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Our Story

In 1827, when John Quincy Adams was President and there were just twenty-four states in the Union, Goshen Baptist Church was formally established by nine members sent out from Brandywine Baptist Church in Chadds Ford.  Four new members were added to the Goshen fellowship on January 21, 1827, after being baptized that day in Chester Creek.

By 1834, the church had sent twelve members out to plant three new churches (in Newtown Square, Malvern and West Chester).  The mission of Christ has always been at the heart of GBC.

From 1827 to 1861 Goshen was served by ten different pastors.  But from 1861 to 1911 there was just one, Joseph S. Evans, who was also a chaplain in the Union Army.  The Lord blessed GBC under the leadership of Pastor Evans with many coming to faith in Christ and the strengthening of the Sunday School ministry.

In 1874 the church was bursting at the seams, so a meeting was called to decide whether to add on to the building.  The people arrived to see their sanctuary in flames.  That answered the question:  the church would build--and expand in the process.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was significant growth in the Sunday School program (from 46 students in 1870 to 205 in 1910).  Pastor C. Russell Wilkins served the church from 1925 to 1962, stressing evangelism and beginning the church's tradition of Vacation Bible School.  In 1957 the building was expanded again.

Pastor Howard Ruth came to Goshen in 1963.  With booming local housing growth (e.g., the Glen Acres development), Goshen's ministry touched more and more lives.

The church's original location was at the intersection of Strasburg Road and West Chester Pike (where Fulton Bank is today).  But under Pastor Ruth's leadership, it was recognized that this land-locked location would no longer suffice, so the hard decision was made to relocate.  One Sunday morning in 1970, the church family assembled at its home of 143 years and walked a mile and a half east to a brand new sanctuary and education building at our current location, 1451 West Chester Pike.

Goshen saw strong growth in the 1970s.  After Pastor Ruth retired in 1984, Pastor Bill Whiteman led the Goshen family for several years.  Pastor Jeff Gowesky then served from 1991 to 2004, placing a new emphasis on worship and music, and leading the church to build the Family Life Center (completed in 2001). In the late 1990s and early 2000s again Goshen experienced a season of strong growth.  Peter Nelson began serving as Senior Pastor in 2006.

Since the beginning the Goshen DNA has emphasized outreach to those living without Christ (both in our community and through global missions), the study and preaching of God's inspired Scriptures, and family-friendly ministry to children and teens.  In fact, Goshen both cares for families and is itself a family--always has been, and still is.  We join together as brothers and sisters in faith to worship Christ, care for one another, and spread the praise of Jesus!