Kayaking at BdeMakaSka - Photo courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Festival Blog

2019 Festival of Homiletics - Minneapolis

"Preaching as Moral Imagination"



Downtown Presbyterian Church Second Venue

“We are a downtown church.  Some regard this as a handicap.  I look upon it as an asset.  Give me a church where life is densest, and human need is greatest – not a church in some sequestered sylvan retreat, not a temple in some lonely solitude far removed from the walks of life and attended only by the children of privilege and leisure, but give me a church whose doorstep is on the pavement, against whose walls beat and lap the tides of labor, whose hymns mingle with the rattle of cars and the groans of traffic, whose seats are within easy reach of men falling under heavy burdens, and whose altars are hallowed by the publican’s prayer.  God grant that this old church on the busiest corner of town may increasingly be this kind of church!” - Rev. Dr. James I. Vance, on the 100th Anniversary of the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville, 1914.

Downtown Presbyterian Church

Presbyterians have worshiped at the corner of Fifth and Church since 1816. In that year the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville built their first structure. After the Battle of New Orleans, the State of Tennessee presented General Andrew Jackson with a ceremonial sword on the front steps of the church. By 1954, the First Church congregation was thinking of leaving the city, and moving out to the suburbs. By vote they did so, and through the encouragement of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and local efforts, they were convinced not to tear down the building for a parking garage site. Instead, they were prevailed upon to sell it to their own members who did not wish to leave Downtown Nashville. So, in 1955 The Downtown Presbyterian Church was formed. Walking into the sanctuary for the first time it is hard to say which is more striking: the Egyptian Revival motif or the organ. Both the art and the organ come with a long and rich history and both have played their part in our witness to God's love. Downtown Presbyterian Church has continued to minister to the needs of the city from this prime location. Rev. Kenneth M. Locke has been pastor of The Downtown Presbyterian Church of Nashville, TN since October 1, 2002.

Join us as we celebrate the 21st Festival of Homiletics in this historic building on the corner of Church & 5th. It is an impressive landmark, but the "church" is the people – including you!

Downtown Presbyterian Church

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