Woodland Christian Church - Columbus, Ohio
(Disciples of Christ)
Woodland Christian Church was founded in 1918 when Elder J.W. Evans was asked to organize Black Disciples church folk in Columbus, Ohio into a viable congregation. Out of those original meetings the congregation which eventually became Woodland Christian Church arose. It was known as Monroe Christian Church for many years while it met in a church building on North Monroe Avenue. The current property on Woodland Avenue was purchased and construction began by Elder H.L. Kimbrough’s construction company in 1959 and the building opened for worship in the spring of 1960.
The high point in church membership was reached while Rev. L.L. Dickerson was pastor, beginning in 1944. During the 1950’s the congregation boasted as many as 350 members. The congregation was instrumental in helping to move the city of Columbus and the nation toward fair housing practices in the 1940’s. It ran up against housing discrimination when it purchased a parsonage at 93 North Avenue for Rev. Dickerson in 1944 in a neighborhood that had Restrictive Covenants. It filed a lawsuit against the city that turned into a four year battle that was finally settled by the United States Supreme Court. The landmark lawsuit was settled in favor of the Rev. Dickerson and the Monroe Christian Church!
For generations lay and clergy leaders have come from the congregation to serve in larger roles in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and in the Christian Church in Ohio (Disciples of Christ), beginning with Pastor Dickerson who was president of the Ohio Society of Christian Churches in 1960s.
While any congregation has no end of stories, achievements and legends to share, we pay particular interest to the last decade or so of the congregation’s history. Today the church averages about 35 in worship. Members of the congregation are active in the community during the summer months offering free food to neighborhood folks and offering to pray for them to meet their spiritual as well as physical needs. The men’s fellowship and women’s fellowship groups continue to meet regularly and seek ways to serve in the community. Bible study groups, Emmaus Walk, and other events besides worship, offer members opportunities to grow closer to God and to each other. Also, the congregation continues to look to the future as they build a significant Capital Campaign Fund for making property improvements.
Woodland’s ministry seeks to teach people:
That salvation is not a gift to be kept to one’s self, but it moves the recipient of salvation to share the good news of Jesus with those who have yet to receive salvation in Jesus.
To worship God in spirit and in truth, one must give God more than lip service.
People who follow Jesus must be concerned about those less fortunate than they are.
No Christian is as Christ like as he or she should be, so spiritual growth is ESSENTIAL.
Ministry is not an individual instrument but a corporate instrument in which Christians must work together to accomplish our Father’s business.
People who learn to trust the Lord are empowered to improve their quality of life and the quality of life of others.
As more people learn to grow closer to God and do God’s will, the world will change.
Woodland understands that the Church has been commissioned to change the world. The world will change as more people experience justice; economic justice, racial justice, justice between the sexes, legal justice, distributive justice, retributive justice, political justice, etc. Woodland seeks to obey that commission by beginning with Columbus, Ohio.