Our History: Rev. Matthew Anderson, Founder (1848 - 1928)
Founding Pastor of the Berean Presbyterian Church, 1880, organizer of Berean Savings and Loan (Bank) 1888 and the Berean Institute (School) 1889.
Born January 25, 1848 in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, Rev. Anderson was a man of great faith and vision, imbues with physical, mental and emotional strength. In 1880, Rev. Anderson would marry the former Caroline Still -Wiley (1849 - 1919) who was a pioneering medical doctor and educator. Her father, also a founding church member, was William Still (1821 - 1902), the famed abolitionist, educator and author of the book, "The Underground Railroad."
The final resting place for these and many other African American luminaries of the Greater Philadelphia area is at history Eden Cemetery, America's oldest African American public burial ground established in 1902 and located at 1434 Springfield Road in Collingsdale, Pennsylvania.
Following Anderson's passing, Rev. Arthur E. Rankin, an avid civil rights worker, would serve faithfully for seven eventful and challenging years. Characterized as the "the repairer of the breach" by historians Victoria Miles and Dr. Lucille Blondin, he was followed by Berean's third pastor Rev. Benjamin Glasco Sr., known as "one of the most dynamic evangelists in the Presbyterian life in Philadelphia." Under his direction the Berean family relocated from South College Avenue (1880) to the northeast corner of Broad and Diamond Streets in 1955.
Berean's fourth pastor was the Rev. Jason Jerome Cooper, an exciting activist who captured the attention of the wider community and adopted the motto, "Being About Our Father's Business " (Luke 2:49). After Reverend Cooper served 32 years, Berean experienced several years of interim ministers including Clarence Van Dyke and Merv Gardner. In October 2007 we were graced with Pastor Michael J. Evans, a native of Pittsburgh, PA. who was installed in 2009 as our full time minister. He has renewed spiritual outreach to the surrounding community and giving new meaning to our new leader's motto that we should "Enter to Worship, Leave to Serve."