East District Mission Project


There are a number of painting projects for which volunteers are needed at St. James UMC (199 E. Tabor Rd., Philadelphia 19120). Also, there is a desire to convert a space into a café. The sanctuary needs to have some pew removed and new carpeting installed. New lighting is needed throughout the facility. A time can be scheduled to accommodate teams interested in any of this work! Call (215-878-4607) or email (cakrall@epaumc.org) the district office to discuss possibilities.


Click here to get an update via the St. James UMC Summer newsletter on what has been happening at the East District’s One-Church-At-A-Time Mission Project.


The former Solid Rock United Methodist Church becomes St. James United Methodist Church, effective July 1, 2016!

“One Church at a Time”

June 27th, 2016

To the East District from Pastor John T. Brice:

On Saturday, June 25th, 2016, I witnessed an exceptional group of believers in the body of Christ, both women and men from different backgrounds, sacrifice and humble themselves, to serve and volunteer in our “One Church At A Time” mission project at Solid Rock UMC.

After 200 years of service in the Olney community and making disciples, our commitment to carrying the torch and being a pillar to the next generation is clearly evident. This successful collaborative effort stood on the heels of selfless pastors and laity who see the hidden potential and possibility.

Whether it was painting, weed whacking, lawn mowing, cleaning and organizing the sanctuary, or fellowshipping over the gourmet pizza flown in from Italy (Dominoes Pizza), overall our mission project was a blessing. Collectively, we accomplished our goal through Christ, making it a punctilious and memorable event for me and the people of the Olney community.


Just to name a few of the servants that played valuable key roles include, but are not limited to:

  • District Superintendent Tracy Bass
  • Robert and Diane Bach, Fallsington UMC
  • Rev. Dave Carey, Pastor, Good Shepherd UMC
  • Ellene Carter, Janes Memorial UMC
  • Joshua Carey, Good Shepherd UMC
  • Deborah Coleman, Solid Rock UMC
  • Dennis and Karen Fisher, Somerton UMC
  • Walter and Peg Hambrecht, Fallsington UMC
  • Robert Holmes, Glenside: Lighthouse Fellowship UMC
  • Rev. Gary Lefever, Ambler: Calvary UMC
  • France Legarreta, Janes Memorial UMC
  • Cheryl Lynch, Fallsington UMC
  • Rev. Joe Martin, Pastor, Fallsington UMC
  • Racquel McCall, Janes Memorial UMC
  • Veronica McCall, Janes Memorial UMC
  • Kim Mercado, Solid Rock UMC
  • Ceanni Santiago, Solid Rock UMC
  • Nathan Santiago, Solid Rock UMC
  • Eric Torain, Janes Memorial UMC
  • Stephanie Torain, Janes Memorial UMC
  • Trinity Torain, Janes Memorial UMC


Hearing the comments and responses from the community speaks volumes to our hospitality and hearts. We have built relationships and are encouragement to those who have thrown in the towel to the Olney community.

This mission project will not be the last time we reach our hand back to the community and become a resource and an open hand. Just as Christ, a man packed with so much power and authority, humbled himself to wash the feet of the disciples, we are called to do the same. In conclusion, there is still much work needed and financial support to help breathe life into what many may have considered “dried bones.”

Greetings East District!

The last time we were gathered together as an East District Clergy/Pastor Ministerium, we talked about the opportunity to visit one of our urban churches as a place where we can be engaged in mission work. This is an opportunity to live out our connectionalism by coming together to ensure that the mission of the Church is carried out in places that reach people beyond our time and space constraints.

Solid Rock UMC (the former St. James UMC building) is located in the Olney section of Philadelphia at 199 E. Tabor Road. Like many of our urban buildings, this one is aged, requiring regular and expensive maintenance and incurring huge utility costs. The congregation is small (less than 20), but the community is thriving with hard working families and a growing population of children under 14 years of age. The church is surviving because of the current leasing contract with the School District of Philadelphia. Over 300 elementary school children are in and out of the church building on any given weekday.

Though small in membership, the church has been involved in various ministries, including an emergency food bank and clothing ministry. The church feeds 30-40 families each month, with the number reaching 80 during the winter.

There is a plan of revitalization which includes developing ministries around community needs; coalition and partnership building; staffing; revamping worship, musicians and music programs; and creating a more welcoming and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.

From the East District, we are seeking painters, plumbers, electricians, cleaning volunteers, lawn care help, and volunteers for other various tasks.

Tracy Bass
(The Rev. Tracy L. Bass)
East District Superintendent