Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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National City Christian Church
Thomas Circle

Senior Pastor: Dr. Stephen W. Gentle

Attendance: About 110

Service Length: About 75 minutes

Sample Worshipper Dress: Tweed jacket, olive corduroys

Famous Congregants: President James A. Garfield

Crying Toddlers: 1

Congregational Fervor

Sensing that worshippers at an 11 a.m. service were still a little drowsy, Gentle directed the sleepy congregation to glance at the loudly colored service bulletin. “It’s printed in a lovely red this morning,” said Gentle. “If you haven’t had a cup of coffee this morning, just have a look at the cover.”

Food for the Soul

A smile always on his face, Gentle seemed to delight in the delivery of his sermon so much that he had trouble wrapping it up. After beginning with an anecdote about Mark Twain, the circuitous sermon soon moved on to the apostle Paul, then to a Peanuts cartoon, and finally concluded with a story about an elementary school band.

Food for the Body

No food or drink was available at a recent Sunday morning service.

Overall Worship Power

National City Christian’s congregation is strong in virtue—particularly the virtue of patience. Though the bulletin alerted worshippers that they were free to “depart during the postlude…quietly and respectfully,” all waited politely as organist Stephen Kalnoske closed the service with a lengthy improvisation on the church’s 7,592-pipe Möller organ.