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History of Church Of The Good Samaritans

Church of the Good Samaritans began like many churches, as a vision given by God. This vision was placed within the heart of Reverend J. J. Plenert, Pastor of First Mennonite Church of Philadelphia.  He served there as pastor from 1936-1946.  He was also on the Home Missions Committee of the Eastern District Conference.  He had an idea to plant a new church to minister to the needs of those living in the rural areas surrounding the city.

In 1951, a search began for a suitable piece of property to erect a building.  On the 23rd of September 1953, a down payment was made on a plot of ground in Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County.  On January 18, 1954 an agreement for the property was signed by the Huntingdon Valley Mennonite Church, with settlement on April 15, 1954.

Early in 1955 stakes were driven to mark the site and dimensions of the parsonage, which was completed and dedicated on the 11th of December 1955.  Now the new church had a place to meet, and Pastor Richard Ratzlaff was called as their spiritual leader.  The first worship service was held in the basement of the parsonage on January 1, 1956, with two families attending.

In 1957, many important things took place in the new church.  On February 3, the name “Church Of The Good Samaritans” was chosen.  The churches constitution was drawn up and adopted by eighteen members on April 12, and later that month the Sunday School was organized.   But, over the next year the founding Pastor and church members felt that Huntingdon Valley was already sufficiently built up and any significant growth was unlikely.  Another search began, with much prayer, for a new location for the church.

On March 1, 1959, property was purchased from Willian and Anne Fisher in Holland, in Northampton Township, in Lower Bucks County, Pa.  This ten and a half acres is where the Church Of The Good Samaritans is located today.  During the time when there was no building to meet in, worship services were held in Richboro Elementary School and a parsonage was rented on Bustleton Pike in Churchville.

On October 23rd, 1960, ground was broken to build a parsonage on the new property.  All worship services, Sunday school classes, meetings, dinners and other events and gatherings were held in the parsonage.

In 1961, the plans began and construction started for the new church building to be located between the parsonage and Holland Road.  The first worship service was held on the site of the new building, 6:30 a.m., on Easter Sunday 1962, without walls or a roof. The new building was completed and dedicated on the 23rd of September 1962.  Over the next five years many new families began worshiping with us and had thirteen people become offical members of the congregation.

Since the initial vision to Brother Plenert, and through those early years, God’s presence and provision has always been visible.  We continue to Praise God for sustaining us through the years.

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