Two brownstone church buildings once stood in our downtown, a few blocks from each other.
They had once been vibrant communities.
Both sat empty for years.
Last Sunday, we drove past one as it was in the process of being torn down. Piles of rubble surrounded the facade.
We were on our way to the other–about to reopen, refurbished, restored.
I’d driven past both many times over the years. Sometimes I prayed for the second one. One of my sons-in-law had led renovations of the building’s kitchen when he was earning his Eagle Scout award years before.
More than two decades ago I worked in a nearby town writing for the local newspaper, editing the weekly religion page. I got to know a neighborhood pastor. His heart is one of pure ministry. Four years ago, he founded Center City Church. But the church wasn’t in the center of our city.
Now it is.
This past Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, the brownstone was alive with prayer, praise, and worship. It was the fourth anniversary of the founding of Center City Church. And the celebration of the first Sunday at its new location.
A guest pastor preached. His wife had grown up attending the brownstone. At age 95, he was celebrating 82 years of faith and a lifetime of ministry.
We sat under electric lights another son-in-law installed.
History ambles along. Cities’ skylines shift.
But sometimes history reaches back to grab a thread and hang onto a piece of the past.
Resurrection comes for places too.
Welcome to your new/old place, Center City Church.