serving jesus christ and our neighbors in portsmouth, oh since 1875
From Pastor Allison:
I still remember the first time I saw Second Pres.
It was February 22, 2016. I had already had 2 Skype interviews with the pastoral nominating committee and was feeling hopeful about our first in-person conversation.
It was my first time in Portsmouth, and when I pulled up to the stoplight at the corner of Waller and 9th Street, I looked up at this big, beautiful, sprawling building, and my mouth dropped open. Then I took a picture since the light was still red – a picture I still have on my phone.
Later, when I walked into the sanctuary, I felt like I was coming home. It was similar to churches I had known before and yet it was different. The space was larger, the stained glass more stunning, and the soft organ music from the chancel more beautiful than any I had heard before.
I knew that this was a special place. That I was standing on holy ground.
This old beloved church has stood tall through fires and floods.
It has watched the city of Portsmouth grow and struggle, and it continues to watch as Portsmouth tries to rebuild itself again.
It has provided shelter and gathering space for thousands of members and friends who have passed through its doors for worship services and Sunday School classes and Bible studies and Women's Circles and weddings and funerals and celebrations and board/committee meetings and dance rehearsals and Election Day Lunches and cake walks and dessert auctions and book studies and prayer meetings and Lessons & Carols services and seminars and support group meetings. It has fed countless numbers of our neighbors for over forty years through God’s Pantry. It has seen its doors close during a global pandemic only to open them again to face a new world where nothing is as it was before.
While the landscape around it has changed dramatically in recent years, this building remains the same, just as Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).
And on Friday, August 26, scaffolding started to go up around the 8th Street entrance as we embark on a major building project to restore "this old beloved church" so that it will continue to be the home base for our mission and ministry for another 100 years.
The 8th Street entrance, the Waller St entrance, and the bell tower will all receive much-needed attention. There is more work to be done after this, but these are the places where the Durable Restoration Company suggested to the Board of Trustees that work should begin.
You'll notice the final picture in that scrolling gallery is of the pieces of the building that I've been collecting on my desk in the past 8 months – pieces of the building that keep falling, often bouncing off of and breaking roof tiles which then allows water to creep into the building.
This phase of the project is intended to shore up the mortar that is failing way up high and to prevent more pieces of the building from breaking away.
I am grateful for this opportunity to preserve our beautiful old beloved church; there’s not many other buildings like this one left.
If you would like to contribute financially to this project, please use our online giving service or mail a check to the church (Second Presbyterian Church 801 Waller St Portsmouth, OH 45662 with "building restoration" in the memo line.)
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