When our church building at 13th and Boswell was being planned, back in the very early 1920s, one important aspect of the design revolved around the idea of the building being a community center. In those days that meant a central location which could welcome a wide variety of neighborhood and community activities. To this end Boswell Junior High sports teams, notably basketball, practiced in Fellowship Hall, Washburn musicians sometimes held music recitals in our Sanctuary (if the music played was appropriately spiritual in nature), homeless refugees from the 1951 flood found safety and temporary shelter in our Sunday School classrooms. Our parlor has hosted many a community meeting.
Today we still welcome the community to our building. We at Westminster see our building as a part of what we can offer to the Topeka community, part of our mission to serve our neighbors. One reason (though there were many) we undertook the expense of installing an elevator was to be able to serve the area as a summer lunch site for school kids needing a noon meal. Westminster is a polling place – in every election area citizens cast their ballots in our parlor. The College Hill neighborhood association meets regularly in our building and organizations such as League of Women Voters sometimes choose to meet in our rooms. A number of other small groups meet at Westminster on a regular basis. Our gymnasium is still used by kids and adults for team practice. This summer, some fire fighters conducted a practice exercise in Fellowship Hall. We are grateful our building can serve the community in this way.