Christ Episcopal Church
PO Box 67 413 West Evesham Road
Magnolia, New Jersey 08049
Phone ~ 856.783.4270
Fax ~ 856.783.4281
9:15 a.m. Christian Education
10:00 a.m. Service

Trip to The Church of the Advocate 

18th & Diamond
Philadelphia, PA 

Church of the Advocate is an anchor in largely African-American North Central Philadelphia, The George W. South Memorial Church of the Advocate is a landmark in the religious, social and architectural history of the United States.  Built as a memorial to the merchant and civic leader George W. South, the church was the centerpiece of a sprawling complex including a chapel, parish house, curacy and rectory.  Intended for service as the Episcopal Cathedral of Philadelphia, The Church of the Advocate is considered one of the best American examples of Gothic Revival style and the only major building of its period based systematically on French sources.  
No other church in America has been built in such a grand scale specifically for the working class.  Also, none offers such a comprehensive repertoire of the Gothic Revival architecture: complete programs of lavish architectural sculpture; stained glass windows by Clayton & Bell, one of the leading English firms of the period; a full apparatus of flying buttresses and an orientation to the true East.  The church demonstrates the Ruskinian doctrine of involving workmen in the design process, echoing the socially progressive programs that are part of the Advocate's history and in contrast to the industrial, mechanized age in which it was created. 
The Church Architect, Charles Burns, is recognized as one of the most prominent church architects in the late 19th and early 20th century.  His work includes over 50 churches some of which are the Church of the Savior, not the Episcopal Cathedral of Philadelphia; Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr; Christ Church Cathedral, Salina, Kansas and Calvary Church, Sioux Falls, South Dakota in addition to the Union League of Philadelphia's prominent clubhouse in center City Philadelphia.  
The socially-conscious goals of the Church of the Advocate's founders, who specified that the church should be "free for all time" (abolishing the practice of pew rent) continue.  The Advocate became a center of activism during the Civil Rights Movement embracing the cause of African-Americans and women's rights.  It was the site of several nationally significant events of these movements including the National Conference of Black Power (1968), The black Panther Conference (1970) and the first Ordination of Women in the Episcopal Church (1974) 
An inspiring collection of large and vivid wall murals commissioned by Rev. Paul Washington record the "stations" of the African American experience in this country.  As in medieval churches where art served to illustrate and reinforce this liturgical message these murals draw on Christian Scripture to dramatically illuminate parallels in African American history.  Together, the medieval revival presentation of the building and the modern murals document the critical social role played by America's inner city churches. 
These murals were created between 1973 and 1976 by Walter Edmonds and Richard Watson.  These impressive and often contentious "art of protest" were inspired by Biblical passages of oppression and captivity that continues to find life in the African American Story.  
In 1974 the Church played a key role in women's and religious history as the site of the "irregular" ordination of the first group of 11 women ordained into the priesthood of the Episcopal Church.  In anticipation of this even the parish ratified the following statement: 
"The goals of the Advocate have always been to move toward one world, one people, and one love concept.  We are not afraid to take any step or measure that will make that concept a reality."  Within two years the Episcopal church officially authorized the ordination of women.  
Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning, 
God created..."
Genesis 37:27 - 
"Come let us sell him to the Ishmaelites"
Genesis 37:28 - 
"And they brought Joseph to Egypt"
Genesis Exodus 1:10 - 
"Come let us deal shrewdly with them"
Isaiah 53:3 - 
"A man of sorrows and
 acquainted with grief"
Isaiah 53:3 -
 "He is despised and rejected of men..."
Exodus 3:10 - 
"Now therefore, I will send thee (Moses) to Pharaoh..."
Exodus 12:29 - 
"The Lord smote the first born of Egypt"
Exodus 14:8 - 
"Pharaoh pursued after the 
Children of Israel..."
Isaiah 40:3 - 
"The voice cried, 'Prepare ye the way of the Lord"
 1 Corinthians 1:27 -
 "God hath chosen the weak to confound the mighty."
Matthew 23:37 -
 "O Jerusalem, 
thou that killest the prophets"
1 Kings 12:16 - 
"The people answered, 
'What portion have we in David?"
Genesis 45:5 - 
"For God did send me before you...
to preserve you."