On Saturday, October 13, 2018, nearly 70 Christian Union leadership, faculty, financial partners, and friends marked a jubilant dedication of the new ministry center at Columbia University in Upper Manhattan. Festivities included a dedication ceremony, brunch, and tours of the new facility.
This joyful day was over five years in the making. In 2013 Christian Union learned that a private residence, just steps from Columbia University, might become available to purchase as a ministry center. The owner put the building up for sale in 2017. The Lord provided the money needed to acquire the building just days before the owner planned to put it on the public market.
From left: Rand and Laurie Unger; Peter and Linda Cline; Matt Bennett; Kim and Bob Rankin.
An outpouring of gifts made the center possible, including an extraordinary $700,000 matching gift by the BridgeHead Foundation. The center was also made possible by the generous support of Glen and Betty Jane Knecht, the Stover Foundation, and 250 other financial partners.
The building is located at 529 West 113th Street, one block from Columbia's Butler Library and in the heart of student housing. Three undergraduate residential halls and five fraternities / sororities sit on the same block.
Lane Young, Christian Union ministry director at Columbia, said he met more new students in his first three days at the center than in the previous year of ministry. The incredible location of the building will be transformational for the ministry and for students’ lives.
The urgent need for the ministry center was underscored by a heartbreaking event just two days earlier, when a Columbia sophomore committed suicide in his residential hall on the same street. The young woman who discovered him was the roommate of a Christian Union student. It was a sobering reminder of the pressing need to share the hope and love of Jesus Christ in a hurting world.
The prayer of dedication included these words:
"Bless the Columbia community by moving powerfully in this space. Prepare the way for the Gospel to be made known to generations of men and women. Remove every obstacle that would prevent your Word from going forth. By your power, transform the minds, hearts, and wills of all who enter this building and draw near to you."Join us in praising God for those who will be saved and transformed through His work at the center.