History of Aldan Union Church
Aldan Union Church came from small beginnings. In 1914 a group of women formed a Sunday School for children in the neighborhood. They met in the basement of Neighbor’s Hall at the corner of Clifton and Woodlawn Avenues. A few months later evening services were introduced.
On July 14, 1915 a charter was granted and the church was officially recognized. After a century of time, only three pastors have occupied the pulpit. William Allan Dean came as a pulpit supply in 1919 while a student at Philadelphia School of the Bible. He became the full-time pastor in 1922 and served until his retirement in 1967.
The church met in a small chapel on Woodlawn Avenue, but by 1922 the numbers had increased and a larger meeting place was needed. The present chapel on Providence Road was built and dedicated on Easter Sunday 1923. Soon the growing congregation necessitated a still larger building and in 1938 the first unit of the current Bible School building was completed. In 1950 the size was doubled and a second and third floor added. In 1963 the present Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall were dedicated. In 2007 a new building was constructed between the Bible School building and the Sanctuary, taking over the footprint of a parking lot that had been there previously. The new building houses a gymnasium, multiple children’s classrooms, a music room, and conveniently located nurseries. New ministries involving a pre-school and after school program as well as English as a Second Language make good use of the new facilities. At the same time the Bible School building was renovated to create additional rooms and a new office complex.
A new parking lot had been built across the street in 2001 as part of what is now known as Providence Park to more than make up for the lost parking. Providence Park creates an ideal place for seasonal outdoor activities, including an annual community picnic.
In 1995 a Contemporary Service was initiated, drawing those who found the less formal type of music and a less structured hour more conducive to worship. This service is at 8:15 a.m. and theTraditional hour remains at 11 a.m. The Sunday evening service at 6:30 continues to draw those who desire to continue worshipping together. Each Wednesday evening there is a prayer service at 7 p.m.
The Bible School is in session between the two morning services with classes for those from 2 years old to seniors and includes a nursery. There is a class for God’s Special People, those who are physically and/or mentally challenged.
Two pastors have filled the pulpit since Dr. Dean’s retirement. Rev. Robert L. Briggs served from 1969 through 1980. The current pastor, Rev. Paul W. Thompson was installed in 1983.
Rev. Rich Landosky, our Pastor of Student Ministries, has ministered to our young people since 1994. Rev. Kevin Brock joined the pastoral staff early in 2007 overseeing our educational needs as Pastor of Christian Education. Dr. Paul Isensee began his ministry as Pastor of Worship in January, 2015.
It was Dr. Dean’s vision for missions that started what today is a world-wide outreach. The present missionary endeavor numbers more than 70 missionaries, including about a third of them nationals, ministering in the United States and 16 foreign countries. Locally the outreach includes: Explorer Girls, Awana, classes for English as Second Language (ESL), Time4Moms, Pre-school, After-school, Aldan Bible Club, Angel Tree (ministering to the children of those incarcerated), high school short term missions trips here and abroad, and a host of outreach activities, many of them seasonal.
In 2003 The Bible Training Center of Delaware County began as a ministry offered to Aldan Union attendees and the entire community. Training in five core courses is offered to students on a one night a week basis. The course takes two and a half years to complete. The first class of students graduated in 2005. As of 2015 there have been over 100 graduates.