This past Saturday, hubby and I attending this years Hallelujah Holiday Tour of Churches. Despite the fact that it rained the whole day. There were about 300 of us in attendance. This annual tour includes beautiful old historic churches in downtown Columbus. I wonder if other cities have something similar? At each location someone told us a bit about the history of the church and there was a musical selection or two.
The first church was First Congregational Church, built in 1931. Of the four churches, it was the newest; but historically the one that I enjoyed learning about the most. Located at 444 E. Broad Street.
Look at the beautiful pipes in this large organ. This is one of two organs in this church. One also in the back of the church in the balcony area. The style of this church is Late Gothic Revival, and the architect, John Russell Pope also designed The Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. He was joined with a local architect, Howard Dwight Smith, who designed Ohio Stadium. Both men are quite noteworthy, as are the buildings they designed.
The wood carving was beautiful and the stained glass window breathtaking. I imagine on a day with sun out instead of rain, the light coming through this goregous window would be even more spectacular.
But what made this church so remarkable to me, it's it's history. On Sept 24th in 1852, 42 members of the then 2nd Presbyterian Church who were abolitionist, decided they could no longer remain with the congregation. So with a loan of $1,000.00 started a new church. Their church was The 3rd Presbyterian Church. The movement and the church grew, and a new location and new building built. The also decided the needed a new name, and thus became First Congregational Church. Through multiple leaders and locations and growth the church always remained keenly involved with social justice issues.
In 1882 Dr. Washington Gladden led the church. The many years he led the Church are referred to as The Gladden Years. He preached a regular sermon and always had a 2nd sermon where he taught and spoke about issues of the day, like proper treatment of Black Americans, proper treatment of workers period. As a result, The Washington Gladden Social Justice Park was dedicated in his honor and memory, quite recently On Oct 28th, 2018. This park is the first Social Justice Park in the country. We plan to return to read all plagues on a day when it's not raining. The park is next door to The Church.
**Please return to read about the other 3 churches on this wonderful tour, check to see if you have something similar in your area. AND....yes, I will be getting back to posting about Italy, but given the time of the year...the posts about this Christmas Tour of Churches seems most appropriate.
PLEASE leave me a comment when you come visit, so I know you were here. Your visits and comments are very special to me.