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For Americans, everything started in Philadelphia. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed to establish American independence for the first time. Just 11 years later, the Constitution was written and signed to determine the laws that would govern the country. The city served as the first capital of the United States for nearly a decade and set the precedent for government, religion and culture in the country.

Today those roots still run deep. The people of Philadelphia take great pride in both their city’s past accomplishments and its future potential to influence the movement of the rest of the nation. And they are correct.

Philly is the second largest city on the East Coast and the fifth largest in the country. Nearly 46 million people live within a 200-mile radius of the city that sits almost directly in the center of the Northeast region. The potential for influence is strong in Philadelphia, which is why the city needs church planters to put down their own roots and set to work loving the people and the city back to Christ.

“Any church planter coming here should first and foremost have a deep love for the city and the people of Philadelphia,” says Barry Whitworth, acting Send North America: Philadelphia Send City missionary. “You need that heart to make a lasting impact.”

Today there are only 188 Southern Baptist churches in the city trying to reach nearly 6,329,695 people in the Philadelphia metro area. This leaves one SBC church for every 33,669 persons, a ratio that must decrease to reach a city whose evangelical population is 6.2 percent.

Through Send North America: Philadelphia, Southern Baptists are working to mobilize church planters and engage partner churches to push back lostness in the city through church planting and evangelism. Those already at work in the city see great hope on the horizon for the start of new churches to influence the future of the city and its people.

“There is such an opportunity for harvest that exists in Philadelphia,” Whitworth explains. “Church planters here have the opportunity to get to know the religious roots and culture of the city while at the same time working to move the people away from typical religion and into real relationships with Jesus Christ.”

Church planters wishing to get involved in what God is doing in Philadelphia can start the process by partnering with Send North America: Philadelphia to bring Christ back to the city. Visit and click “Send Me” to get started.

Fast Facts


Population in Philadelphia

6.32 million people live in the metro Philadelphia area.


SBC Church-Population Ratio

There is one Southern Baptist Convention church for every 33,669 metro Philadelphia residents.

Ethnic Diversity

71.5% White
20% African American
5.8% Asian & Pacific Islander
2.2% Two or More Races
0.5% Native American
Hispanic Population (all ethnicities): 10.1%