The Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation (HGDPC) was established to fund, support, and supervise the restoration, renovation, and ongoing maintenance of the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church buildings, grounds, and graveyard so that future generations may share in this historic and architectural treasure.

Interactive Map

Churchyard Map

As part of our churchyard research project, we are creating an interactive map to help visitors find their ancestors’ graves.  This project is in its early stages, but you can see our progress by viewing our map.

Churchyard Restoration

We seek to restore the churchyard to an earlier point in history, increasing the historical accuracy of the environment, repair and preserve gravestones that have decayed due to extreme age, the ravages of an urban environment, and some very old damage caused by vandalism.

Historical Research

Our historians are writing biographical sketches on our “permanent residents.” Here you will learn about the people buried in our churchyard.

Reverend Simes

Reverend Snyder Binns Simes And His Wife Eleanor

The Rectorship of Mr. Simes holds a unique place in the record of the Gloria Dei Church’s ministry. During his long tenure, the congregation grew, developed and prospered. He was the spiritual guide of more than a generation of affectionate parishioners.

Catharine Marett And Her Family

Before her death in 1998, Catharine Marett donated the bulk of her life savings toward the 300th anniversary historic restoration project at Gloria Dei Church. Thanks to her generous endowment, the congregation was spared from financial ruin.

Martha Stewart

The Stewarts Of Carpenters’ Hall

Members of the Stewart family, buried in the churchyard of Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’ Church), had a long relationship with another important Philadelphia landmark—Carpenters’ Hall.


Caleb Cushing And Family

Caleb Cushing’s sea passages took him across the Atlantic as well as to the West Indies. His family traces its lineage in America back to Matthew Cushing, who had emigrated from England to Massachusetts in 1638.

Rhoda McCoy

In 1865, Rhoda McCoy, almost 90 years old, was buried in the Gloria Dei Churchyard. Rhoda must have had a strong constitution — she died of “old age” rather than an ailment or disease.

Bernard Dahlgren

Bernard Dahlgren

This stone commemorates Bernard Ulrick Dahlgren, although his body no longer rests here. His remains, with those of his wife Martha and their infant son Washington, now lie in West Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Spirits and History

4th Annual Spirits And History

Honoring Our Swedish And American Artists

When: Friday, May 3, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Where: Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church

This popular annual event features a guided churchyard tour with stories about several influential Philadelphia artists. Inside Riverside Hall, sample spirits from local distillerieshors d’oeuvres from local chefs and enter a wine auction. Plus, enjoy live jazz music courtesy of The Jazz Sanctuary.

And the best part: proceeds from the event will be used to restore and paint the Church, Riverside Hall and the Sexton’s House.

Lucia: A Life, A Legend, A Legacy

The Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation is pleased to present “Lucia: A Life, A Legend, A Legacy,” an exhibit exploring the Christian martyr whose selfless acts inspired an longstanding annual festival at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church.

This free exhibit is hosted inside the Gloria Dei Church’s Sanctuary, Columbus Blvd. and Christian St.  It is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, 9 am to 4 pm.  The exhibit closes on July 31, 2019.

Attractions also include photographs from Gloria Dei’s very own Lucia Festival, a musical pageant featuring Swedish songs, traditions and folklore.

Jazz & Joe

The Alan Segal Quartet brings the finest samplings of Philadelphia Style Jazz to Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church the fourth Thursday of the month from 7:30 to 9:30pm.

The Alan Segal Quartet showcases some of the most accomplished jazz musicians in the Philadelphia area who specialize in Philadelphia Style Jazz. The group is comprised of Eddie Etkins on Saxophone, clarinet and flute, George Sinkler on piano, Leon Jordan Sr. on drums and Alan Segal on bass.

Tickets For Our 4th Annual Spirits And History Are On Sale Now ➞ Dismiss