From Left to Right: Debi and Doug Tunney, Kayla Baumann, Courtney Anderson, and Apphia Damulak.
YWAM Philadelphia has been years in the coming. It has been talked about. It has been prayed about. It has been dreamt about.
Apphia, one of our staff, received the call to Philadelphia from her home in Nigeria long before there was a base here. She has been praying for YWAM Philadelphia ever since and she moved to the U.S. as an act of faith.
Doug and Debi Tunney, who established both YWAM Pittsburgh and YWAM Boston, occasionally talked about Philadelphia and the importance of a base in this historical city and the spiritual strategy of having a YWAM base in the city of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
In the spring of 2019, Debi was awakened with a direct call to this city. The pastor of Bethel, a Brazilian church in Fox Chase, offered them a place to live and in August, they moved from Boston.
One day, God put a prayer on Doug's heart and he prayed, "God, do the impossible and unbelievable for your kingdom and for YWAM in Philadelphia".
After this prayer, Doug felt led to call a friend in New York who connected him to Paster Andrew Grannum of New Covenant Christian Church.
New Covenant Christian Church Campus is in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia and includes fourteen large buildings on thirty-eight acres. The property was originally built as a home for the deaf. https://digital.librarycompany.org/islandora/object/digitool%3A97272
When the city of Philadelphia decided the people who lived here should integrate with society, a college bought the property. The college eventually went bankrupt and they left everything in the buildings when they left the property.
Bishop Grannum, Pastor Grannum's father, discovered the property and bought it for New Covenant. They have been using some of the buildings but not all of them. Shortly before they received Doug's call, the leadership of the church laid hands on one of the empty buildings and dedicated it to the work of God.
When they met Doug, they knew it was from God and offered him the building on a ten-year lease and low rent with the agreement that YWAM would fix up the building.
The deal was too good to pass up. Doug accepted and worked on the building for a year with the help of different individuals and teams who volunteered.
In August of 2020, Apphia, Courtney, and Kayla joined the YWAM Philadelphia team. YWAM Philadelphia is now a true base. It is registered with the city of Philadelphia as a non-profit and with YWAM's University of the Nations.