We are a downtown church. Some regard this as a handicap. I look upon it as an asset. Give me a church where life is densest, and human need is greatest – not a church in some sequestered sylvan retreat, not a temple in some lonely solitude far removed from the walks of life and attended only by the children of privilege and leisure, but give me a church whose doorstep is on the pavement, against whose walls beat and lap the tides of labor, whose hymns mingle with the rattle of cars and the groans of traffic, whose seats are within easy reach of men falling under heavy burdens, and whose altars are hallowed by the publican’s prayer. God grant that this old church on the busiest corner of town may increasingly be this kind of church!
- -Rev. Dr. James I. Vance, on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville, 1914
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