Reports of our death are exaggerated

We’re not dead. I heard it again recently. I’ve heard it now for two decades.  The comment goes something like this, “I didn’t know anyone attended Chestnut Hill Baptist Church.” Perhaps it’s my fault for not being more assertive. Whenever I hear the well-meaning declaration, I’m immediately reminded of the often-quoted remark of Mark Twain, “the report of my death was an exaggeration.”

This quote sprang from an article that appeared in the New York Journal on June 2, 1897. That was 54 years after CHBC was formed. What we did back then is what we do today. We quietly go about teaching what the Bible has to say about life and death, joy and happiness, and putting into practice living for others.

In the early 1860s, as part of the Underground Railroad, we were quietly putting into practice just that. It is asserted by several sources that there was a tunnel that ran under Bethlehem Pike and ascended beneath the floor of the church — where there is still a hatch.

And while we were helping to rescue slaves, our cemetery (the oldest in Chestnut Hill) was also receiving Civil War soldiers who died in the cause of freedom. Today we still quietly help others in our city who are attempting to restart their lives.

So, next time you pass by the church, which, by the way, you can’t miss (we occupy the highest point of ground in the city), remember that the reports of our death are exaggerations. We’re still very much alive.

Rev. Dr. David Seip
Pastor, Chestnut Hill Baptist Church


Scott for State Rep

It is my strong opinion, and that of Philadelphia NOW and AFSCME District Council 33, that Melissa Scott is the best choice for the 200th District State Representative.

Melissa is a lifelong Philadelphian, in the West Oak Lane section, and a graduate of Philadelphia’s High School for Creative and Performing Arts.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Finance at Howard University and an advanced certification in Information Technology at Chestnut Hill College.

Her goal for the 200th Legislative District is to enact a legislative and community-based agenda that promotes equity and fairness of opportunity.  As a woman working in the male-dominated world of finance and information technology, Melissa knows about effective negotiating and consensus-building.  She will find the common ground necessary to pass legislation to stop the flow of guns to our communities, adequately fund our schools and expand Medicaid for seniors while pushing every day to enact universal health care for all.

Her record of community service both as a volunteer and professional informs her understanding of the need to also bring state dollars and resources back into the district.

Because there is no Republican running, the primary election on May 15 will essentially be the election, so it is important to make your choice by voting.

Shoshana Bricklin
Committeeperson, 9th Ward,
6th Division, Chestnut Hill