"God is our refuge and our strength." - Psalm 46:1
Advent Lutheran Church is a friendly community of faith in the Westtown area of Chester County. This caring community met to worship for the first time in October of 1966 at the Goshen Fire Hall. By the summer of 1967, under the leadership of the Rev. William Hauser, the congregation had already experienced significant growth and had hosted its first Vacation Bible School.
It was also during this year that church leaders ventured out to an open field south of West Chester Pike, where they found four acres of land available for purchase at the intersection of Green Lane and Route 352, the location of our current church building. Groundbreaking took place in December of 1969. The people of Advent were worshiping in a church of their own in the spring of 1970. Pastor Hauser and those charter members (some of whom continue to worship at Advent Church today) are to be honored for their commitment and vision.
The Rev. Ralph Petersen was called to serve as Advent’s Pastor in 1973 and served the congregation faithfully for 22 years. During these years the construction of a second building unit, including our present worship space, took place. This space was a labor of love, with stonework laid by members of the church, and was dedicated in September of 1981. In 1995, our third building unit (Social Hall, Youth Room, and Kitchen) was completed under the leadership of Pastor Petersen and associate pastor, the Rev. Jo Ann Wilhelmson.
Throughout the years, Advent has remained faithful in caring for our surrounding community, providing outreach to those in need in the name of Jesus Christ under the leadership of Pastor David McGettigan, and in August, 2003, Pastor William Mueller who served as Advent's Pastor until January, 2010. We welcomed Interim Pastor, Reverend Donna M. Wright on February 19th to provide leadership and guidance to the congregation through the transition of selecting a new pastor. Pastor Wright worked with us through December, 2010.
On January 1, 2011 Pastor Ralph Petersen was hired to serve as our supply pastor, providing us with Sunday worship, confirmation class instruction, and emergency pastoral care. We were thankful for the opportunity to have a retired pastor who was able to serve at Advent while we continued our journey through the Call process of securing the next permanent pastor for Advent.
On Sunday, November 6, 2011, The Reverend Christopher J. Franz presided at worship, followed by a Congregational Meeting to vote on whether to extend the call to Pastor Franz to be the next Pastor at Advent Lutheran Church. The vote was unanimous to extend the call and on January 15, 2012, Pastor Chris began his ministry at Advent Lutheran Church.
Since that time, Advent's attendance in worship has grown by nearly 50% as more than 70 adults and children have been received into membership. Additionally, worship has been transformed through projecting the entire service on a screen, enabling worshipers of all ages, including guests, to more fully participate. Furthermore, our Christian Preschool has expanded its offerings, and our youth ministry has been invigorated through the addition of annual retreats to Wildwood, the Harvey Cedars Bible Conference, as well as the Appalachia Service Project. Our Sunday School has grown by more than 25%. Our Praise Team has grown to include a larger number of children and young adults, and has increased their participation in worship. We also welcomed two new Stephen ministers and have more fully connected with the community. Finally, our grounds and facility have seen numerous improvements, including the installation of energy-saving lighting in partnership with PECO. (PECO.com)