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Today in OPC History

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July 27

Columbus, Ohio

On July 27, 1977, the Rev. Lawrence Eyres, then pastor of Redeemer OPC, Dayton, Ohio sent a letter to several families in the Columbus, Ohio area about taking the next step in forming an Orthodox Presbyterian Church there. Pastor Eyres had been driving up to Columbus periodically and preaching the gospel in the basement of the Lee and Rose DeGraaf home to those interested. Pastor Eyres wrote, "It has been a growing conviction of several people interested in our work among you that it is time to upgrade this work into what we hope may ultimately become a congregation." A meeting was called for July 31 and the decision was made to start holding Sunday evening worship services on a regular basis.

Among the core group families meeting for worship at the Holiday Inn on the North side of Columbus were the DeGraafs, Bill and Mary Shaw and their four boys, David, Jeff, Joel and John, Dave and Jo McVay, Homer and Helen Cores, Joe and Janie Courter, the Rev. Leo and Nancy Frailey and their children, Jonathan, Joel, and Jennifer, and Parker and Ruth Jarvis. Years earlier, Ruth Jarvis had been the first person from the Columbus area to contact the OPC Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension about a potential church work.

The next Spring, Mr. Eyres contacted Mr. Robert Eckardt, a graduating senior at Westminster Seminary about the possibility of pastoring the group. By the time that Bob Eckardt arrived the group had moved to the Community Room of Ohio Federal Savings Bank in the northern Columbus suburb of Dublin. On May 11, 1979, he was ordained and installed as an associate pastor at Redeemer Church laboring in Columbus. By this time, the Lord was adding individuals as Karen Bush (to become Karen Eckardt), Marcie Hausler, Bob and Lois Johnson, Dick and Susan Stafford, Jim Stafford, Joe and Molly Stafford, Ruth Gerstung, Bob Keys and Tim and Barb Gaginella and family had joined the group.

On July 1, 1979, the Presbytery of Ohio received Grace OPC as a particular church with twenty-eight adult members and nine children as charter members. Leo Frailey was received by the Presbytery of Ohio as a gospel minister on January 13, 1980. On June 12, 1983, the congregation held its first worship service at the Seventh-Day Adventist building in Worthington,

Mt. Eckardt accepted a call to Matthews OPC in 1985. Grace Church then called the Rev. Larry Wilson who served as pastor from 1985 to 2000. In 1991, the congregation moved into its newly constructed building on Postlewaite road in-between Worthington and Dublin. Since 2002, the Rev. William Kessler has served as pastor.

Picture: Leo Frailey and Bob Eckardt in 1984 in front of the Seventh-Day Adventist building in Worthington, Ohio.

- 2016 Appeared

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