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Keystone Fellowship’s history is not made up of buildings—it is made up of people. The vision of Keystone Fellowship has never been to build a massive church building and get people to come. Rather, it has been to build a community of believers that are dedicated to reorienting their lives around the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What follows is a brief history of how we got where we are now.
Keystone Fellowship started its journey when in August of 2000, Pastor John Cope and his family left Lakeland, Florida to plant an evangelistic Bible-teaching church in the greater Philadelphia region. In November of that year, Keystone held its first gathering in one of the new core group member’s living room. Pastor John stood behind a kitchen island and delivered a message while his wife Teresa led in worship, playing the keyboard in the breakfast nook.By the spring of 2001, the living room was getting a bit crammed as the core group had grown to 50 people so they moved their weekly gatherings to the Philadelphia Sports Club in Chalfont, PA.
In the months following the move to the sports club, it was decided that the time had come to have an official church launch. The first Sunday service for Keystone was planned for September 16, 2001, unknowingly just days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In a little over a year, Keystone Fellowship had grown from a few people meeting in a living room to 300 people meeting weekly at the Philadelphia Sports Club.
As the months went by and more and more people were coming to Keystone and turning to Christ and being baptized, it became apparent that another move was needed. In April of 2002, Keystone held a groundbreaking ceremony for what is now the Montgomeryville Campus on Stump Road. After 2 years of construction, Keystone Fellowship opened the doors to its new facility in October of 2004. By the time Keystone Fellowship held its 5th anniversary in 2006 over 700 people were involved in the church. During this time they were also able to help Pastor Eric Mason launch Epiphany Fellowship, a new church plant in the Temple Universtiy area of Philadelphia.
Keystone Fellowship is growing for a couple of reasons. One is the sovereignty of God and His passion and love for people. The second reason is that we have allowed God to build this church. By that we mean that we have not been focused on how big the church is or might become but we have been focused on how big the people are.Keystone has always been passionate and involved in planting and assisting new churches.
As more people continued to pour into the Montgomeryville services and community groups, it was apparent that it was time to start a second campus in the area of Skippack. Pastor John met with a core group of leaders from Keystone that lived in that area and began discussing the potential for a multi-site campus. God quickly provided a space for the Skippack campus to meet at the 4-H Club. A launch team was created and they began preparing to launch the new campus in October 2009.The Skippack Campus conducted its first core-group worship service on Sunday evening, October 25th, 2009.
By April of 2010, Skippack had grown large enough to move to Sunday mornings and search for a full time campus pastor. Pastor Joe Snyder, originally from this area but living in Detroit, Michigan, accepted the position and Skippack held its grand opening on October 3rd, 2010 with two morning services.
Keystone has officially become one church with Multiple Locations. As the Skippack and Montgomeryville campuses have continued to grow, Keystone has also opened a Fort Washington campus under the direction of Pastor Mark White, who came to us from North Carolina.
In the summer of 2014, through a series of divine appointments, Keystone connected with Matt & Michele Pilla who were holding bible studies in South Jersey. Realizing that God’s providence was involved and that we had the same core values, Keystone Fellowship launched a fourth campus in South Jersey in the fall of 2015! Matt Pilla is now the pastor of our South Jersey campus and we are so excited to see how God will use this campus to impact others!
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