Tenth Presbyterian Church

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Tenth Presbyterian Church gives the following descriptive information:

Our hope is the Lord Jesus. Our broken world needs to hear the good news (gospel) that God's promises to his people have come true in the person and work, death and resurrection, exaltation and reign of his Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus we are saved from judgment we deserve, slavery to sin and fear of death, and we show our love and gratitude to him by living in obedience to his Word.

Our hope and vision for Tenth Church is that through the power of the Holy Spirit we will see the making and maturing of committed followers of the Lord Jesus to the glory of God the Father.

Our hope and vision for Philadelphia is the spread of the gospel (good news) of grace by announcing Jesus' finished work on the cross, his resurrection life, and present reign. As God's people we seek the welfare of our communities by entering fully into the world of work and culture to love and serve our neighbors in his name. As a church we cultivate partnerships with church planters and mercy ministries across the region.

Our hope and vision for the world is that the gospel would go forth with power and that many people would come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. We are committed to sending and supporting workers who labor to bring the good news of Jesus to the world.


The church describes its history and architecture:

Tenth Presbyterian Church--the tenth Presbyterian church founded in Philadelphia--began in 1829 on the northeast corner of 12th and Walnut Streets.

About 25 years later, 1855–56, Tenth started a daughter church at 17th and Spruce in order to meet the needs of the expanding city. The building for the new West Spruce Street Presbyterian Church was designed by John McArthur (Philadelphia’s City Hall architect) and constructed in 1857.

Wikipedia supplies this remarkable architectural note: "Its 250-foot (76 m) tower-and-spire was the tallest structure in Philadelphia from 1856 to the erection of the North American Building in 1900." The church itself adds:

Nearly 40 years later, in 1893, the original church closed, sold its building, and merged with the daughter church. The newly combined churches then took on the original church’s name, Tenth Presbyterian Church.

In 1893, when the old Tenth merged with the West Spruce Street church, the latter totally redesigned the interior with architect Frank Miles Day, who used Byzantine decoration. Much of his work remains in our current building. You can find more information here, or you can contact us to arrange a tour (or just drop in during business hours and we will do our best).

Our stability for nearly 200 years is owed, by God's grace, to the long pastorates of the five "B’s":

  • Henry Augustus Boardman, 1833–1876 (43 years)
  • William Pratt Breed, 1856–1889 (33 years)
  • Marcus A. Brownson, 1897–1924 (27 years)
  • Donald Grey Barnhouse, 1927–1960 (33 years)
  • James Montgomery Boice, 1968–2000 (32 years)

Dr. Liam Goligher, our current senior minister, succeeds Dr. Phillip Graham Ryken, now President of Wheaton College in Illinois.

We are a church of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), a young denomination founded in 1973. Tenth joined with the PCA in 1982, consistent with our alignment to historical Presbyterian tradition and beliefs.

In The News


See Also