Extending Our Welcome, Strengthening Our Service–The Campaign for Old First

Extending Our Welcome, Strengthening Our Service–The Campaign for Old First

You’ve been hearing a lot about the capital campaign in worship. And maybe you attended a house meeting over the summer and early fall. Or have seen the video.

We hope you’re thinking about what this campaign might mean for the future of Old First. Here’s a little more detail about the campaign. Remember, this is a vision, but not a specific plan. There will be lots more opportunities for the congregation to engage in dialogue about where we go next.

Goal 1: Build a Dynamic, Growing Congregation

Against a backdrop of declining church attendance nationally, Old First is growing. Groups that don’t typically go to church–like young adults without kids or gay & transgendered people–are drawn by our commitment to service and by our extravagant welcome. With targeted investments in our building and our technology, we can build on this success.

Project List

  • Renovate sanctuary, including enhancing chancel to accommodate flexible worship experiences and artistic performances, plus adding new windows, flooring, sounds system, and lighting ($200,000)
  • Brighten sanctuary building entrance with new doors and improved lighting ($50,000)
  • Deferred building maintenance ($160,000)
  • Loan repayment ($50,000)

A committee, led by Pastor Emerita Geneva Butz, is currently in the interviewing process and hopes to recommend an architect to be hired by the first of the year. More information will be forthcoming when this committee completes its work.

Goal 2: Explore Options for Outreach Ministries

How can Old First alleviate poverty in Philadelphia? For over 30 years Old First has offered shelter, fellowship, and ministry to Philadelphia’s urban poor. We’ve provided meals, clothing, and a safe place to stay for the most vulnerable of our neighbors. At the same time Old First has served as a place for young people from across the country to explore their faith and engage in life-changing urban ministry.

The time has come to grow and expand our outreach capacity. Old First is poised to have a greater effect on hunger, homelessness, and poverty in Philadelphia.

Project List

This capital campaign will fund Phase 1 of a three-phase project to expand our outreach services. During Phase 1, we will develop a detailed plan that would include envisioned outreach programs, service location(s), potential partners, and estimated funding needs. At the end of Phase 1, there will be a plan to be presented to Old First’s congregation for approval ($90,000).

[Note: Phases 2 and 3 of the project would involve raising separate funds and then executing the plan. Only Phase 1 is to be funded as part of this capital campaign.]

Please prayerfully consider pledging toward this vision. Commitment Sunday is October 26, and then we’ll celebrate our success in worship on November 16.


Enhanced chancel to accommodate flexible worship experiences. Rendering by Rick Daniels