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Church of the Redeemer – founded 1851
Church of the Redeemer – 1905
230 Pennswood Road
In the early 1800's there was no Episcopal Church between Philadelphia and Old St. David's Church in Radnor. The first Episcopal Church in Lower Merion was organized on Sunday, August 3, 1851 in Temperance Hall, above the 8 mile marker on Lancaster Pike. After the service a meeting was held to organize a parish. A resolution passed to erect a church edifice, and on October 30th the vestry resolved to purchase a parcel of land on the corner of Lancaster Pike and Buck Lane, to erect a church to not cost more than $2,000. November 22, 1851 the vestry resolved, at the request of many friends, to change the name from St. Luke's – its original intended name – to Church of the Redeemer.

On November 21, 1851 the corner stone of the Church was laid by the Bishop of Pennsylvania. Soon a Chapel was founded with Sunday School and evening services. After paying all their debts on that first location, the vestry voted on September 10, 1860 to buy the property at the corners of Fishers Road, Old Gulph Road and Pennswood Road, where the Church now stands. The property remained vacant from 1861 until 1872 when the rectory was built, in what was described as a forest of trees. A Church Extension Society was formed in 1873 for the purpose of building a new Church.
Church of the Redeemer – 2010 Image 2010 – Tom Crane

During 1879-81 a new church, designed by Charles M. Burns, Jr., was built at Pennswood and New Gulph Roads in Bryn Mawr to serve the many prosperous parishioners. On November 8, 1879 the corner stone was laid by the Bishop of Nebraska and on Easter Sunday 1881 the first services were held in the Church. The parish house was built in 1885 and the choir room was added to the Church in 1891.

Church of the Redeemer underwent several early improvements and expansions. Burns designed the new choir room and various other alterations and additions through 1905. In 1910, the west end of the church was enlarged by two bays and included a narthex, or vestibule. This addition, by the Philadelphia architectural firm of Evans, Warner and Bigger was the first of many alterations they would oversee. In 2009 the church completed a major renovation, including reconfiguration of the chancel; a new addition for accessible lavatories; and the restoration of the stenciled wood ceiling, terra cotta tile, wood floors, the slate roof, interior and exterior masonry walls, and other important elements.


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