First Christian honoring departing church leader

Dan Wallace, the longtime organist and current Generations, Outreach and Worship minister at First Christian Church, will be honored 6 p.m. Sunday at the church, 531 Fifth St. in Columbus.

A musical tribute will open the gathering in the worship center, followed by a reception in the fellowship hall.

Wallace, 58, is planning to return to his native Williamsburg, Virginia, to do chaplaincy work, aiming to pair it with music.

He also hopes to continue his expertise in building community partnerships for programs and projects.

Besides his roles at the church in the past 19 years, Wallace’s ministry and leadership has reached well into the community.

Wallace and people such as Vicky Gelfius helped lead a 500-volunteer effort, “A First Christmas,” a birth-of-Christ and Dickens drama downtown that attracted about 7,000 people annually for six years in the early 2000s.

Out of that program came Extreme Hope Makeover, in which church volunteers worked alongside organizations such as Housing Partnerships Inc. to refurbish local homes.

Wallace also worked extensively in recent years with city-wide Earth Day Green-Up efforts focusing on refurbishing and renewing area neighborhoods.

In eight years, it has grown from 15 volunteers to more than 300.

Sunday’s gathering is open to all.

Information: 812-379-4491 or fccoc.org.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.