Our Downtown location has two services each Sunday, a 9:30 am L.I.F.E. Service & a 10:30 am Traditional Service
9:30 am – L.I.F.E. Service
The L.I.F.E. Service is held in the Brady Fellowship Hall on the first floor of the building. L.I.F.E. stands for Living in Faith Everyday, and that is the focus of the L.I.F.E. Worship. This service offers elements of both contemporary and traditional worship. The service is more liturgical than typical contemporary services. The L.I.F.E. Worship Band leads the congregation in both contemporary praise music and hymns. It is a balance of the traditional and contemporary in an informal setting.
10:30 am – Sanctuary Service
Our historical sanctuary offers the perfect space for our traditional worship service. Featured in the service each Sunday is our 123-rank Reuter pipe organ. Except for the summer months, the Chancel Choir sings each Sunday, and the Celebration Ringers, as well as other instrumental ensembles and soloists enhance the worship experience at various times throughout the year.
History of the building
Our Downtown location is located in historic Downtown Lawrence. The lots where the Downtown church now sit were purchased in 1872, and plans were drawn up by architect George Wells for a Gothic ‘Stone’ church to be the “largest and finest west of the Mississippi outside of St. Louis.” The excavation for construction of the church began in October of 1872; however, construction was halted in 1873 due to widespread financial depression. In 1889, the cornerstone for the new church was laid and construction was resumed. The church building was completed in 1891 and was dedicated on May 21, 1891. The church membership at that time was 540 people. Over the years, the church has seen many additions and renovations, including the new education wing, which was added in 1962, the removal of the rear balcony in the Sanctuary in 1982, and creation of the fellowship hall, modern kitchen, education spaces, offices, and gathering area in 1986.
Our Pipe Organ
The Downtown Sanctuary holds our Russell Memorial Pipe Organ. In 1938, vice-president of the Reuter Organ Company, CB Russell, & his brother, Lloyd Russell, gave the church a new, state-of-the-art pipe organ as a memorial to their mother and father. It was known as a “Reuter four manual of unusual merit”. Over the years, it has been cared for by various organists. Due to ongoing expansions and improvements, it remains the largest pipe organ in Kansas.