by David Grainge
Pastor of SACC Philly
We are SACC Philly.
Worshipers from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Central America, Nepal, various African nations, and, of course, life-long residents of the city gather together to exalt Jesus Christ and to celebrate their unity in Him Sunday mornings at Snyder Avenue Congregational Church, or SACC Philly, in South Philadelphia. SACC Philly is One Church comprised of several ethnically diverse congregations that share the building on the corner of 3rd and Snyder and who work together to make the Gospel of Christ known to their neighbors.
David Grainge, lead pastor of the host congregation, explains their composition of various languages and cultures, “Our diverse body of believers is the beginning of what God will one day complete at the restoration of all things. What Babel divided and Pentecost foreshadowed, the worship at SACC represents a next step to our future restoration as one new people around the throne of God.”
The original SACC congregation now worships in both English and Swahili. Back in 2015 one of the pastors invited a group of mostly Congolese refugees to the church. The next Sunday over 40 came. Today, SACC’s Sunday morning service is a mix of African worship and Episcopalian liturgy. Pastor Grainge’s sermons are translated by one of the refugees into Swahili. There is dancing, responsive readings, clapping and the recitation of the Nicene Creed. It’s a mixture of tradition, ethnicity and culture, all wonderfully fused together by their fellowship in Christ.
Last year, three of the SACC Philly congregations worked together delivering dinners to their neighbors. It was a great time to meet new people, share Jesus’ love while praying for them, and introduce them to this colorful church community. Since many of their refugee neighbors want to learn about Easter, it is also a fantastic way to share the true reason believers at SACC Philly are celebrating this year.