Elkins Park Neighbors Association

EPNA is a non-profit Pennsylvania Corporation, Est. June 2005

On April 21,2010, the Cheltenham Commissioners voted unanimously
to repeal the ordinance which made a mega-church on Ashbourne Road possible.


On August 25, 2009 a For Sale sign was erected on the property next to the Elkins Park Post Office.
Asking Price $1,500,000.


On Saturday morning, November 3, 2007
30 neighbors drove their cars past the church's property on Ashbourne Road,
joining other vehicles using the road.
If the church was built, the number of cars would be over 600.
Click on the picture below to see what to expect if the Mega-Church is built.

The Zoning Requst Has Been Withdrawn!

The church canceled the August 2007 hearing and we haven't heard from them since.
The same thing happened in August 2005 when they postponed hearings for an entire year.
The property is now for sale.

What's Happening at the Church

  1. They are constructing their school (plus conference hall, medical center, etc.) on their property on Ivy Hill Road in Springfield.
    Phase 1 Sign Construction
  2. Their current building on Washington Lane and Limekiln Pike is for sale. Asking Price $4,500,000.
    For Sale Sign Listing
  3. They are relocating to the Ivy Hill Road property. All construction seems to have stopped.
    Ivy Hill Road Building
  4. They have been raising money with a fund raising campaign.
  5. Rev. Horace Wesley Sheppard Sr., founder of the church, passed. Our sincere condolances to his family and to the members of his church.


The EPNA was created to: Research and conduct studies on issues that affect the residents of Cheltenham Township; Retain information that is meaningful to the community at-large; Work with the local government agencies, elected officials, civic and community groups to ensure that community needs are addressed; Promote neighbor-to-neighbor contact to facilitate better relations and increase community participation; Promote citizenship through involvement; Promote the health, safety, morals, and welfare of the residents of Cheltenham Township.

Save our Neighborhood. Stop the MegaChurch!

The West Oak Lane Church of God wanted to build a "Fountain of Life" Mega-Church on the small parcel of land located between the post office and Lynnewood Gardens Aquatic Club on Ashbourne Road . The EPNA had no objection to a church at the location - we objected to the massive size of the proposed structure.

The proposed church would have been LARGER than the massive Enon Tabernacle Church on Cheltenham Avenue.

It would have been MUCH LARGER than the Theological Seminary across the street on Ashborne Road.

The Seminary is 75,000 sq. ft. The church would have been 125,000 sq. ft. The Seminary is on 23 acres.
The church would have been on 8 acres, 1 acre of which is Federally Protected wetlands.

Click here to learn about mega-churches
Click here to see the Original Zoning Notice

General Information

If you think a 125,000 square foot church and community center with a 4-lane bowling alley, gymnasium with seating for more than 500 spectators, 22 classrooms for 965 students, a cafe with seating for 167 patrons, a fitness center, a bookstore, a television studio and a sanctuary that holds 1,333 worshippers IS TOO LARGE for our small community, AND a parking lot that will only accomodate 40% of the daily visitors, then you need to get involved NOW!

Click here to see the proposed building.
Click here to see the proposed floor plans.


Part of the property the church wants to use is on FEDERALLY PROTECTED WETLANDS. It is the source of the Leeches Run Watershed, feeding the creek which runs through the Dominican Retreat, down Stetson Ave, behind AJ, next to Ogontz Park and into the Tookany Creek.

Wetlands act as a filter to clean the water which flows downstream. A large building and parking lot on the site will add greasy pollutants to the creek.

Click here to see the Tookany Watershed Management Plan
(How the construction will effect the creek: pages 29-30,
Leeches Run Watershed: page 84)

In the News

Sept 12,2007 - Times Chronicle - Sides Argue Parking for Mega Church
July 25, 2007 - Times Chronicle - Residents' Hearts Not Fonder One Year Later
June 21, 2006 - Times Chronicle – Testimony Gets Tense
May 31, 2006 - Times Chronicle - Lots See Lots of Talk
March 31, 2006 – Times Chronicle – New Plans Ruffle Feathers
Feb 8, 2006 – Times Chronicle – Proposed Church Shifts Some Items to Springfield Facility
Sept 29, 2005 – Times Chronicle – Use of Proposed Facility Looked At
August 31, 2005 - Times Chronicle - Letters to the Editor
August 21
, 2005 - Times Chronicle - Response to Kraynik Letter
August 21, 2005 - Times Chronicle - Editorial - Slope Looks Slippery
August 19, 2005 - Phila Inquirer- Zoning Board Takes Up Church's Relocation Proposal
August 26, 2005 - Times Chronicle - Hearing Begins for ‘Mega Church’
August 10, 2005 - Times Chronicle - Church Pack Irks Residents
August 5, 2005 - Times Chronicle - No Action Taken
August 5, 2005 - Phila Inquirer -Letter to the Editor - Response to July 26 Article
July 26, 2005 - Phila Inquirer - Group Fights 1300 Seat Church
June 25, 2004 - Times Chronicle - Church Plans OK’d by Springfield Zoning Board
March 19, 2004 - Times Chronicle - Multipurpose Center Proposed by Church in Springfield


Please send your contribution to: EPNA, PO Box 338, Wyncote, PA 19095 Make the check out to Elkins Park Neighbors Association. Include your name, address, phone number, and email address.

Click here to see a contribution form.

Contact the Commissioners

In November 2004, the Township Commissioners signed an agreement with the West Oak Lane Church of God agreeing not to oppose the zoning application in return for the church making tax payments estimated to be $375,000 annually. They also agreed to approve an ordinance to allow the church to locate more that half of the required parking spaces up to 3 miles away.

Click here to see the agreement.
Click here to see the ordinance.
Click here to see the new ordinance changing the parking requirements (pp. 45-50).
Click here to see the list of commissioners.

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