For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
We believe that the Lord has given each believer spiritual gifts or talents. The believer has the responsibility to use these gifts to serve the Lord with good works.   These good works are a response to the blessing of salvation, as well as, to the daily blessings we receive from the Lord. White Rock’s ministries represent our collective efforts to respond God’s blessings by doing Christ’s work.

Christian Education Ministry   New Members
The Music Ministry   The Usher Boards
The Ministry to Youth and Children (MYC)   Community Ministries
Sheepfold Ministry   Auxiliaries

Christian Education Ministry

Superintendent: Mary Richardson

The Bread of Life Fellowship

Instructor:  Rev. Steven Lawrence
The Bread of Life Fellowship is a weekly, one-hour Bible study utilizing a variety of learning methods. Learners engage the Scriptures and each other. 

The Seekers of Wisdom

Instructors:  Rev. Wayman Rucker
The Seekers of Wisdom is a two-hour, topical Bible study that meets on the second and third Saturdays of each month.

Church School (Sunday)


Kindergarten           Karen Slade

Primary                   Nova Derry

Junior                      Mary Richardson


Adult                       Geneva Corprew


Ministry Director Dr. Lark Ball

The Church Chapel Choir

Director:  Dr. Lark Ball
The Church Chapel Choir specializes in anthems, spirituals, cantatas and traditional gospel. This choir sings each fourth Sunday.  Adults 21 and older are welcome. 

The Church Chorus

Director:  Dr. Lark Ball
The Church Chorus sings traditional gospel music. The Chorus sings on the third Sunday of each month and celebrates its yearly anniversary with a concert in June.  Adults 21 and older are welcome.

The Inspirational Choir

Director:  Dr. Lark Ball
This choir is a smaller ensemble specializing in contemporary gospel music.  The Inspirational Choir sings on the 3rd Sunday of each month.  Adults 21 and older are welcome.

The Excelsior Choir

Director:  Dr. Lark Ball
The Excelsior Choir is composed of youth between the ages of 13 and 21.  They offer a vibrant, contemporary gospel sound and sing each third Sunday at the 11:00 a.m. worship service and on special occasions. 

The Buds of Promise

Director:  Dr. Lark Ball
The Buds of Promise are children between the ages of 3 and 12 who delight and inspire the church with their music and their dedicated service. They sing each third Sunday at the 11:00 a.m. worship service and on special occasions. 

Handbell Choir

Director:  Thelma Peake
The members of the Hand Bell Choir play a three-octave set of Schliermacher hand bells. The group plays on the 2nd Sunday of each month.  People interested in playing hand bells are welcome.

The Masters of Song

Director:  Dr. Lark Ball
The Masters of Song is an all-male choir that presents a wide range of music including gospel, anthems, spiritual and contemporary music all rearranged for men’s voices. Adult men 21 and older are welcome.

Choir Rehearsal Schedule


Minister to Youth & Children:  Rev. Jay S. Gardner 
MYC is a ministry of children and youth from birth to 24 that seeks to provide a safe and nurturing space to support children as they grow into passionate and devoted people of GOD who faithfully live out their vocation.  MYC's contributing organizations and programs include Children's Ministry, Youth Ministry, a science education program, parents' meetings, and college information workshops.


The Sheepfold ministry is the structure which helps us carry out Christ's commandment that we love one another.  The congregation is divided into smaller units called sheepfolds. These groups engage in fellowship, study, and service to strengthen the relationships between members of the church. The sheepfold shares the joys and sorrows of the member most closely, and is the primary ministry of care for sick, shut-in and bereaved members.  The following are the 11 sheepfolds:

Sheepfold of Abraham/Joseph Coordinator:  Preston King
Sheepfold of Andrew/Martin Luther Contact:  Alma Johnson Fuller
Sheepfold of David/Moses Coordinator:  Ruth E. Johnson
Sheepfold of Enoch/Judah Coordinator:  Lillian Greene
Sheepfold of Esther/Nehemiah/Roger Williams Coordinator:  Sharon Byarm
Sheepfold of Gideon/Nathaniel Coordinator:  Marion Campbell, Bruce Johnson
Sheepfold of Job/Stephen Coordinator:  Dorothy Johnson Harris
Sheepfold of Joshua/James Coordinator:  Lucy Carr
Sheepfold of Micah/John Coordinator:  Mattie Mickle
Sheepfold of Paul/Simon Coordinator:  Dorothy Banner
Sheepfold of Peter/Daniel Coordinator:  Linda Victor


Chairman:  Deacon Thurston Harris

This ministry introduces new members into the church.  They teach new members classes each Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30. 



Chief Usher:  Ronald Lanier
The Ushers are present for all public worship services at White Rock and also serve when Pastor Shaw preaches at other church services. Their Annual Sermon Day is the Third Sunday in September.

Adult Ushers

President:  Walter Hughes
The Adult Ushers serve on the first Sunday of each month. This unit is comprised of adult men and women.

Ladies Auxiliary

President:  Thomia Jones
The Ladies Auxiliary is comprised of women ushers. They serve at worship services on the third Sunday. 

Young People and Junior Ushers

Head Advisor:  Williemae J. Sturgis
The Young People and Junior Ushers serve on the Second Sunday of each month and include children and youth up to age 21. 

Men Ushers

President: William Kirby
The Men Ushers serve on the 4th Sunday of each month.


Girl Scouts

Girl Scout Leader:  Marie Gravely

Boy Scout Troop 16

Scout Master:  Anthony Gray
Troop 16 meets each Saturday at 10 a.m. in the church fellowship hall.  The troop is one of the leading scout troops in the city of Philadelphia and has produced an impressive number of Eagle Scouts.  Over the last year, the troop has participated in a number of trips including a weekend ski trip to the Pocono mountains, the Scout spring “Camporee” in Maryland and trips to the Baltimore Harbor, the Franklin Science Museum and New  York City.  Other activities include an annual Father & Son basketball game, and the annual banquet where scouts receive merit badges and rank advances.

Cub Scout Pack #16

Cub Master:  Terry Johnson
Cub Scout Pack & Webelos Pack 16 is one of the largest Cub Packs in the district.  One of their special annual events is the Blue and Gold banquet.

Lucy A. Johnson  Library Learning Resource Center

Coordinator:  Lena Adams
Librarian:  Lorna Gallman

The Lucy A. Johnson Library is a working library specializing in Christian texts and African American works.  Books are available to be checked out during library hours several times per week.

The Library and Learning Resource Center sponsors a number of educational programs for members and the community around White Rock.  The Library sponsors two Black history programs.  The first presents famous African Americans to our younger children and gives them the opportunity to create objects that represent these people.  The second program is a Black History Trivia Contest for the youth of the church.  The Library also sponsors a Summer Reading Challenge for the entire church body.


The Deaconess Board

President:  Thelma Peake
The Deaconess board assists Deacons in preparing the Communion table each first Sunday.  The board also prepares female candidates for baptism and visits sick and shut-in members of the church.

The Directors

President:  Lisa D. Welch
Members of this group are the official hosts and hostesses of the church.  They are present at all public church functions, to greet and assist members and visitors. 

The Committed Men

President: Deacon Howard Lanier
Men in this group help to enable other groups within the church to execute larger projects.  The groups work includes sponsoring the church’s participation in the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure.

Praise the Lord Players

Artistic Director:  Frank Ford
The Praise the Lord Players is a drama group that presents Christian dramas and musicals.  The majority of performances have been of original works by Frank Ford, the gifted artistic director of the group.  Attendance at Praise the Lord Players productions averages 200 and includes people from across the city. 

Women's Mission Union

President:  Vanessa Tavares
The Women's Mission Union coordinates the work of the mission circles of the church. This year has been marked by continued effort to do the work that our Lord has commanded. Their involvement with the Malawi Mission, the Summer Enrichment program for Youth, and Thinking for a Change (a collaborative effort with the Philadelphia Faith–Based Reentry Coalition to reduce recidivism and improve public safety) are exciting recent initiatives they have undertaken. Each member sees herself as a significant and essential part of the Women’s Mission Union; thereby laying the foundation for remarkable accomplishments.

The circles meet quarterly to communicate and discuss program activities and official business.

Adult Mission Circle #1

President:  Carolyn Burton
The main purpose of the group founded in 1936 was to help the needy and devote time to the implementation of the general work of the church. For many years now our congregation has been especially blessed by the fruit baskets that the circle members prepare for our sick and shut-in members every Christmas. The Circle also hosts an annual Prayer Breakfast. In addition to ministering to our congregation, the circle members along with Reverend Wayman Rucker travel to the Park Pleasant Nursing Home each month for a service of praise and prayer. Truly, the loving hearted service of the Adult Mission Circle #1 can be counted on by our church and our community.

Ever Ready Circle

President: Deborah Jefferson
Since its formation in 1942, the Ever Ready Circle has always been ready to accept the challenges that they have been presented. The word dependable, though not officially associated with the group’s name, is most certainly a word associated with their deeds. They can be found supporting the activities of the Baptist Women’s Center where the group prepares and serves a meal for homeless people. Circle members are involved in a devotional period prior to the meal being served. The ERC also sponsored a shopping trip to the Limerick Outlets in October and made a contribution of $1000 to our church.

Good Shepherd Circle

President: Michelle Langhorne
In 1958 a small group of members began working together in an effort to encourage the heart of our pastor and his family through unsolicited acts of kindness and courtesy. Mary E. Blackwell was the first president of this group, and her dedication and dutifulness in carrying out the Circle’s mission was a remarkable starting point. Presently the GSC, as they are affectionately known, has extended their sphere of influence to include the ministerial staff, our church leadership, and community outreach. The group has been working diligently to accomplish their goals. The group was an integral part of the grand 80th birthday celebration of Pastor Shaw at the Airport Marriott. Additionally the group presented both a fall and a spring edition of “The Price Is Right White Rock Style”; and continued their support to Pathways Adopt–A-Family Program, the PhilAbundance Food Drive, and the Malawi Mission.

The Helping Hand Circle

President:  Donna Ingram
The Circle was formed in 1955 by Rev. W. C. Williamson and originally listed 80 actively supportive members. The group was involved in all church activities as well as devoting a great deal of time and effort to community projects. Today the Circle continues to offer their hands in service to our church and community. The group also expanded their bake sales to include the sale of shoes, hats and jewelry. Their efforts in organizing these events enabled them to make a $1,000 contribution to the church and continue their financial support to Teen Challenge of Philadelphia. Truly their hands continue to be engaged in work that brings help to many.

The Media Ministry

President: Diane Evans
The Media Ministry provides sound, video and photos of worship services and events at White Rock.  The ministry also edits audio for worship services and makes CDs available for purchase. Ministry members run the sound board, record video, record audio, take photographs, produce CDs and insure that the resulting content is properly cataloged and stored.

Mission of Esther Circle

President:  Emily Brinson
Adult Missionary Circle #2 was the original name of this group when it was formed in 1968. The name change to Mission of Esther occurred in 1970, and when you read Esther’s story in the Bible, you clearly see the correlation to the work of this circle. God used Esther to change the course of history and truly he is using the service of this circle to positively impact the lives they touch in everything they do. Presently the members are involved in “Thinking for a Change” – a WMU initiative to assist previously incarcerated women and their families. Circle members have witnessed first hand a plentiful harvest and are prayerfully seeking more workers to join them.

Pulpit Aid Circle

President:  Debra Hardy
In 1936 a small group of women were organized for the specific purpose of overseeing and beautifying the pulpit. Their duties included changing the altar lectionary for public worship based on the Christian calendar. The true beauty of the work performed by this Circle is their faithful, behind the scene efforts that are so important to our worship experience. Also pretty impressive is that the flower arrangements that accent our worship services continue radiating their loveliness even when the worship service ends because our Pulpit Aid sisters make certain that the flowers are delivered to a nursing home or to a sick and shut-in member. This small group is still doing big things.

Sisters of Faith

President:  Jennifer Carroll

This dynamic group of young women between the ages of 18 and 40 are the newest addition to the WMU. Organized under the leadership of Rev. William J. Shaw in 2004, the fellowship continues to provide an outlet for members to engage in healthy interactions with each other, and with the younger ladies of the church in an effort to support one another in living as women of faith. Within the church the Sisters of Faith sponsor college and career workshops, quarterly fellowships, fundraising activities, and a Soul Food Sunday Dinner. Group members remain committed to participating in weekly prayer and Bible study and to putting their faith in action as they exemplify the scriptural command to remember the Lord in the days of your youth.

Trustee Aid Circle

President:  Patricia Ackason

The Trustee Aid Circle began its faithful service in 1958 in response to the dire needs of the church at that time. Replacement of equipment and numerous additional items necessary for the transition to our “new” church edifice at 53rd and Chestnut Streets required a very special effort and the ladies of this Circle were just the ones to accomplish this very important mission. Through the hard work of the original members, led by the first president, Lucille Murchison, the Circle was able to accomplish its goals.
Today, this group serves our church and our community by sponsoring events that generate funds to support their good works. The group again coordinated a trip to “Ace in the Hole” and the word is that everyone had a great time. They also sponsored a successful “Cupcake and Jewelry Sale.” What a novel idea- a table displaying rings and things on one side, and sweets and treats on the other side. Truly there was something for everyone. “New Eyes for the Needy” can be counted as a grateful recipient of the efforts of the Trustee Aids. They conduct an annual drive to collect eyeglasses here at White Rock every year. You can also find Circle members visiting the residents at The Care Pavilion Nursing Home where they provide companionship, and comfort as they read the Bible, participate in group singing and share their faith.

Willing Workers Circle

President: Hope Jones Gary
This Circle of long-serving, devoted women has been demonstrating its willingness to work in our church and community since 1935 when the group was first organized by the late Reverend W. C. Williamson. Initially the Circle helped raise funds to purchase the former church edifice at 52nd and Arch Streets.

Under the leadership of Pastor William J. Shaw, the Circle’s emphasis later changed to missions within the church body and became an auxiliary of the Women’s Mission Union. The Circle’s mission statement “to serve God, the Church, each other, and the community” encompasses the broad yet focused nature of this group’s service.
Within our church the Willing Workers support elderly and sick and shut-in Circle members, and financially support the church as well as programs for the youth of our church. The group sponsors a spring and a fall bake sale, a Broadway theater trip, and a plant sale and workshop. In addition, the Willing Workers make contributions to the William J. Shaw Achievement Award, Women against Abuse, The Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and the Women’s Baptist Center. The group ministers to the Eastern Delaware County Life Center Shelter, the Philadelphia MOMobile Organization, the Pennsylvania PathWays Adopt-a-Family Program, and annually sponsors one-year tuition grants for two students in Swaziland, South Africa. What willing workers they are!

Young and Adult Auxiliary

President:  Cornelia Merrick
In 1968 Pastor William J. Shaw organized a group of young adult women, ages 18 to 35, in an auxiliary committed to ministering to the needs of the church and the surrounding area. Today this auxiliary encompasses all age groups, blending youthful exuberance and seasoned maturity into a dynamic group of women dedicated to faithful service. The group lovingly responds to the needs of their sick and shut-in members and actively supports the ministries of the church.

This year the Young and Adult Auxiliary will present their second Jazz Brunch. Last fall the YAA presented its 44th Luncheon and Fashion Show. These truly special events generate funds for the Jean Faust Book Stipends, a worthy endeavor that benefits the youth of our church who are pursuing higher education, as well as other ministries and the general needs of the church. Moreover, in an effort to provide support for organizations that help the needy, the YAA collects items for Books Behind Bars and contributes medicine vials which are sent to Africa. They also donate gently used clothing to send to Liberia, and participate in the PathWays Pennsylvania Adopt- a- Family Program.