Then & Now: Abington Presbyterian’s recent lightning damage and an 1895 fire that destroyed the building

Abington Presbyterian Church is one of the tallest buildings in the area and prone to storm damage. The main building was recently struck by lightning, knocking out its livestreaming system which provides services remotely. 

According to the church’s website, this was not the only time that the church steeple has been damaged:

At 3 o’clock in the morning of October 6, 1895, a motorman making a night run on the York Road trolley into Philadelphia saw the red glow of fire. Seeing the new Sunday School addition in flames, he awakened the pastor. Despite the heroic efforts of Rev. Henderson and Capt. Nicholas Baggs, who lived in the house on the corner, the flames finally reached the steeple. This well-known landmark crashed to the ground.

Within a year the church was rebuilt and John Wanamaker donated a new bell for the steeple. The bell hangs there to this day.

For more on the history of the Abington Presbyterian Church, you can check out this republished 1923 book for sale on Amazon.

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