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Our Story

Founded in 1931 as the Young People's Interracial Fellowship of Philadelphia, we were incorporated as Fellowship House a decade later. As an advocacy organization, Fellowship House was in the vanguard of the civil rights movement.

Our present 120-acre site near Pottstown was purchased in 1951, as a center for training in human relations. Throughout our rich history, we have hosted many influential individuals and groups. Martin Luther King Jr. first learned about Gandhi's theory and practice of non-violence here. Anthropologist Margaret Mead actively advocated for Fellowship Farm, calling it "a center of illumination in a darkening world." We have sponsored interfaith conferences and have assisted refugees from many nations.

1930s

In an era of intolerance and discrimination, young people from a number of Christian denominations start an interracial fellowship in Philadelphia. The religious framework provides opportunities for people to break bread, to know one another and to work together.

1940s

The Fellowship movement becomes interfaith as well as interracial. A building is purchased at 1431 Brown Street, making possible an expanded communal life. An educational program, "Units for Unity," opens people to cross-cultural relationships. The singing group, Singing City, developed out of the Fellowship House chorus. Fellowship House, with three other organizations, gives birth to the Fellowship Commission, to have a broader public voice. Together, they win the Philadelphia Award in 1946. Fellowship Houses begin to be created around the country.

1950s - 60s

Fellowship Farm is purchased with money from the Philadelphia award and staff members' sales of their homes in the city. The Farm is developed through communal work-camps into a center for training and outreach. A new city headquarters is established at 1521 W. Girard Avenue; Singing and dance groups perform throughout the community to promote Fellowship; Junior High and Senior High Fellowship Clubs take root. Fellowshipers are at the core of the Civil Rights Movement in Philadelphia, receiving training for non-violent protest and successfully advocating for integration in housing, public accomodations and the City of Philadelphia work force. Fellowship staff travel south to be involved in key deliberations and freedom struggles. Interfaith conferences are held at the Farm, which boasts an international staff. A program for intergroup harmony is spun off as Woodrock, which still uses a portion of the Farm for summer camp.

1970s - 80s

In 1973, the house in the city is sold. Fellowship Farm hosts a pre-release program in conjunction with Graterford Prison. The Farm advocates for justice for Native Americans, educates about "Africa, the bright continent," receives Haitian refugees, and is the first sister agency for Neve Shalom, an Arab-Jewish cooperative settlement in Israel. Fellowship Farm becomes an emergency housing center for Montgomery County, and develops many local partners for its human relations work. A ropes course is built to facilitate experiential learning.

1990s and after

The focus is increasingly on work with youth in the areas of leadership development, intergroup understanding, violence prevention skills and resisting drug and alcohol use. Fellowship Farm develops programs to serve the non-profit community through team-building and leadership development for agencies. Fellowship Farm introduces family camp, designed to strengthen families experiencing barriers to success and to deepen the impact of the Farm's work with youth.

2488 Sanatoga Road • Pottstown, PA 19464 • 610-326-3008 • info@fellowship-farm.org