Over 80 years ago. On May 15, 1929, a group of eighteen men and women met in the home of R. Ann Fryers with Rev. F. A. Butterfield. Rev. Butterfield was President of the Middle Atlantic States Conference in the Wesleyan Church of America. The group felt God leading them to start a Sunday School in the Willow Grove community. They ultimately decided to plant a new church which would be known as the First Wesleyan Methodist Church of North Willow Grove. In the beginning, the church met at various residences close to where the current church building now stands at the corner of Mill Road and Magnolia Avenue in Willow Grove, PA.
In June, 1930, two women Rev. Mrs. Mary Whitney and her daughter Rev. Marion Whitney (pictured here) accepted the position to pastor the new church. The small church began to grow despite hard times of the depression. The congregation was faithful to God's vision for First Wesleyan Methodist Church and decided a new church facility would be needed for the growing congregation.
Plans were drawn and ground was broken to begin construction on the new building in May 1936. In March 1937, the building was completed, and they held their first service on Easter Sunday.
Rev. Mrs. Rev. Mrs. Mary Whitney and her daughter Rev. Marion Whitney served as pastors for 13 years. In 1943, they felt it was time to return to their home in Syracuse, NY.
The church thrived for 30 years as the next three pastors' families served the Willow Grove community. In 1968, more space was needed. So the congregation decided to add a 75 by 40 foot sanctuary to the existing building. The church was renamed and dedicated as First Wesleyan Church of Willow Grove in 1968.
In the years since then, the church grew and various building additions and renovations were completed. We were also blessed with many dedicated and beloved pastors who have helped to build this church spiritually into the place it is. Through all of this, we've certainly faced our share of challenges. With God's help and healing, they've worked to make us stronger and more committed to the goal of reaching people with the good news about Jesus.
In April 2011, a new page in our history was launched as First Wesleyan Church officially became CrossWay Community Church. Along with a new name, comes a new vision, to become the best church for the community.
For over 80 years God has blessed the people of CrossWay Community Church. What started as an innovative idea — a Wesleyan church built to share God’s love with the people of Willow Grove back in 1929 — is still innovative today. People everywhere still need the transforming power of God’s love.
Crossway Community Church is part of the Wesleyan Denomination