Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 19, 1953

Unequaled Opportunity In The Northeastern Field

Wendell Broom, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Two years ago, the spinach farms lying in the neck of Pennsylvania bordered by the Delaware River held no special mission opportunities for the church. But then, U. S. Steel Company spied this land. Seeing its good location (25 miles from Philadelphia, 6 miles from Trenton, N. J.), they bought up 3,800 acres and started spending 450 million dollars building the Fairless Works (which will turn out rolled steel strips 4 feet wide at the rate of 80 miles per hour; to make this steel requires equipment including 75 miles of railroad track inside the plant, 18 diesel locomotives, 30 miles of improved roads, etc.) Over 6,000 men will be employed to operate this steel mill, and more than twice this many will be employed by fabricating industries expected to build near the Fairless Works.

In order to house the inflow of population, two major projects are under construction. Fairless Hills (the smaller) is planned to consist of 5,000 houses with complete community facilities, including churches. Adjacent to Fairless Hills is Levittown.( larger of the two projects) with 16,000 homes covering 5,000 acres. Levittown is expected to have a population of 70,000 by the end of 1954. One house is being completed every sixteen minutes; 48 box car loads of building materials are used each working day in building the $10,500 houses. Levittown is distinctive in American history in that it is the first complete city since Washington, D. C. to be completely planned in every community detail. 2- 22 acre shopping district, schools, parks, main highways, sub-highways, churches — everything necessary for good community living has been planned in Levittown. Thirty five hundred families are already living in their newly bought homes (none are rentals), and 40 more families move in each day.

The church's opportunity lies in one fact about this new community: PEOPLE'S HABITS ARE MOST OPEN TO CHANGE WHEN THEY HAVE CHANGED RESIDENCES. Business people have long recognized this fact and they step up their sales programs in new communities. This is also true of religious affiliations. The nearest house of worship is the one to which they will most likely go. In a new community like Levittown and Fairless Hills, the church that can get there first with facilities for serving the community is going to enjoy a growth amazingly rapid. The church will grow as the town grows.

Our belief in this opportunity is not just because of its size. (There are 18 cities in Pennsylvania with populations over 50,000 where there is no congregation.) Levittown's opportunity lies in the fact that it is NEW. In the Northeastern mission field, we have gone about establishing congregations in these large old cities, and have found our great obstacle to be the traditional religious lines. In many cases, the religious character of these places was determined when the city was built (for instance, Philadelphia and the Quakers, Baltimore and the Roman Catholics, etc.). It is extremely difficult to break these traditions of 200 years background. But in Levittown, we have the chance to get in on the ground floor as the town is being formed, and help to form those religious lines. The Levitt Company (builders of the town) are providing 16 church sites, ideally located and of ample size, to be given free of charge to churches who will build on them. In every way, Levittown is a city ready to be preached to.

Philadelphia and Trenton churches have already taken the first steps toward establishing a church in Levittown which will be patterned after the New Testament. In the belief that this opportunity will be recognized by others, we are telling you of this open door. We would be delighted to hear from any who anticipate moving into this Fairless Works area, or from those who might have suggestions regarding this new work and opportunity. Details Digest," December 22 "Time," and other current periodicals of the community may be read in December "Reader's Digest," December 22 "Time" and other current periodicals.

Your impressions and reactions to this opportunity will be very welcome. — Church of Christ, 56th St. and Warrington Ave., P. O. Box 5486, Philadelphia 43, Pa.