This photo was taken on October 12, 2018 showing a packed sanctuary of people from our church, our community, and beyond who came to hear an outstanding night of music by the students of the Ohio University Music Department. Several of our church members voluntarily gave of their time by setting up the sound system, greeting people at the door, and cleaning up afterward to get our church ready for our Sunday morning worship. Some of our own choir members sang for a portion of the concert as well. This video is one of those musical pieces.
Real estate agents often refer to a value of a property by reciting one very important word: “Location, location, location!” This means that the value of a building isn’t just about the building itself but where it is located.
A fire destroyed our church building back in February, 1955. It was located on the same spot as our current building which was built just a couple of years later. Soon after the fire, the congregation had to decide on whether to build on the same location or to move outside the city of Athens to where they could purchase land.
“The best thing to do would be to build the church where we could serve the students of Ohio University.” – John Dowler
In a video that was recorded back in 1980 telling about the decision of rebuilding, John Dowler who was part of those church discussions (arguments?!) immediately following the fire, describes it this way:
“There was some talk of going out and getting several acres and building a church that would have plenty of room for everything we would need in the future and parking spaces and so forth, but it was finally decided that the best thing to do would be to build the church where we could serve the students of Ohio University.”
As I was listening to the beautiful music in our newly remodeled sanctuary that was packed with people for this recent university concert, I kept thinking about John Dowler’s words and the reason why we decided to stay in our current location. We truly are here to serve the students of Ohio University as well as the people of our community and we are living out that dream.
The last song of the concert also reminded me of the wisdom of our congregation to rebuild at this same location. The song, “You Will Be Found” was introduced by a mental health professional who reminded everyone at the concert to know that help is available for anyone who feels alone and going through a dark time in their lives. When I heard this song, I thanked God for a congregation that decided to stay right here where “we could serve the students of Ohio University.”
Location, location, location!