Faith Friday: Common Space

Former Central Christian Church campus continues to house faith groups, activities

Central Christian Church is no more, but the campus at 4711 Westside Drive will remain home to various church groups, activities, and other tenants after the Central Commons nonprofit raised the money to close on it in early July.

Central Commons, led by Blake Schwarz, who serves as the director of faith and work at Park Cities Presbyterian Church, raised more than $1.4 million from donors for the property. A foundation then agreed to lend $1 million for a year, which provided the remaining money needed to close on the property.

“In view of this provision, I am prepared to commit to seeing this venture through. I have resolved to focus more of my time and effort on growing Central Commons,” Schwarz said in an email to supporters of the preservation efforts. “This pivotal location has been the site of much good work. I hope that you will see this as a place where you can contribute to the building up of the one church in Dallas through the perpetual incubation and growth of new church communities at this unique location.”

Schwarz will continue to serve as president of the new nonprofit.

“We are overjoyed and anticipating great things from the Lord as we look forward to this next season in the life of Central Commons,” he added.

The historic Central Christian Church congregation held a final service in April. The church’s last pastor, Ken Crawford, cited declining attendance and financial resources over time as the reason for the church’s closure.

The congregation started in 1863 on the second floor of a downtown blacksmith’s shop and moved to the Westside Drive location in 1952.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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