History of The First Christian Spiritualist Temple
“Early American churches executed in the Georgian style are not uncommon, but one might well wonder how so excellent an example of Norman architecture happened to be built in Columbus, Ohio in the year 1857.”
Thus wrote architect Daniel W. Weiny in the year 1923. His five page article in the magazine Architecture included photographs and many measured drawings of this church and its elegant details.
"It was once Westminister Presbyterian Church and its membership included many of the young city’s most prominent members. It was completed 113 years ago at a cost of $16,000. Architect Weiny wrote, “The entrance …is particularly interesting, the columns on each side being cast of iron, the archivolt of stone, and the heavy walnut doors with their quaint wrought iron hinges impart the impression of dating back to 1157 instead of 1857.”
Many other details are extraordinarily handsome, including beautiful twin walnut stairways and graceful roof trusses. The rich stained glass windows were brought from Belgium.
The entrance which Weiny considers noteworthy is, indeed, much noticed and was once featured in a television film. Its zig-zag mouldings and fantastic columns have never been duplicated in these parts. A planned spire was never built.
The story of its acquisition by the Spiritualists is as interesting as the church’s architecture. Old Westminister, once vigorous and well attended, fell upon evil days as the years went by. At about the century’s turn, it was dissolved and its congregation joined another. The building was put up for sale.
Eva Fay, a Spiritualist minister and medium, was consulted by Ebeneezer Barcus. He had been offered what seemed a large sum for a big block of railroad stock he owned. He wanted to know whether he should sell or wait for a better offer. He is said to have promised to buy the Spiritualists a church if he got profitable advice. Eva Fay told him to hold the stock for a rise. He did so and sold out later at a huge profit.
According to the story, Barcus was as good as his word. He bought this church and put it in the name of three trustees for the Spiritualists. The church is still operated and governed today by a Board of Trustees.
[The above paraphrases an article that appeared in the Columbus Vignette on January 25, 1970. We are so very proud to have been able to continue the upkeep of this unique structure that is now on the National Register of Historic Buildings and maintain it as a place to find peace and solace with God.]