760 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
Sunday Worship: 8:45 and 11:00 AM

Why Did We Come to Broad Street?

Will H.

“I grew up in a happy Episcopalian church, and had a great experience in Jesuit high school in Toledo.  But in college I had a very bad incident at another Christian based institution that had been foundational to my childhood and adolescence.  I felt betrayed, angry, and abandoned, and resolved to distance myself from religious institutions.

A decade and a half later, I found myself in my “new” hometown of Columbus, happily married with two young boys.  I was aware of - despite my church-free existence - a spirituality still within me.  It had always been there, but it was undernourished.  Several friends invited us to come to Broad Street.  I was skeptical but curious.  Was there a church that was really grounded in the core Christian values that I had learned and believed?  Grounded enough to confidently and openly debate hard questions?  Sufficiently committed to the values it declared to demonstrably put faith into action and serve its community?  Peopled with a diverse and interesting membership, faithful to one another and to the church itself?  It was a tough test.  I’m not sure if anyplace else could have passed it, but Broad Street did.  It passed on our first visit and continues to do so today. 

In the five years we have been a part of this church, Broad Street has contributed to my and my family’s life in bigger and deeper ways than I’d ever imagined possible.  I am ever grateful to those who walked us through its doors for giving us this gift."

Bill M.

“Susan and I moved to Columbus from NYC and Summit ,NJ in 2007.  Big change!

We were used to city churches.  We were members for 10+ years of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and then for another 10 years at Central Presbyterian Church in Summit.  It was known in town as the cathedral church on the square and thus referred to as Central Church.

That is important because that is where we came from and that mix was important to us.

We were looking for a place that preached and lived the gospel of Jesus Christ with clarity, grace, and action.
 
So off we went trying churches.

We walked into BSPC one winter morning.  I had a Yale Squash ball cap on.  As we walked through the Narthex I heard someone say, "I played squash at Yale."  I looked around wondering who said that.  Could it be the distinguished and professional looking gentleman over there.  It was.  It was Bob Russell who introduced himself and his wife Ruth to us.  He had been the chaplain at Yale in the 60s and Ruth, as it turned out, had grown up in Summit, NJ.

Slam, we had friends at BSPC.  And that started us off on a journey of being welcomed by countless people who made us feel very at home.

We free-loaded for a year.  The church was searching for their new head of staff.  We wanted to wait.  We'd seen that movie and knew it was an important part of the equation.  And along the way, we met more people and were made to feel like this is our church home--and we weren't even members yet.

Then Amy showed up.  The missing piece fell into place.  We had our urban church that talked the talk and walked the walk.  A church that doesn't let stuff get in the way of preaching and teaching about our God, his grace, his son and the life we are called to live as Christians who are perfect in his eyes, thanks to Jesus death and resurrection.  We grapple with the mystery of this and we celebrate the wonder of it all.  AND we work intentionally to be the disciples that God has called us and Jesus showed we could all be in a world that is not at all frozen in time.

It has become a very important part of our lives.

Mary L.

"Jim and I had attended services at many Christian churches in town when we moved here five years ago.  As we moved over the years, we realized the denomination did not matter to us as much as the "fit" of the church, in its beliefs, focus, congregation, and ministers.  (A good sermon always keeps us coming back!)  And, in changing churches so much, we found that many Christian churches have such similar doctrines that the fit was more important.  We hadn't, though, found a church we liked in Columbus, and our church attendance dwindled to big holidays.  Then a friend, Judy, suggested I try her church.  She always had an interesting story about the church and its projects (the Food Pantry, Sunday School, Christmas Pageant, etc.).  So we attended a few Sundays, and kept coming back.  Judy, John, Jack, Anna and Lizzie were great at making sure we knew where to go, getting the kids initiated to Sunday school, introducing us to others, and best of all, saving us seats.  The Chester's are right, BSPC is a great church.  We feel very welcome, and after Coleman began attending confirmation classes, and other friends followed us to BSPC, we became members.  We look forward to growing our Christian faith at Broad Street Presbyterian, and thank you for welcoming us. "

Bill L.

"We were married at BSPC.  Neither of us were members, but my wife knew a member.  We got married here, then moved away for three years.  Returning to Columbus, my wife thought it was important to establish a place of worship for our future family.  Because of the wonderful memories of our wedding, and the central location, we tried BSPC.  From our first visits, we felt welcomed and comfortable—the members seemed genuine and did not “try too hard.”  And by habit, we sat near the rear of the sanctuary, as we often arrived right when worship started.  This seating arrangement was a blessing.  After the benediction, the choir, from the back of the church, belted out the most beautiful, moving, choral “Amen” that I have ever heard.  I often feel the presence of God during the service, but this choral “amen” made my heart feel like it was in my throat.

We became members that fall. Promptly, we were recruited to help with the youth program.  Since then, our children were baptized and have grown here.  Our faith and commitment to serve have grown here.

This church, simply, is our home; it’s members, our family. Home."

Jenni B.

"After college, my husband and I settled in Columbus and occasionally visited churches around town.  Pregnant with our first child my belly grew, and so did my desire to find a place where our family could worship regularly.  At Broad Street we found beautiful music, exemplary inclusion, impressive community outreach.  We found other young families -- children who could play in the nursery together and parents with whom we could enjoy evenings out.  We found ourselves being church, rather than just going and doing church.  At Broad Street there is no sitting in the back unnoticed.  While the church is enormous, the congregation feels like family.  When our daughter became sick, our connections at BSPC strengthened. The congregation rallied around our family, prayed for our little girl, and helped us through her loss. Now I realize it’s not so much what drew us here, but what keeps us coming back."

Tim M. & Ken H.

"When we relocated to Columbus in 2008 we immediately sought out a church that would be welcoming, accepting and loving.  Since we met at a Presbyterian church in 1997 we first looked for a similar church and did a Yahoo search.  Broad Street immediately caught our attention since it was close to us and had a statement of inclusion.  The following Sunday we attended the service and immediately felt "at home" since the Church not only has a statement of inclusion, but really does make everyone feel welcome and part of God's family."

Brent B.

"My story is different than most.  My family joined BSPC in 1916, my mom was born into the church in1940, I was born into it in 1963.  For me, BSPC has always been home.  I did not realize how unique our church was until I tried finding a new church home as I pursued my career in other cities and states.  BSPC is like no other church I have found, indeed for 21 months I commuted every Sunday from Cincinnati to be with my "family" here.  It was worth every mile."

Nancy P.

"Malcolm and I were looking for a church home.  His co-worker Dave at the Ohio Legislature invited us to attend BSPC.  Dave was active in a BSPC program called "pew for one".  We began attending and joined in the mid-1980s.  I will always be grateful to him for inviting us to Broad Street; we still keep in touch though he lives and works in Seattle WA."

Bill M.

"I had been living next door to the church for about 9 years before I walked in the door as a prospective worshiper one summer Sunday morning 3 years ago.  I had spent the previous 10 years as the cantor at another church, when they decided they didn't want my bright shiny Protestant face on their payroll anymore.  I just stayed home and sulked for a couple of months until I woke up one day and said, 'I need to get back into action again!'

That first broiling summer Sunday Morning the good Lord sat me behind a tall, bald man, who seemed to like to sing the hymns as much as I, and kind of smiled at me and talked after the service.  Well as you can guess it was former Director of Music, Joel Mathias.

After a couple more Sundays I was hooked and people were quite friendly, surprisingly so. Participation in choir and the Food Pantry quickly ensued, then, after-school tutoring, and a couple months later, church membership. Then low and behold someone asked me to consider becoming a Deacon. Good grief, was I up to that? Yes I was. And I believe that God and Broad Street has more challenges ready for me in the years to come!"

Ellen G.

"About 10 years ago it was time to connect with a church home.  Broad Street was the logical choice for me for two reasons – the beauty of the sanctuary and service as well as the church’s commitment to the community. 

For probably fifteen years before that I had attended services occasionally with a friend.  However, my more extensive relationship with Broad Street was in connection with my job.  The Early Childhood Resource Network provided free developmental screenings of children ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age on a monthly basis, rotating N-S-E-W  though-out Franklin County.  To do this we needed free locations, with multiple spaces, and lighted parking for the evening screenings.  Broad Street opened its doors to us and was the favored near east side location for evening screenings  - occurring about once a year. Broad Street member, Barb Northrup, was frequently the professional who volunteered to assist with speech or hearing screenings on those occasions.

Hearing about the various local missions and, more importantly, experiencing first hand the church’s reaching out to the community led me to become a member of this church that is assisting in the work of the Lord, not just talking about it."


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