On September 23, 1923 the late Rev. Owen J. McPherson organized the Thankful Baptist Church at Eighth Street and Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Seventy-five members constituted the founding congregation. In February 1928 on the eve of purchasing a permanent site Rev. McPherson passed from labor to reward.
The Pastoral Search Committee in 1931 was led to Rev. John M. Myers of Columbia, South Carolina. Under his leadership, new groups were established including the Missionary Society, The Pastor’s Aid Club and the Young Adult Choir. On January 17, 1939 Rev. Myers suddenly went home to be with the Lord, leaving a congregation of seven hundred.
The church called another great spiritual leader and man of vision in 1940, the Rev. Chester A. Moore of Atlanta, Georgia. Under his leadership a church and parsonage were purchased in 1947 located at 1419-1421 West Dauphin Street. The next year on January 20, 1948 Rev. Moore passed and the church mourned this treasured pastor.
In September 1948 the church extended the call to Rev. Harrison J. Trapp of Jacksonville, Florida. In his effort to eliminate debt, Rev. Trapp initiated a Homecoming Celebration, Men’s Day and Joint Anniversary. Mrs. Trapp initiated Women’s Day. Many clubs and auxiliaries were formed. The church became involved in Mission at home and abroad as Rev. Trapp served for 25 years as Chairman of the Baptist Foreign Mission Bureau, U.S.A. After an extended illness Rev. Trapp was called to a higher service on November 18, 1987.
It was the desire of Rev. Trapp that Rev. Ivan B. Hewitt would serve as Thankful’s fifth Pastor. On January 1, 1989 Rev. Hewitt accepted the call. A number of programs were established such as the Sheepfold Ministry, Balcony Bible Class and Expanded Outreach Ministry. The physical structure of the church was improved and repaired. On December 26, 2014 Rev. Hewitt passed from life to life everlasting. Thankful Baptist Church is proud to have had only five pastors in over 90 years.