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Kensill Fund for Hope

The Kensill Fund for Hope (KFH) is a 501(c)3 foundation established in 1995 as a living memorial to the Rev. Frank Kensill who began serving Mid-Town Parish in an old Gothic stone church at 7th and Norris Sts in North Philadelphia. He and his Wife, Winnie, lived in the parsonage there and served the church from 1957 through 1996, when he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. (They are now both deceased.)  

They shared their love and a vision that there was hope for those in this dying neighborhood surrounding this dying church. With a diminishing church income and lack of support of surrounding white churches, the Kensills initiated programs that required more love and labor than money. This white couple with 2 daughters gained the goodwill and respect of their black congregation and neighbors by living there and schooling their daughters in the local school – and by initiating one social outreach program after the other.

Original Midtown Parish Church building (demolished)
They started a Mini-School Program for neighborhood children run by high school volunteers; Club Hope for middle schoolchildren; and Mini-High for high school students with volunteer mentors from Temple University. It was their vision – and a logical next step - that financial assistance be available to those worthy students from Mid-Town Parish so they might have the opportunity to attend college or technical training beyond high school. The Kensills’ hope was that if these students could further their education and obtain marketable skills, they could break the cycle of poverty and despair found in their neighborhood.

And so in 1995, the Leola UMC, which had been assisting Mid-Town Parish in other areas of their ministry, assisted in establishing the KFH Foundation. In 1996 the first three students from the neighborhood were awarded grants totaling $3,300. These awardees have had a positive impact in their church and neighborhood as will those in the future. 

Help us keep this hope and dream alive.