My “Morning Song of Praise” for CSG and Washington Gladden

A couple of weeks ago, I had lunch with some of my former teachers at Columbus School for Girls.  Ever since, I’ve been humming my favorite CSG songs that I learned as a saddle-shoed little girl in a light blue tunic.

First, it was “Schoolmates, Lift Your Voices” and “The Vacation Song.”  “We Gather Together” cropped up during Mass one day last week.  Today, I woke up thinking about “Our Morning Song of Praise” and its author, Rev. Dr. Washington Gladden.

Gladden was pastor of the First Congregational Church in Columbus from 1882 to 1914.  He wrote 40 books during his lifetime.   His daughter, Alice, was CSG’s headmistress from 1904 to 1926. 

So, in Gladden’s honor, I made a pilgrimage to First Congregational Church on my lunch hour today.  While the church of Gladden’s era was opposite the Statehouse, its present-day descendant is at Broad and 9th Streets.  I’ve walked by this Gothic Revival building countless times, but I had no idea that it was designed by John Russell Pope, architect of the National Gallery of Art, the Jefferson Memorial and the National Archives.  The associate architect was Howard Dwight Smith, best known for the original Ohio Stadium.

Here’s a photo of the stained glass window in the West Transept that is a tribute to Gladden.  Its theme is Charity and Justice, the basis of his ministry.

Walking back to work, I raised my thankful heart for my CSG education.

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