Photo Re-Creations Highlight Significant Milestones from Phoebe Ministries’ 115-Year History

The original Phoebe “family portrait” from 1916.

For United Church of Christ-related Phoebe Ministries, based in Allentown, Pa., celebrating history and looking towards the future has never been more enjoyable. As part of the CHHSM ministry’s 115th anniversary of serving older adults, Phoebe is re-creating iconic photographs from its past in a year-long series of “then and now” creations. Each photo marks a significant event in the history of Phoebe Ministries.

The October photo was chosen because it relates to The Phoebe Messenger — begun in October 1915 by the Rev. Robert Kern, Phoebe’s first superintendent. The newsletter Kern began still continues as a lifestyle magazine, and the main form of communication between Phoebe and its donors and community members.

This re-creation sported Phoebe staffers, who work out of the former dormitory.

The Messenger’s original purpose was to provide updates on the progress of the home, and let people know about giving opportunities, both monetary and in-kind. In 1916, the first official “family photo” appeared in the newsletter. The residents — dressed in their Sunday best — gathered on the front porch of the dormitory (today the Paul P. Haas Administration building) for the photographer.

A recreation of that photo is October’s re-creation offering. Because the “dormitory” was converted to the administration building in the 1980s, the recreated photo utilizes Phoebe staff members instead of residents.

Each month, Phoebe will highlight another photo and story from its past.

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