Why Did It Take Me 42 Years To Go To The Greek Festival? It’s All Greek to Me!

Until last Sunday, my exposure to Greece was limited to the spanakopita I took second helpings of in Sweet Briar College’s Prothro Dining Room, the iconic motifs decorating New York’s Anthora coffee cup, and my mother’s account of being in Athens when the Greek coup d’état took place on April 21, 1967.

After checking out the 42nd annual Greek Festival hosted by the parishioners of The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbus, I have a new appreciation for the cultural heritage of Greece.

Held every Labor Day weekend, this four-day festival introduces visitors to Greek traditions through music, dance, visual arts and — best of all — food.

Folk dancers of all ages performed in traditional dress and offered free “Learn to Dance Greek” lessons.42nd Annual Greek Festival, Columbus, Ohio

While the Hellenic Singers sung Greek folk songs accompanied by an accordion player, people sipped Greek coffee and ate puffy loukoumades dipped in honey and topped with nuts and cinnamon.42nd Annual Greek Festival, Columbus, Ohio

After you watched free “Learn to Cook Greek” lessons…

42nd Annual Greek Festival, Columbus, Ohio

you could shop in the Aegean Marketplace Deli, a mini-grocery store stocked with the parish’s cookbook of Greek recipes and packaged Greek foods like honey, pasta and baklava granola offered as a parish fundraiser.

42nd Annual Greek Festival, Columbus, Ohio

You could learn more about Greek history and traditions in the Cultural Center, choose from a selection of religious books and objects in the Annunciation Bookstore, and shop for imported Greek jewelry, clothing, music and gifts.

42nd Annual Greek Festival, Columbus, Ohio

Other booths were filled with Greek-themed artwork, like the bold scratchboard prints of Evangelia Phillipidis, a Greek native who is the former editorial features illustrator for The Columbus Dispatch and owner of Galleria Evangelia.

Print by Evangelia Phillipidis, 42nd Annual Greek Festival, Columbus, Ohio

At Maria’s Pastry Shoppe, I learned about St. Euphrosynus, a monastery cook whose icon is often found in the kitchens of Orthodox believers who pray to him as they fix meals. Then, I took home a box filled with honey-drenched baklava and traditional Greek pastries like kataifi, delicate nests of pastry strands wrapped around walnuts and dipped in honey; buttery kourambiethes cookies sprinkled with confectionery sugar; and twisted shortbread koulourakia. You could also try tsourekia, a traditional Greek Easter bread, and several varieties of pastes, three layers of cake with two layers of whipped cream.

42nd Annual Greek Festival, Columbus, Ohio

Outside, I watched people in blue-and-white tents ordering souvlaki, gyros, lamb chop dinners and Greek fish served with fries seasoned with Greek spices, then washing them down with Greek Mythos beer. Inside, I took my place in a long queue for a la carte traditional Greek dishes like pastitsio, with its layers of macaroni in a tomato-cinnamon meat sauce, moussaka loaded with eggplant and ground beef in a béchamel sauce, flaky spanakopita, a Greek salad loaded with feta cheese and dripping with the tastiest dressing, and a dish of creamy rice pudding topped with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Next time, I’ll try the dolmathes, keftedes and chicken baked with potatoes and lemon.

42nd Annual Greek Festival, Columbus, Ohio

The festival also provided plenty of opportunities to tour the cathedral’s magnificent interior.  Ever since it was built in 1990, I’ve admired its exterior every time I pass its home at the corner of West Goodale Boulevard and North High Street.

Designed in the traditional Byzantine architectural style, the church reflects the shape of a Greek cross, with a central dome placed where the arms of the cross meet. The dome depicts the icon of Christ the Pantocrator surrounded by 24 Old Testament patriarchs.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Columbus, Ohio

In the half-dome behind the altar is a mosaic icon of the Virgin Mary with the Christ child. Four mosaic portraits of the Evangelists — Mark, Luke, Matthew and John — adorn four columns in the corners of the dome. 

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Columbus, Ohio

All of the mosaics inside the cathedral were made by Bruno Salvatori of Florence, Italy. They consist of about five million tiles of Venetian glass and 24-carat gold.

Thirty-six chandeliers imported from Greece illuminate the interior of the cathedral. The pendant at the bottom of the central chandelier depicts one of the six-winged angels, the Seraphim, while the pendants on the companion chandeliers portray the double-headed eagle, symbolic of the Byzantine Empire.

Peacocks not only represent eternal life in the Eastern Orthodox faith, but also were a symbol of the Byzantine Empire, a tour guide said. A cross formed by the representation of four fishes is reminiscent of “ichthus,” the Greek word for fish, and is a Christian symbol for Christ, he continued.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Columbus, Ohio

Stained glass windows depict the Nativity, the Baptism of Christ, and saints of the Eastern Orthodox church, including Saints Catherine, Barbara, George, Kosmas, Damian, Nectarios and Demetrios.The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Columbus, Ohio

The throne of the Bishop is similar to those used by royalty in the Byzantine Empire.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Columbus, Ohio

The icon screen in an Orthodox church is a partition between the altar and the Solea, the area where the sacraments of the church are administered. An icon of the Last Supper is above the central doors leading to the altar.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Columbus, Ohio

The guide explained that the first panel to the right of those doors always depicts Christ, followed by St. John the Baptist and the Archangel Gabriel, while the panels on the left are decorated with an icon of the Mother of God holding the infant Christ and Michael the Archangel. The second panel on the left is always different because it depicts the name of the church. In this case, the icon represents the Annunciation.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Columbus, Ohio

On Good Friday, an embroidered cloth icon depicting Christ after he has been removed from the cross — known as an Epitaphios — is placed in an elaborately carved canopy decorated with flowers that represents Christ’s tomb, called a kouvouklion. Parishioners holding candles carry the Epitaphios and kouvouklion as they process around the outside of the church, then walk underneath it before they enter the church.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Columbus, Ohio

To learn more about The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral and its next festival to be held September 4-7, 2015, click here.

 

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May St. Brigid Bless The Beautiful Dublin Church Named In Her Honor

As you approach 7179 Avery Road in Dublin, Ohio, you might think you’ve been transported to County Kildare, Ireland. Green grass cascades to a marshy roadside ditch, where puffy brown cattails nestled among long, slender leaves grow.St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio Beside it stands a magnificent stone landmark — St. Brigid of Kildare Church.

The church stands on a 10-acre site that was previously home to a facility for boarding and riding horses. How it became the centerpiece of a thriving spiritual community is as uplifting as the Roman Catholic faith which it celebrates.

St. Brigid of Kildare Parish was officially established on July 18, 1987. On Christmas Eve of that year, 600 people celebrated the parish’s first Mass in an unheated horse stable with bales of hay for seats, a dirt floor, and a few horses still in their stalls, marked by the windows along the sides of the building. This worship space was renovated and was originally called Our Lady of the Gael Chapel. It is now known as Msgr. Paul Enke Hall, in honor of the parish’s founding pastor.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

To accommodate its growing number of parishioners, the parish built a spectacular new church and dedicated it on August 15, 1991, the Feast of the Assumption. The stone-and-timber beam church was inspired by the 13th-century Church of Ireland Cathedral in Kildare. The cross on the bell tower is a design from an early Irish grave marker.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

Venerated as one of the patron saints of Ireland, St. Brigid was born in 453 A.D. in County Louth in Northern Ireland and arrived in Kildare in 480 A.D. There, she founded a monastery that became a center of learning, an art school that produced famous illuminated manuscripts, as well as a cathedral which was built near a great oak tree. Kildare’s rural landscape contributes to why St. Brigid is often pictured in a pastoral setting with animals. A sculptural relief of one of those depictions of the saint is on one of the church’s exterior walls.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

Step inside the narthex of the church, and you realize you’re in a magnificent space.   An invocation to St. Brigid decorates the arch above the doors leading to the church.  A bronze figure of Michael the Archangel from 17th-century Naples hovers next to the main doors.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

Hand-carved church doors dating from the Spanish Colonial period flank the entrance to the church, while holy water fonts made of 16th and 17th-century Sicilian marble stand inside.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

This is the sight you see when you enter the doors.  

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

A mural depicting Christ the Good Shepherd is the focal point of the church.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

Below it stands the altar, which contains stone from the 13th-century central tower of the St. Brigid of Kildare Cathedral in Kildare. Another stone in the altar was taken from the limestone foundation of the original barn that stood on the Avery Road site.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

To the left of the altar stands an Irish lawyer’s desk from the early 1800s, which serves as the lectern or pulpit.St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

It is adorned with enamel panels of the Four Evangelists that were inspired by the Book of Kells.St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

Large stained glass windows in the east and west transepts depict the Eucharistic theme of bread, fish and wine.St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

Arches decorated with painted vines and oak leaves represent the Kildare countryside. In Gaelic, “Kildare” means “the place of the oaks.”

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

The stained glass windows of St. Brigid Chapel, located in the southeast transept, also depict the Kildare countryside, complete with the round tower of St. Brigid of Kildare Cathedral in Kildare. Before the windows stands a hand-carved statue of St. Brigid that dates from 17th-century Italy.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

The Mary Chapel, northwest of the altar, features a hand-carved statue and stained-glass windows that are symbolic of the Virgin Mary.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

The design of the baptismal font and pool were inspired by an old stone well near the Scioto River.St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

The early 19th-century Ambry, used to hold blessed oils for sacraments, is decorated with a carved Irish cross like the one that tops the church’s bell tower. It is hung above one of several rustic tables found throughout the church.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

Celtic knotwork can be seen in a round stained glass window in the narthex, windows in rooms to receive the Sacrament of Penance, on the church’s exterior stone walls, and on the Celtic crosses that are found around the church’s landscaped grounds.

The parish’s emblem is the St. Brigid cross. Made from the rushes that grow in Kildare, this distinctive cross consists of a woven square in the center, from which four radials, tied at the ends, extend. Tradition holds that St. Brigid’s crosses are made on February 1, St. Brigid’s Feast Day. Because they are believed to protect a home from fire and evil, St. Brigid crosses are hung in many Irish kitchens. This St. Brigid cross is fashioned from oak siding from the barn that originally stood on the site of the church.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

St. Brigid crosses also appear on charming ceramic signage throughout the church.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

An Irish Waterford crystal chandelier and a Waterford tabernacle lamp hang in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. Waterford holy water fonts hang beside the doors to the chapel. The chapel’s Bread and Fishes stained glass window is complemented by a round stained glass depiction of Holy Angels, made in Cincinnati during the 19th century. This space off the far east side of the narthex is also known as the Chapel of Mary of the Gael, recognizing the honorary title that the Irish bestowed on St. Brigid.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

Other equally distinctive buildings stand on the parish grounds. The Parish Education Center, home to a parochial elementary school and religious education classes, was dedicated in 1996. In 2004, Brigid’s Green, eight acres of donated property across from the church, added athletic fields and parking. In 2007, the parish’s new Pastoral Center, Msgr. Joseph M. Hendricks Hall, was completed. It was designed for use as meeting halls, a nursery, space for meetings, social gathering space after Masses and administrative offices for the parish.

A large stone carving over the Parish Hall doors portrays an image of St. Brigid along with icons symbolic of her life and patronage. Other stone carvings on the exterior include a St. Brigid’s Cross and Gaelic crosses.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

The Pastoral Center’s buildings are reminiscent of rural monastic farm buildings surrounding a medieval-style tithe barn.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

These charming stone cottage-like structures feature chimneys, dovecotes and gables, with slate roofs, stucco, timber framing, and brick-trimmed windows.

St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio

A pillow I spotted at the church reminded me of the blessing prayer traditionally said on St. Brigid’s Day and whenever a St. Brigid cross is hung:

“May Brigid bless the house wheSt. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohiorein you dwell;
Bless every fireside, every wall and floor;

Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof;
And every tongue and mind for evermore;
Bless every hand that toils to bring joy
And every foot that walks its portals through.
This is my wish today, my constant prayer
May Brigid bless the house that shelters you.”

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Recreating A Rush Creek Guest House With Thousands of iPhone Photos

You might make the snapshots you take with your mobile phone the wallpaper on your desktop, but have you ever papered a scale replica of a building with them? That’s what Jeffrey Haase did with 3,750 photos he snapped with his iPhone 4S.

Scale replica of the Pepinsky Guest House, Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center

Haase, an architect who designed the interiors of restaurants like Cap City Diner and Mitchell’s Steakhouse, is an associate professor in The Ohio State University’s Department of Design. Recently, he decided to use the camera feature of his phone to capture images of the interior and exterior of a building and create something extraordinary with them.

Using a mini-tripod and a wire to hold his phone at the proper distance for photographic scale, Haase snapped photos that recorded the colors, textures and light of the interior and exterior of the Pepinsky Guest House in Worthington’s Rush Creek Village. Then, he printed each photograph and pasted them onto the entire surface of an exact, true-to-size replica of the house that was constructed by Kyle Wallace.

Scale replica of the Pepinsky Guest House, Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center

You can see the spectacular results of Haase and Wallace’s work in Neighborhood in Harmony with Nature: Rush Creek Village, the current exhibition in the main gallery of the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center in Worthington.

The exhibition celebrates Rush Creek Village, a Worthington neighborhood of 42 homes that reflect Frank Lloyd Wright’s principles of organic architecture.

In 1951, Dick and Martha Wakefield conceived the idea for the community and purchased land in a secluded 39-acre wooded area off South Street, steps away from the rows of traditional homes of Old Worthington and Colonial Hills. Between 1954 and 1976, Theodore Van Fossen surveyed and platted the land, then custom-designed affordable homes on curvy, curbless streets for professors, artists and those with an affinity for obscured front doors, low-pitched gable roofs, walk-out terraces and carports that make a home both functional and harmonious with its natural environment.

Homeowners chose from an assortment of reasonably priced building materials, such as concrete block, cypress, redwood, cedar, mahogany, brick, quarry tile, and an abundance of glass for windows with mitered corners or that stretch from floor to ceiling. They could also participate in their home’s construction.

Rush Creek Village, Worthington, Ohio

To take advantage of limited interior space, Van Fossen custom-designed cabinetry and bookshelves, built-in seats and beds, and tables, chairs, and light fixtures. He also designed the neighborhood’s sign, footpaths, and bridge crossing Rush Run, a 1.5 mile-long tributary of the Olentangy River.Rush Creek Village, Worthington, Ohio

Rush Creek’s significant architecture, landscape design and community planning earned it a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

The exhibition also includes ephemera related to Rush Creek, photography of Rush Creek homes by Tom and Sam Robbins and Brent Turner, and a site plan of the Seitz home in Rush Creek by Brian Seitz of Ten Penny Design.

Site plan of the Seitz Home, Rush Creek Village, Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center

You can also admire a table and four chairs…

Table and chairs designed by Theodore Van Fossen for Wakefield home, Rush Creek Village

as well as a wall lighting fixture, all designed by Theodore Van Fossen for the Wakefields’ Rush Creek home.Lighting fixture designed by Theodore Van Fossen for Wakefield home, Rush Creek Village

Neighborhood in Harmony with Nature: Rush Creek Village continues through October 26, 2014.

For more information on Rush Creek, read “Re-discovering Rush Creek,” an article I wrote for the July 30, 2004 issue of Columbus Business First; “Obscurity Becomes It,” from the June 24, 2004 issue of the New York Times; and Wright at Home,” from the June 2014 issue of Columbus Monthly. You can also track down a copy of The Architecture of Rush Creek Village: A Documentary by Dorothy Hogan. This videocassette includes interviews with Martha Wakefield and van Fossen about Rush Creek’s beginning and the philosophy behind the community.

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Relax at Dublin’s Indian Run Falls Park

Need to go to the post office? Next time, run your errand at the Shamrock branch on Shawan Falls Drive in Dublin. Then, reward yourself with a few peaceful moments at Indian Run Falls Park.Indian Run Falls Park, Dublin

 I first learned about the park this past winter, after a fellow Columbus AudubonIntroduction to Ornithology classmate described a research project he had conducted while monitoring the nearby bluebird trail at OCLC.  To watch 15-year-old Stephen Bischoff give “Daily Development of Tree Swallows and Eastern Bluebirds Using Photographic and Weight Measurements,” his presentation for the 2014 Ohio Bluebird Society Conference, click here.

Bluebird trail, OCLC

Located just steps away from the post office and OCLC, Indian Run Falls Park is a tranquil sanctuary from the bustle of Old Dublin.  Park your wheels near two mysterious log cabins made of old railroad ties and cement, then chart your course for exploring this area that was once home to Wyandot tribe members.

Indian Run Falls Park, Dublin

Nature trails of compacted gravel and grass pass fields of wildflowers and dense woodlands.  A pedestrian bridge spans a waterfall.

Indian Run Falls Park, DublinStand atop it and enjoy the view; go below it to skip stones and enjoy the soothing sounds of the water.Indian Run Falls Park, Dublin

Observation decks provide scenic overlooks of rocky cliffs, a gorge and cascading streams.

Indian Run Falls Park, Dublin

Benches and shelter houses offer the perfect spots for relaxing or enjoying a picnic.

Indian Run Falls Park, Dublin

Indian Run Falls Park can also be accessed near the Dublin branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, located at 75 N. High St.

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The “Sounds of Summer” Included Plenty of Fun Facts

No day is complete without learning a fun fact. During the Westerville Symphony Orchestra’s recent “Sounds of Summer” concert at Alum Creek Park, conductor Peter Stafford Wilson shared several fun facts with the audience and musicians alike.

Did you know that Emmanuel Chabrier, the French composer of Joyeuse marche, was friendly with Claude Monet and Édouard Manet? He also collected paintings by other Impressionist artists, including Paul Cézanne and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

It’s always a thrill to hear the ethereal strains of Josef Strauss’s Music of the Spheres (Sphärenklänge) and Thunder and Lightning Polka (Unter Donner und Blitz), that wonderful Johann Strauss composition in which timpani rolls and cymbal crashes evoke stormy sounds. But I nPeter Stafford Wilson and the Westerville Symphony Orchestraever imagined that the Viennese apartment where The Blue Danube (An der schönen blauen Donau) was written is now home to a McDonald’s.

One of the four dances Aaron Copland composed for Rodeo was used as the background theme for the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” advertising campaign in the 1990s. But I didn’t realize that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein attended the ballet’s 22-curtain call premier in 1942 and immediately signed up its choreographer, Agnes de Mille, to contribute her talents to their musical, Oklahoma.

Igor Stravinsky was a young, virtually unknown composer when Sergei Diaghilev recruited him to create The Firebird, a work based on a Russian folk tale, for the Ballet Russes. That’s a fun fact that escaped me during my days at Miami University’s Walter Havighurst Special Collections, when I showed Russian history students books about Diaghilev from the 2,000-volume André L. de Saint-Rat Collection of Russian History, Literature and Art. Another popular book I shared was The Firebird and Other Russian Fairy Tales (illustrated by Boris Zvorykin and edited, with an introduction, by Jacqueline Onassis), one of over 10,000 children’s books, toys and games, and magazines comprising the library’s Edgar and Faith King Juvenile Literature Collection.

Tune in to Classical 101 tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. for Music in Mid-Ohio.  You might hear more fun facts during a broadcast recording of a recent Westerville Symphony Orchestra concert. 

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Cool Off With Leprechauns and Mad March Hares at Dublin’s Ballantrae Community Park

To survey the beautiful landscape from the summit of the Hill of Tara, revel in the tranquil atmosphere of Glendalough or walk the pebbled paths of Powerscourt’s elegant gardens, you have to fly to Dublin, Ireland. But to see an ingenious tribute to the Irish countryside, all you need to do is drive to Ballantrae in Dublin, Ohio.

Ballantrae is a residential planned community with over 1,000 home sites, an 18-hole resort-style golf course and a 640-acre pastoral landscape of fields, lakes, hills, hand-stacked rubble stone walls and ruins. Ballantrae Community Park is one of its many public and neighborhood greenspaces.

Ballantrae Community Park

Dancing Hares, Sophie Ryder’s 14-foot-tall bronze sculpture, tops a hill overlooking a lawn dotted by boulders. The sculpture recalls how mad March hares stand on their hind legs and box each other during their breeding season.

Dancing Hares, Ballantrae Community Park

The English artist is known for embedding everyday household objects in her work. Look closely and you’ll find things like toy bears, decorative hair combs, Schweppes bottle openers, and Irish coins with their iconic image of Brian Boru’s harp nestled in the rabbits’ feet.

Detail of Dancing Hares, Ballantrae Community Park

A 125-foot-long curved concrete stone grotto wall built into the hillside below provides the backdrop for a whimsical interactive water feature that’s popular with children. Fountains shoot from the ground of the plaza. Jet sprays change pattern and heights. A cascading waterfall is perfect for cooling off on a hot day.

Ballantrae Community Park

Students from the Columbus College of Art and Design developed, sketched and created sculptures of six different leprechaun faces that are embedded in the grotto wall. Water spews from holes in the leprechauns’ mouths.

Ballantrae Community Park

The spray fountains at Ballantrae Community Park — located at 6350 Woerner Temple Road — are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. through September 1, 2014.

Ballantrae Community Park

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What Does Inniswood Have In Common With “The Little Brick Church at the Bend of the Road?”

In the North Linden neighborhood of Columbus, you’ll see a church near the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Huy Road that’s worth a closer look.

McKendree United Methodist Church dates to 1820, when Henry Innis opened his Clinton Township home to local Methodists for worship. In 1832, Innis founded McKendree Methodist Church, naming it for Bishop William McKendree (1757-1835), a Methodist leader who traveled the country preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. By 1849, the congregation had built a small white frame church with three rows of seats, where men sat on one side and women on the other. A cemetery behind the church provided a final resting place for some of its McKendree Methodist Churchmembers.

By 1890, the congregation had outgrown its church, so it raised funds for building a new brick structure on the same site. Ladies of the church’s “Helping Band” made and sold quilt blocks embroidered with the names of buyers. President Benjamin Harrison bought the center quilt block; Ohio Governor James E. Campbell purchased a neighboring square. Another women’s group known as the “Gleaning Band” raised funds for the church’s needs, such as sending flowers to the sick and supplying food and clothing to those in need. The McKendree Gleaners, a Sunday school class, organized musical programs, plays and lectures, using the proceeds to pay for hardwood floors and other improvements to the church.

In 1955, the congregation built an additional building just south of the church for Sunday school and social events. This semi-Gothic structure with an artistic stone entrance provided seats for 500 people in the nave and could accoMcKendree Methodist Churchmmodate another 100 in the balcony. Russell Heizer, son of a former minister of the church, designed its symbolic stained-glass windows. Another special feature was a “magic carpet” front door that opened automatically, so that young children and older people wouldn’t have to struggle with opening heavy outer doors.

Church ministers and members alike contributed to this close-knit community of faith. Rev. John J. McCabe wrote McKendree, a poem that was printed on cards with a picture of the church on the front. The church used the first line of the poem — “Oh, little brick church at the bend of the road” — as its caption for many years. “The McKendree Hymn” was written by Rev. Wilbur Vorhis during his tenure as minister from 1971 to 1973; it was sung to the tune of “Come Thou, Almighty King.”

McKendree Methodist ChurchDuring World War II, a newsletter titled The McKendree Home Front kept church members who were in the service informed about church activities. The church also awarded Bibles to elementary school students, hymnals to young people who had completed the requirements for their confirmation classes, and books of worship to high school graduates. The Margaret Huffman Memorial Library was established in the 1960s. Christmas candlelight dinner parties and scouting and youth group activities were other examples of the fellowship that church members enjoyed.

Innis family monument, McKendree Methodist Church cemeteryHenry Innis’s eight children and their descendants were all loyal supporters of the church. A pin oak tree from the Innis family’s homestead at 25th and Cleveland Avenues was planted on the church grounds. Mary (Mrs. William) Innis gave its Möhler pipe organ. Henry’s grandson, Lew Innis, kept the church open during the Depression by purchasing coal for heat and paying the staff. His daughters, Grace and Mary Innis, were especially loyal church members. Mary was superintendent of the church nursery, caring for babies so that their mothers could attend Sunday morning church services, while Grace joined a group from the church on a trip to Jerusalem when she was in her 70s. Grace gave a 25-bell, two-octave Flemish carillon with harp, celeste bells and an automatic roll player with 48 selections, which was installed in 1971 in memory of her sister. The evening before Grace fell ill before passing away in March 1982, she hosted a Home Fellowship meeting for the church in the sisters’ Hempstead Road home in Westerville, now known as Inniswood Metro Gardens. Both sisters remembered the church in their wills.

McKendree United Methodist Church’s congregation ceased weekly wMcKendree Methodist Churchorship at the church in June. Now, the building at 3330 Cleveland Avenue is home to Ebenezer United Methodist Church.

To learn more about the history of McKendree United Methodist Church, see The McKendree Story: 125 Years of History of the McKendree Methodist Church, 3330 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio: 1832-1957. A second volume that was published for the church’s 150th anniversary covers the years from 1957 to 1982.

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