Where We Pray: St. John's Westminster Union Church takes itself 'seriously, but not too seriously'

CINCINNATI - The Tri-State is rich in the number and variety of houses of worship. In our weekly feature, WCPO shines the spotlight on where we pray.

St. John’s Westminster Union Church

  • Address: 1085 Neeb Road, Cincinnati
  • Denomination: Presbyterian Church (USA) and United Church of Christ
  • Top Clergy: Rev. Dr. Kathy Barlow Westmoreland
  • Size of Congregation: 285
  • Core Beliefs: Christian, Reformed Tradition, Trinitarian
  • Affiliations: Presbytery of Cincinnati, Southwest Ohio Northern Kentucky Association of the UCC 

"Being a part of two denominations, we have unique resources and opportunities for programs and ministries. We also have a full and part-time day preschool, St. John’s Westminster Learning Center." -- Dr. Westmoreland

History:

This house of worship is the result of uniting of two historic churches on the West side of Cincinnati. Twelve years ago, Westminster Presbyterian Church and St. John’s United Church of Christ came together to become St. John’s Westminster Union Church. The Westminster congregation moved from Cleves Warsaw Pike to join the St. John’s congregation Neeb Road.

Both congregations had a strong history of mission and community outreach, as well as providing a welcoming community for those seeking to grow their faith and discipleship. Since that time they have continued to grow, and expanded their legacy of "devotion to serving God and neighbor."

"We take ourselves seriously, but not too seriously"

A sense of family and belonging is integral to the culture of the Union Church, according to Rev. Dr. Kathy Barlow Westmoreland, the pastor.

"We are a multi-generational church where the gifts and callings of all ages are affirmed and encouraged," she said. "Those seeking to make a difference in mission locally and around the world would certainly find a way to do that here." 

In her third year as chair of the congregation's outreach committee, Emily Stallo, 26, has attended the church since 1996 when her family joined.

Now married to Drew Stallo, she brings her two children to St. John's. She was attracted to the style of worship, the friendly people and the welcoming atmosphere. She comments on the blend of traditional and contemporary aspects of the church as well as the merger of two denominations.

That's fine with the pastor.

"We take seriously the call to love and serve God and neighbor, but we do not take ourselves too seriously," she said. "We believe the scripture that 'the joy of the Lord is my strength', and seek to enjoy our times of worship, community, learning, and serving with love, laughter, and joy defining all we do."

In the community

  • Pancake breakfast to support youth ministry programs and trips
  • Annual youth mission trip
  • Mission partnership with Washington United Church of Christ, Our Daily Bread, and Matthew 25, and support of other local mission programs
  • Midweek “Bridges of Faith” education program for all ages
  • Community fellowship events (Shrimp Boil, Blessing of the Pets)
  • Small group ministries (Working Women, Prayer Shawl Ministry, Women’s and Men’s Bible Study, Grief Support)

Sunday Worship: 10:00 a.m. A blended service with both contemporary and traditional elements. Children’s church during this service; nursery care provided; valet parking

For more information:

  • Website
  • Telephone: (513) 347-4613

Love your church? Tell us about it! Email holly.edgell@wcpo.com

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