Lutheran Charities: An evolving history

Lutheran Charities was founded 40 years ago when Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Lutheran Social Ministry Organizations established a common support network. The network today is comprised of, Diakon, KenCrest, Lutheran Settlement House, Silver Springs Martin Luther School and Liberty Lutheran. The Liberty Family of Services includes: Artman, Liberty at Home, Lutheran Congregational Services, The Hearth at Drexel (formerly Mary J. Drexel), Paul’s Run Retirement Community and The Village at Penn State. Each organization has evolved over time to keep pace with society’s challenges. But the central purpose, loving our neighbors through compassionate service, has not changed.

  • Reformer Martin Luther laid the foundation for today’s Lutheran Charities some 500 years ago with his vision for a community chest in Wittenberg to serve his neighbors in need.
  • Lutheran Charities partners have powerfully embraced that Reformation legacy with their own deep roots that serve as compelling testimony to their value and relevance in the 21st century.
  • Diakon’s roots date to the 1800s, KenCrest’s to 1905, Lutheran Settlement House to 1902, Artman (part of Liberty Lutheran) to 1916, and Silver Springs to 1859 (origins with the former Lutheran Home at Germantown). Some organizations have names that have changed over the years as they have adapted to serve most effectively in these times.

Here’s just a glimpse of what Lutheran Charities accomplishes each day:

  • Helping people with intellectual disabilities to achieve.
  • Supporting senior adults to age successfully at home or in a loving residence surrounded by support.
  • Assisting survivors to recover from natural disasters.
  • Treating, educating and caring for abused children.
  • Fielding desperate calls from victims of domestic violence.

Lutheran Charities agencies have expanded their outreach beyond Southeastern Pennsylvania into other parts of the Commonwealth, Delaware, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Mission Statement:

Lutheran Charities is a network of five Lutheran social ministry organizations that empowers vulnerable children, adults, families and seniors to overcome life’s challenges and achieve their potential through quality educational, compassionate care and treatment services.  The five core Social Ministry Organizations of Lutheran Charities offer specialized and customized support, encouragement and love to vulnerable people without regard to religion, race, disability, age, gender or sexual orientation, all made possible through the generous giving of those who love God and their neighbors.