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First Presbyterian Church Church steeple inspires community

Published: 10/29/12 @ 12:00


STORY & PHOTOS

BY William D. Lewis

YOUNGSTOWN

Soaring 175 feet above the corner of Wick Avenue and Wood Street, punctuating Youngstown’s skyline, is a city landmark.

The steeple of First Presbyterian Church, 201 Wick Ave., is seen by thousands of people daily and is one of the most readily recognized structures in the city.

The steeple and church were built in 1960 near where the original congregation of First Presbyterian began worshipping in a log cabin more than 200 years ago.

The stainless steel covering on the steeple reflects not only the sun and clouds but also the Mahoning Valley’s steel heritage.

Historically, church steeples served practical purposes such as housing bell and clock towers, or indicating the location of a church. They also were intended to guide viewers eyes upward toward the heavens.

The Rev. Dr. Nick Mager, pastor of First Presbyterian, hopes the local steeple inspires people to a higher and better way of doing things.

“The steeple of our church is a very important part of our witness. It suggests that we lift people’s thoughts toward a higher possibility,” the Rev. Dr. Mager said.

The view of downtown from the steeple is spectacular and well worth the steep climb up several flights of steps and ladders.

Inside the steeple is a mechanism powering the clocks that can be seen on all four sides of the structure. A catwalk above the clock level houses loudspeakers where music can be sounded.

In the future, Dr. Mager thinks its unlikely that anything higher or taller than the First Presbyterian steeple will be built in Youngstown, but he hopes the steeple will remain a focal point for the city.

He offers this analogy when talking about the steeple: “Its like In-Spire-ation. That’s what the spire of the church is all about.”