Local Pastor Brings Passion to His Ministry: Olmsted Dates and Data


OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio – Steven Gower arrived at Olmsted Community Church as a pastor in May 2020. Yes, in the midst of the COVID-19 shutdown.

Being a pastor is a challenge in itself. Pastor Steven, however, turned this challenge into a blessing.

“It was tough,” he says. “I made home phone calls to a number of people who were home (locked up) members. I contacted those who have multiple connections and asked who I could help by contacting them and calling them. In our newsletter, I wrote a lot about myself, which I don’t like to do, but it was a way for people to get to know me. They asked questions, so we communicated well that way.

Steven, who was pastor in Massillon and Brunswick before coming to Olmsted Falls, said the church has more than 400 families. He said he had “prayed through” this whole list because they had not been able to meet.

“You can be in the most vulnerable times of their lives and sit and mourn or celebrate their child’s birthday,” he said. “COVID took that away from people. You can pray with them over the phone, but it’s not the same. It was difficult, ”he said.

The blessing came when he realized that the church did not have the capacity to broadcast live services. He and others were able to stream from the dining room and basement. Thanks to grants and donations from members, they were able to upgrade the technology of the church. They broadcast live services, ran an online course for the Northeast Ohio School of Ministry, ran virtual classes, and produced his preschool diploma to those who couldn’t see him in person.

“Only the immediate families were able to attend the graduation ceremony, but thanks to our new technological capabilities, thanks to several people who helped us, we received over 300 views. Although everything is more and more open, some still cannot attend in person. One of our departing members was able to see us while he was on a boat. Thanks to technology, we are becoming more welcoming to the community. This is an opportunity for the ministry, ”he said.

Pastor Steven Gower of the Olmsted Community Church in Olmsted Falls encouraged the necessary changes to various parts of the interior of the church building, including the sanctuary. He prefers this conference booth, which young member Natalie Golier drew and painted, rather than the stationary ambo. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special for cleveland.com)

His family, wife Tara and children Jayda, 7, Ben, 6, and Jovi, 2, live in Olmsted Falls. He grew up in Suffield Township and Tara, Brimfield Township. They met in the fourth grade. They stayed in touch while they were in college and got married in 2007. He and Tara took in five children. Jovi was the first of five they got the chance to adopt. And they cherished this idea.

He is passionate about his ministry. He sees “the church” more than just a building where people gather.

“I have a great vision of awareness. We are not here to be a country club, but a community resource house for building relationships. And they are building, ”he said. “We have to have a relationship with people, find needs inside and outside the community and build partnerships in which people have a passion. It is to be turned outward.

The Olmsted Community Church has a relationship with Christians in Action’s pantry, Charlotte’s Closet, has supported two Boy Scout groups during COVID, is set to reopen its doors to Alcoholics Anonymous and others. The church will raise awareness of the homeless by bringing the homeless Jesus statue near its front doors and the covered bridge. It will arrive later this month and will stay until August.

He said his advice for people right now is to get vaccinated, if possible.

“It allows more to come together and worship in the presence of God among us fearlessly and safely,” he said. “The best way to show God’s love is to get vaccinated to protect others. “

a miniature version of homeless Jesus

This is a miniature version of the homeless Jesus statue. The church brings the larger version that internationally renowned sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz created to draw attention to the homeless. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special for cleveland.com)

Welcome to the community, Pastor Steven. We look forward to sharing this passion for God’s work with you and those you serve.

Irish Pub: The West Side Irish-American Club continues to serve dinner from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays. Happy hour at the bar starts at 4:30 p.m. The animations take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The July 9 special is made with paprikash chicken, spaetzle, stir-fried salad, bun and butter. Canyon Wind Trio will play music until 9 p.m. For take out orders, call 440-235-5868.

Kampus Bravo: Angela Milano of Olmsted Township won the Dean’s List honor at the University of Tampa for the 2021 spring semester. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.75 for achievement.

Skyler Miner, a junior from Cleveland State University, made the dean’s list. She is also a member of the National Honor Society of CSU.

Goal achieved and account: The Olmsted Community Center celebrates its 20th anniversary. The non-profit organization has provided many services to the community, regardless of the age of the beneficiaries. It receives no local, state or school funding.

During their fundraiser this year, a supporter offered to donate $ 2,500 if the center raised at least 125 “$ 20 for 20” commemorative donations.

Thanks to you, this goal was reached and the sponsor added their $ 2,500 to the OCC fundraiser. The total is now $ 11,297. The center appreciates the support of the community as it continues to collect donations. If you would like to donate, all you need to do is deposit or mail a check or go to the link online, https://bit.ly/3AvN778.

The center offers so many services. Contributing to his fundraising is just one way of saying “thank you” for everything he does.

Yoga Saturday: This Saturday (July 10) is the second of three outdoor yoga events at East River Park. It starts at 10 a.m. The Olmsted Falls Parks and Recreation Council and Kelly Patrick, owner of Circle of Life Yoga in Olmsted Township, are sponsoring the event. The last session is August 14.

All you need to bring to the free sessions is water, a cooling cloth, a yoga mat, and a relaxed attitude.

Recall: The grassroots effort to create “Olmsted People’s Heritage Days” August 6-8 continues. If you are planning a garage sale this summer, why not hold it this weekend and create a citywide event with it. Do you have any other ideas in which you and the community can bring that hometown feeling here since the annual Heritage Days will not be held this year? Contact Jim Wallace, [email protected], or Jen Jansen, [email protected] You can be part of this hometown effort.

Heads up: The Grand Pacific Junction will be hosting a Christmas on July 25 in July. This full-day event runs from noon to 5 p.m. Vendors will have various gift baskets and prizes. There will be outdoor craft, music and food stalls. More details will appear in an upcoming column.

Information, please: To include news, information, honors or activities in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township, contact Joanne DuMound at [email protected]. She’s also on Twitter, @JoanneDuMound. The online version of the column at cleveland.com/olmsted has direct links for many news.

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