Last week I began a discussion on Our Next Campus Building & A Theology of Buildings. In the coming weeks I want to initiate discussion about the former St. Vincent’s Church, and about the importance of thinking through building design, decoration and all the things that go into transforming a building into a house of congregational worship.
But a building is more than bricks and mortar, glass and stone. It’s important to remember you’re walking in the steps of people who came before you. History is a big part of place.
Last year we asked Sojourn member Jason Fuchs to research the history of St. Vincent’s. And did he ever. Now we have a fascinating three page document on the birth and life of this building and its people, before it shut down in 1996.
- Did you know that the first sermons at St. Vincent’s were given in German, because most of the parishioners were immigrants from Germany?
- Did you know that a time capsule from 1886 sits within the cornerstone of this building? It contains ”clippings from the Courier-Journal and the Daily Anzeiger, a local German paper, as well as coins from the 1850’s and a document listing the names of the trustees of the parish.”
- Did you know that in the Roaring ’20s, nearly 1000 families worshiped weekly in this building, almost all of whom lived right there in the Shelby Park neighborhood?
Take a few minutes to read this document here. You won’t be disappointed.
On a regular basis, I hear from Shelby Park and Germantown residents who say “I used to worship in that building,” or “I remember when The 930 was a school — my siblings and I all went there.” I love hearing about these experiences.
What kinds of feelings does this document stir within you?
Do you know anything else about the history of the St. Vincent’s building?
St. Vincent’s restoration photo by Sojourn deacon Chuck Heeke