Praying for Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church

Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church in the aftermath of Jan. 16 fire

Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church in the aftermath of Jan. 16 fire

Our hearts go out to the congregation of the Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church and its pastor, Rev. Willa Fae Williams, in the wake of the devastating fire that struck their historic church building yesterday morning.

Many sources have reported on the fire, and on the congregation’s response — loss, mixed with determination to trust God in the midst of every circumstance. (Here are links to several: Jerry Van Marter’s Presbyterian News Service report; Broken Sidewalk’s report and photo gallery; Wave 3 News coverage of the fire and more on congregational response; the Courier-Journal’s report)

Rev. Leah Ellison Bradley, in the Louisville Seminary’s Alum and Church Relations Office, shared with the community the large number of Seminary alums and students who have had connections with the Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church over its long history. Among those 17 pastors and 10 field education students is Rev. Jane Krauss-Jackson, (M.Div. ’74).

By now, some may have forgotten that the late Jane Krauss-Jackson was the first woman ordained by the Presbytery of Louisville. She was installed as pastor of the Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church on November 24, 1974. (Source: John E. Kleber, The Encyclopedia of Louisville (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2001), p. 726)

(The Women’s Center has been building a fund to support an award, The Jane Krauss-Jackson Award for Collaborative Ministry, in recognition of Rev. Jane Krauss-Jackson’s achievements in that area, and of the impact of this beloved pastor and colleague on the many with whom she worked. Plans to make the first of what will, we hope, be an annual award are still being developed.)

The Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church has announced plans to worship in space offered by Our Lady’s Catholic Church, 3525 Rudd Avenue, Louisville 40212. Worship begins at 10:45 a.m. Sunday.

We hope and pray that the people of Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church will experience very strongly, at this time, the power of the Holy Spirit, the communion of saints, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

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