Snyder Binns Simes (1868 - 1915)
Snyder Binns Simes was Gloria Dei's pastor longer than any other, serving from 1868 to 1915. Tremendous changes came to the church and its congregation through the effects of the great industrial and economic development of the United States and the Philadelphia region, massive immigration to the United states from southern and eastern Europe, and a long economic depression at the end of the 19th century.
His was the era of the campaign for women's suffrage, the beginning of the First World War, and the early years of the Automobile Age. His was also an era of great prosperity for the church - membership was very high, large members attended services, and attendance at the Sunday school reached 300. In 1896, the vestry restored the church to the three-aisle configuration it has today. Gloria Dei acquired its Hook and Hastings organ in 1903 (it was renovated in 1993). In 1917, as the United States entered World War I, Gloria Dei entered the age of the automobile by creating a parking lot at the west end of the churchyard. Electric lighting was installed in the Sunday School room, and, displaying an appropriate interest in its own history, the church began a museum.
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