5 thoughts on “Photograph of a Retiring Procession at the Church of St. Simeon, Philadelphia (n.d.)

    1. Ken Earle

      Did you know my Uncle (Bill Earle)? Yes, he rang the bells every Sunday at St. Simeon for years until probably around 1965/66.

      1. David Hope

        Hello Ken,
        I was a child during those years at St. Simeon’s at 9th and Lehigh. Every so often the Sunday School kids would have the chance to go up to the bell tower and meet Billy Earl and learn about the bells and how they worked. Billy Earl was the most incredible bell player in Philadelphia during the time he was there. In all the years we were there we rarely missed a Sunday. You could hear the bells from many blocks away from the church and they were the best anywhere. Over the years the church was closed and later became the Mars Hill Baptist Church. In the late 90’s my sister Barbara and I visited the church and asked if we could visit the bell tower. We were permitted to and we went up the winding narrow staircase to where the bells had been. Many of the bells had evidently been sold and the pigeons had found a permanent home there. We reminisced about how often the bells welcomed us to church when driving up Lehigh Avenue. I have few memories of your Uncle Bill, but I remember fondly that Billy was a friendly guy and he made the most beautiful music on so so many Sunday’s. I’m 73 years old now, living in Boston and although the sound of Saint Simeon’s bells have long since been silenced, I will always remember fondly those days of old and how Bill Early was the magician that made it all work for the church and I’m guessing, all the neighbors around that area all the way down Lehigh. I close this note with tears in my eyes, your Uncle Bill was indeed a master musician and a part of my life way back when. I wish you the best and surely hope you had the chance to know him and love him. He was a most respected member of the Body of Believers especially at St. Simeon’s, that I know.
        PS I joined the Army in 64 and that would have been the last year of membership.
        PPS Thank you for reaching out. Memories of those days are sweet and your uncle played an important role.

  1. David Hope

    I apologize for the misspelling of Mr. Bill Earle’s name numerous times in the afore mentioned letter an oversight on my part.


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