For over 100 years, Edenside Christian Church has graced the one of the busiest corners on one of the busiest commercial streets in Louisville, KY. A fixture in the historic Highlands neighborhood, the Edenside building saw more coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants and even tattoo parlors come and go over the decades than is almost imaginable.
Edenside was a haven for folks from all walks of life, offering the love of God to anyone who came in search of it, be that a homeless man or a downtown banker or a neighborhood school teacher. Perhaps Edenside’s greatest legacy was its insistence that ALL were welcome at Edenside. And…ALL meant all.
After a long period of declining membership and financial resources, a story known all too well by so many local congregations, the faithful leadership at Edenside made a decision to sell the building and cease existence as a congregation. Their last worship service was held Easter Sunday, in April of 2014—the choice of a day itself testament to unshakeable faith of the “Edensiders.”
It was important to Edenside that the money used from the sale of the building and property be used in faithful and effective ways, and in mid-fall of 2014, Lexington Theological Seminary received word that Edenside had established a permanent fund at Christian Church Foundation. In the words of Louise Coomer, who served as Board Chair at Edenside during their final years:
"(Through CCF) yearly donations will go to several Christian organizations - including Highland Community Ministries - which Edenside was active participant and the Christian Church Homes. But all were in agreement to keep the memory and spirit alive for Edenside,
Lexington Theological Seminary also needed to be on the list. This will perpetuate our legacy, our memory, our love of our church for many years.
These have been difficult and sad times, but each of us carries in our heart that the spirit of Edenside will live on in our legacy for many years to come."
Such tremendous witness to all that had come before them at Edenside, and all that could one day be thanks to their careful thought and faithful planning. At the Seminary, we give thanks for the people that have been Edenside, and stand in gratitude for their beautiful generosity.
- By Julia Richardson,
Lexington Theological Seminary