You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Inmate escapes from Tri-County Regional Jail in Champaign County

Springfield church preserves Oakland Presbyterian history

This would have marked 100th year for now-closed church.


When Oakland Presbyterian Church in Springfield closed its doors in 2012, it left in its wake many broken-hearted members and memories of a church with a 98-year history.

Kathleen Lauri-Lewis could identify with that. So she and her current church, Covenant Presbyterian Church, 201 N. Limestone St., decided to do something about that. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 20, Covenant will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for former Oakland members and those who are otherwise a part of Oakland history.

The focus: memories from members.

“I myself was a member of a church that closed (St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Springfield), and my husband (Garth) and I were the ones who captured all the memories there in a book,” said Lauri-Lewis, who is spearheading the collection of information for the Oakland book. “We had to do a second printing so everybody could get copies.”

The Oakland book, which will be funded by Covenant, will be available to purchase through Amazon once it is completed.

Lauri-Lewis shared that having a home church close is an emotional roller coaster, one that included a grieving process.

“It helps to have something to look back on and remember the good things, to capture all that happened there and how important it was to the community,” she said

Covenant pastor Rev. Raymond Stewart not only saw the effort as an act of service to former Oakland members, many of whom now attend Covenant, but also an effort to preserve a part of Springfield’s history.

“Covenant is the result of the joining together of the First Presbyterian, which dated back to 1815, and Second Presbyterian,” said Stewart. “They were only a few blocks apart. So in 1919, they decided to get together and form Covenant.

“So as Oakland closed, our concern was that we were be able to pull together the history, so those stories and pictures and the wonderful ministry that Oakland was would not be lost.”

Lauri-Lewis quickly became aware of the opportunity for a book shortly after Oakland’s closing.

“When the Oakland people started coming to Covenant, I spent a lot of time seeing that their needs were met,” said Lauri-Lewis. “One of the people was collecting a bunch of the stuff, and she started bringing it to me to scan.”

Once she saw what was already in hand, she started moving toward making the book a reality. Thus the open house.

“I’m hoping to get a lot of pictures identified,” she said. “I’m hoping to get a lot of stories, and hopefully we can include biographies of some of the members.”

Oakland was started as a Sunday school between 1874 and 1876, and it officially became a church in 1914, so the church’s 100th anniversary would have been this year.

“That’s part of the reason for trying to get the book done in 2014,” said Lauri-Lewis. “I think the project is likely going to be successful as it is, because I have a lot of stuff already. The gathering would help to enrich the book.”

A copy of book will be given to Clark County Public Library and Clark County Historical Society for preservation purposes.

“We realize that one of our responsibilities as churches working together is to preserve a part of Springfield’s history,” Stewart said. “It’s important for older people, and also for younger people, to understand the shoulders that we stand on.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Sean Hannity tweets his worry about Fox News’ future
Sean Hannity tweets his worry about Fox News’ future

There are rumors that Fox News co-president Bill Shine’s future with the network is rocky, according to New York Magazine. Shine’s name has appeared during dark times at the network, notably as an ally to former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes amid various sexual harassment lawsuits. Fox News’ Sean Hannity took to Twitter...
Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations
Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations

Negotiations between southwest Ohio’s largest health system, Dayton-based Premier Health, and UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurance company, remained at a standstill Thursday with the first deadline for their contract to expire rapidly approaching. UnitedHealthcare’s contract with Premier hospitals is set to expire...
Family says man beaten, left for dead after winning lottery
Family says man beaten, left for dead after winning lottery

Someone beat up and killed a man who won thousands from a scratch-off lottery ticket. Police aren't saying much about this case but the victim's family told WSB-TV that Charles Barrett’s debit card was stolen and used. They say 59-year-old Barrett had deposited a $17,000 check for his winnings from a $2 lottery scratch-off a little over...
Central State taken off fiscal watch as Wright State edges toward it
Central State taken off fiscal watch as Wright State edges toward it

As Central State University exits fiscal watch by the state, Ohio’s higher education chief warned that Wright State University could be on the brink of entering it. Chancellor John Carey visited CSU early Thursday to make the university’s improved financial position official. “You went through some very rough times and made some very...
Drive thru victim reports robbery at knifepoint
Drive thru victim reports robbery at knifepoint

A man working at the Oooh Ooh Drive Thru in Springfield told police a man threatened him with a knife and fled with cash around 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, according to a report by the Springfield Police Division. The man told police he was in the drive-thru portion of the business at 1359 W. First St. when he heard the front door bell go off. A man...
More Stories