A Journey of Faith Through Philadelphia on SoundAboutPhilly.com

Keepin' The Faith Debuts On Free Podcast Tour Site

May 15, 2007, 01:00 ET from The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation

    PHILADELPHIA, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Even in the 17th century,
 Philadelphia had a tolerant approach to religion, thanks to founder William
 Penn, who had the radical idea that people should be allowed to worship who
 they want and how they want. The history of Philadelphia's faithful, still
 strong and diverse today, is summed up in Keepin' The Faith, the latest
 podcast tour on SoundAboutPhilly.com. The tour is the seventh addition to a
 new site created by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation
 and initiated by The Pew Charitable Trusts, featuring free dynamically
 mapped and completely customizable sound-seeing tours of the city.
     Each of the eight segments on Keepin' The Faith focuses on Philadelphia
 congregants, religious leaders and houses of worship that tell the inside
 story on the city's religious culture, from past to present. Here's a look
 at the segments on the tour:
     -- Christ Church: How ironic that lightning struck the replica of King
        George II of England's crown that was once perched atop the spire of
        this Revolutionary War-era church, now also a popular visitor
     -- Congregation Rodeph Shalom: As if being the oldest Ashkenazic
        congregation in the Western Hemisphere isn't enough history, this
        spectacular synagogue, designed by Frank Furness, also features
        displays of historic Judaica.
     -- Arch Street Meeting House: The only religious sect awarded a Nobel
        Peace Prize, the centuries-old Quaker influence is still alive and well
        in Philadelphia.
     -- First Unitarian Church: Punk rock concerts probably weren't what
        minister's son and architect Frank Furness was thinking when he
        designed this church, but this diverse congregation embraces everyone
        and even hosts indie rock concerts.
     -- Tindley Temple United Methodist Church: Generations of freedom-fighters
        have chanted "We Shall Overcome," but few knew that the genius behind
        it (and dozens of other gospel hymns) was a Philadelphia minister named
        Reverend Tindley.
     -- St. Augustine Catholic Church: Anti-Irish arsonists destroyed the
        original church in 1844. Rebuilt in 1847 and stronger than ever, the
        church reverberates with the "Our Father," sung by the Filipino in
        their native Tagalog language.
     -- Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church: The burial ground here is a who's
        who of 18th-century movers and shakers. And the church's history
        includes music, an appearance in a Hollywood film and even a touch of
     -- Masjid Jami'a: After the tragic events of September 11, Philadelphia
        Muslims found acceptance and tolerance here. Why was Philadelphia
        different than other cities around the nation? And what is the real
        Islam all about?
     The Technology:
     SoundAboutPhilly(TM)'s dynamic mapping capability is another unique
 feature of the project. The Web site integrates the audio with Google Maps
 to help people customize a map to match their selected tour, print it out
 and take it with them as they explore the city.
     Listeners can hear any tour directly on SoundAboutPhilly.com, download
 a tour or specific segments to their iTunes or other audio players or sign
 up for an RSS feed to receive a new tour each time one is uploaded to the
 Web site.
     The Pew Charitable Trusts ( http://www.pewtrusts.org ) is driven by the
 power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies
 a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public
 and stimulate civic life. The Trusts partners with a diverse range of
 donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens who share
 its commitment to fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to
 improve society.
     The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes
 Philadelphia and The Countryside(TM) a premier destination through
 marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the
 region's vitality. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit
 http://www.gophila.com or call the Independence Visitor Center, located in
 Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676.

SOURCE The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation