The Ascension Mar Thoma Church was formed in 1998 with 108 families who congregated
at a rental property in Northeast Philadelphia. In 2000, the parish bought 3.35 acres of land with a building and part of it was temporarily converted to a sanctuary for worship services. The construction of a new church had began in May 2005 and completed in March 2006. The new Church was dedicated on March 11th 2006. We currently have about 230 families in our church.
The Ascension Marthoma Church belongs to the Marthoma Diocese of North America and Europe.
Our Diocesan Bishop is Rt. Rev Dr. Isaac Mar Philaxenos. Our parent church is in Kerala which is called the Malankara Syrian Marthoma Church.
Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church, traditionally believe to have been founded by Saint Thomas (Mar Thoma) one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ, in the year AD 52. The Headquarters is at the SCS Campus, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India.
Members of the Mar Thoma Church, now living in North America, are recent immigrants from Kerala, one of the 28 states in India. Soon after their arrival about quarter of a century ago, they organized themselves as a church and found their identity in it. This association enabled them not only to continue worship in their familiar language along with the faith and practices but also to cope with the “new” customs and habits of new land. Like other immigrants, they turned to family and religion, the two social institutions that provide continuity of culture and strength to face unfamiliar social practices. It seems that this”minority” has succeeded in the “host” country along with other immigrant groups from Asia.
The intercommunion relationship of the Mar Thoma Church with the Episcopal Church in the USA by 1979, the Anglican Church in Canada by 1983 and the formation of the Diocese in North America by 1988 and the membership in the National Council of Churches in the USA as the 34th. member church by 1997 are only some examples of the achievements of the Mar Thoma Church in North America during its 25-year growth.