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In August, 2022, Bethel AME Church of Ardmore was awarded $1,500,000 via the Montgomery County Recovery Office/American Rescue Plan (ARPA) to support the operation of the The Bethel Community Life Center and fund necessary upgrades to the physical plant and internal infrastructure to support the emerging work that the institution has been engaged in as it is a central resource for the community. Funding from this grant will be used to assist with the following upgrades/renovations:


  •             Installation of two (2) Handicap Ramps (Sheldon Lane/Walnut Avenue)

  •             Installation of two (2)  Handicap/Family Bathrooms (Upper and Lower Levels)

  •             Installation of new Kitchen to support community outreach/gardening programs

  •             Renovation of social gathering spaces

  •             Addition of two (2) offices in the lower level

  •             Address various water infiltration, masonry, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and landscaping issues



In light of the complexity of the project and commitment to preserving the historicity of the edifice the church leadership/membership and a historic preservation consultant have endeavored to select via a competitive bidding process a design/architectural firm and general contractor have been selected to bring this project to fruition.​​​​​​

Meet the Team

Can we count on you?

Bethel AME Church of Ardmore is committed to serving the present age and future generations to come. Although we have been fortunate to receive a generous grant to undergird this capital project, your support and help is needed!  Due to material shortages and labor cost increases that have been felt throughout the construction industry, the overall project has nearly doubled, however we are confident with the help and support of membership and community partners and friends this project will come to fruition.


This is a three (3) year capital campaign and donations

both small and large are welcome!


We thank you in advance for your prayers, support and consideration!

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Donate Today!

This is a three (3) year capital campaign so donations

both small and large are welcome!

About Bethel AME Church of Ardmore

Bethel AME of Ardmore has been woven into Ardmore’s fabric since October 1895 when a stone building was erected on Sheldon Lane and a Church was founded by Reverend William J. Oliver and Matthew Shippen, with the support of Sarah Oliver, Martha Shippen, Rhoda Welburn. Given the financial resources required and the restricted availability of mortgages in this time period, a completed church was a significant financial accomplishment, as church members financed purchases of land, labor, supplies, furnishings and other expenses through their contributions and offerings. Just prior to 1920, the Church moved a few blocks to Walnut Ave, which was the Church’s home until a devastating fire on February 18, 1973, and the Church was rebuilt by the congregation on Sheldon Lane by 1976, using the original cornerstone of the Church. As a testament to the commitment of the congregation, the Church came back in 1976 at twice its previous size.


Today, Bethel AME Church of Ardmore stands as not only a faith institution, but also a community epicenter evidenced through the services that it provides, dating back to being a gathering place when men came back from war. Bethel is distinguished by several beloved community outreach programs, for example as home to the celebrated Bethel Academy enrichment program, a volunteer-based multicultural learning center dedicated to offering free after-school programs for children grades K-8 from Montgomery and Delaware Counties. The program was founded by Church members to address the student achievement gap for underrepresented children in the local community. More recently, the Church created a vibrant victory community garden program and COVID-19 vaccine program, The vaccine program has helped to vaccinate close to 3000 people over the course of the past two and a half years. The garden program, created in 2018 to make fresh, healthy vegetables more accessible to neighborhood residents has grown thousands of pounds of produce distributed to local food pantries and neighborhood residents at no cost. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, community gardeners launched the Ardmore Victory Gardens program, which now supports over thirty local families and organizations in growing their own food by providing building materials, seedlings, and maintenance support for a network of small Victory Gardens in the neighborhood.

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Can we count on you?

Due to material shortages and labor cost increases that have been felt throughout the construction industry, the overall project has nearly doubled. We need your help and all donations, large and small, are welcome!

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