HONORING OUR PAST: RADICAL GENEROSITY
Radical generosity has truly been a mainstay of Worthington Christian School’s 50-year history. In our year-long weekly glance back at this history, we’ve mentioned how Grace Brethren Pastor Jim Custer began to share his vision for the church to offer a Christ-centered dayschool option in Central Ohio in the early 1970s. Many men and women within the Grace Brethren faith community caught that same vision and began taking steps toward making it a reality. Finances were a significant part of that process. It was decided by the church’s Dayschool Committee that tuition fees would cover operational expenses for the school, but additional funds were needed for the construction of a school building. Securing building funds would require the time, energy, and social and financial support of many people. Indeed, many individuals responded to the call with sacrificial giving and generosity. Among the earliest supporters of WC family was a family who felt so strongly about the school’s mission and vision that they were willing to take a large personal risk.
Neil and Deignese Crabbe have been faithful members of Grace Brethren Church since its earliest days. When they heard of Pastor Custer’s vision for a Christian dayschool, they felt God stirring their hearts to be a part of it somehow. A successful land developer in Central Ohio, Mr. Crabbe played an instrumental part in acquiring the property just south of the original church building at 6670 Worthington Galena Road for the construction of a school building. He even donated a parcel of land that he owned for this same purpose. After the land acquisition, he and a group of men from Grace Brethren met with the then-Senior Vice President of the Federal Savings Bank and presented him with plans for the school building project. Before the loan application would be considered, the bank needed to know who was going to be responsible for payment of the loan. Mr. Crabbe agreed to personally guarantee the payment of the debt should the need arise. He and Mrs. Crabbe later signed their names to the loan as guarantors for the construction of the building on that property.
To this day, the Crabbes are still committed to seeing Worthington Christian School flourish. The courtyard located within the Upper School campus bears their names and serves as a beautiful reminder of how faithful our God is and what an impact radical generosity can have on shaping generations of students. Mr. Crabbe shares in his own words, “Deignese and I are very, very proud of Worthington Christian…we are most thankful for the administrators for their excellent leadership roles. We are grateful for our dedicated teachers and the staff over the 50 years who have given students a Christ-centered education by their sacrificial service to them, and for teaching our students in an environment that provides spiritual and intellectual and social learning.”
Countless families in the Worthington Christian’s earliest day, through their radical generosity and commitment to the school’s mission, paved the way for 50 years of sustained excellence and continued growth.