Pastor Learns of New Congregation – SolancoChronicle.com
Pastor Scott Phillips knows the Southern End.
Now he is getting to know the members of his new congregation.
On June 5, he was installed as pastor of Andrews Bridge Christian Fellowship, a Mennonite congregation just north of his namesake village on Rt. 896 in Colerain Township.
“I heard about the opening here and felt compelled to apply,” he said.
After graduating from Solanco High School, he earned a Bachelor of Business Education and Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Bible College.
Phillips has been in pastoral ministry since 2013, when he left work with a Christian ministry. “As they transitioned, I felt the need to try out the pastorate,” he said.
He was first appointed associate pastor of Mill Creek Bible Church. He came to Andrews Bridge after serving as acting pastor of the Union Presbyterian Church.
“It’s an evangelical congregation, a very united and very multi-generational group,” he said of Andrews Bridge. “Most people here don’t have an Anabaptist history.”
Phillips and his wife, Mary, have three children and live near the village of Witmer. She teaches at the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences in Greenfield.
“I’m from the Southern End and she’s from the North County, so we’re halfway between the two,” he said.
Andrews Bridge Congregation is a member of the Alliance of Evangelical Mennonite Congregations.
Established by the Bart Mennonite Church in the late 1990s, it later became an independent congregation. In 2004 he retired from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Mennonite Church USA and joined the Alliance.
This is not the first congregation there. In the late 1850s, the site was home to the Colerain Free Presbyterian Church, a congregation founded by abolitionist Presbyterians from Union, Middle Octorara, and a Chester County church. After the end of slavery and the Civil War, many of its members returned to their original congregations. In the years that followed, the property housed several Presbyterian congregations until the beginning of the 20th century.
The congregation has grown in recent years.
The congregation is now emerging from Covid restrictions and looking to expand its reach. “We talk about what we need to do to reach people,” he said.
“Now we are looking at what we can do to be as welcoming a congregation as possible.”