09 August 2002

Both Wayne W. and Valerie have blogged about their history of church membership over the years, both of which were interesting. Many people I've known have had quite a diverse experience of various denominations and congregations. I wonder if this kind of rampant inter-denominational cross-pollination can lead to more cooperation between churches and help break down barriers?

My own personal church background is actually quite boring. I'll start at the present and work backwards.

Currently, I'm a member of Tenth Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I've been there, more or less, since 1988 when I was in college, except for a brief hiatus when I was in graduate school in New York state at Syracuse University. While in Syracuse I was part of Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA). Before that, I grew up in and was a member of Calvary Presbyterian Church (PCA, formerly RPCES), in Willow Grove, a nearby suburb of Philadelphia, where I was baptized as an infant. That's about it.

I guess I could go into family background.

My mother was raised Presbyterian in the Presbyterian Church of Coatesville, Pennsylvania (which no longer exists, though the building is occupied by some kind of Bible church). Previous generations on my mother's side, of Scots-Irish descent, were mostly members of Forks of the Brandywine Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) since around 1800, shortly after her ancestors had first come to America. Prior to that, going back to the time of the Reformation, they were Presbyterians in Northern Ireland and Scotland. My mother's German ancestors were largely German Reformed, as far as we can gather.

On my father's side, things are considerably more diverse, at least in recent decades. He was raised in the United Methodist Church of Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Going back further, however, his Scots-Irish and German ancestors appear to have been largely Presbyterian, German Reformed, or Episcopalian. But our family records are considerably more spotty on his side of the family.

Before the Reformation, we were all Catholics, of course. And before that we were pagan Celts and Goths. And that's about it.