About the Collection

Wyoming Avenue Baptist Mission began in 1891, as residents of the Feltonville community organized to start a new Baptist church in their neighborhood. Lots for a building were donated, and the first members committed their time and resources to build a small chapel in the heart of Feltonville.

Initially supported by the Philadelphia Baptist Association, and other churches, particularly the Fiftieth Baptist Church of Philadelphia, Wyoming Avenue Baptist Church was officially organized (it became a distinct church with its own membership) in 1900. Incorporation followed in 1905.

Perhaps the greatest driver of the church's formation and growth was the Rev. John A. Hookway, who first worked with the Mission in 1895, became its pastor in 1897, and led the church from some 30 members to close to 400 in his 40 years as pastor. He oversaw the building of two new buildings for the growing church.

Throughout the years, people have saved bulletins, directories, newsletters, a few photographs, and other materials. They are not organized in any way, but a recent effort has gathered them from various locations and rehoused them in archival folders and boxes, in order to preserve the materials.

For a narrative history of the first 75 years, the best source is the book produced for the 75th Anniversary, available on this site. The other primary materials gathered here will hopefully provide some color and insight into the rich history of the church, its ministry, and pastors over the past 120 years.

Questions about this website, or any of the materials contained herein, may be directed to:

Walter Rice, Deacon