoholism.
  • Saturday Breakfast Ministry & Clothing Cupboard — We serve breakfast for up to 80 people each Saturday morning and provide basic clothing and other necessities.
  • Urban Service Camps — We welcome youth and adult groups from across the country to experience the joys and challenges of urban ministry.
  • Winter Homeless Shelter — In partnership with Bethesda Project, Old First offers shelter, meals, social services and community to about 30 men throughout the winter months.
  • POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild) — Old First is a founding congregation of this faith-based community organizing movement advocating for the needs and priorities of Philadelphians.
  • Young Adult Service Community — Part of the wider-UCC’s efforts to connect young adults (age 21-35) with service opportunities in local churches, young adults spend a year working at local social service agencies while living in community together on-site at Old First.