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.
Search Churchyard Records
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.
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.
Our historians are writing biographical sketches on our “permanent residents.” Here you will learn about the people buried in our churchyard.
Jack and Margaret Dunn were a wonderful couple from Southwark who had long family histories in the community. The Dunn’s lived on the unit block of Fitzwater where they raised their twin sons before their home was demolished for I-95.
Joseph and Mary were lifelong residents of Southwark/Queen Village. Married for over 52 years, they raised their four children in their Front Street home. They were both dedicated to helping family and friends throughout their lives.
Frank and Margaret Moock both grew up near Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church in Philadelphia. Although they were not parishioners of this church, Gloria Dei held a special place in both of their hearts. Here Margie Moock Schernecke shares stories about her parents and their love for Old Swedes’.
Francis (Frank) Stermel was born on June 3, 1916 to Anthony Stermel and Helen Szymanski Stermel. He was a lifelong resident of South Philadelphia and a true mummer.
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.
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.
Sampson Harvey was born in Cornwall, England, on March 14, 1731. He was master of a number of merchant vessels in the 1760s and often sailed to the West Indies.
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.
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 distilleries, hors 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.
The Perils of the Sea
Philadelphia in the Days of the Early Sailing Ships
When: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church
History lovers will enjoy this talk and slide show about the seafarers of early Philadelphia. Queen Village writer Michael Schreiber will share stories of these men and their families, and how they contributed to the fabric of American life.
This free event will take place in the church sanctuary, followed by a reception in Riverside Hall. For a modest donation, enjoy gourmet cheesecake by a local pastry chef, paired with muscato wine, coffee or tea!
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.
FOUNDERS Magazine is a brand new publication issued twice a year by the Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation.
Our inaugural issue is devoted to several early sea captains and their families who are buried in our churchyard. We hope you will enjoy the stories of the individuals and families resting here, how they lived and died, and how they contributed to the fabric of American life.
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.