Complete Story


Opportunity to support Jacob's Porch, OSU Campus Ministry

“This is the closest I have ever come to feeling God’s presence"- Adam Schmidt, Class of 2018.


Over the last decade, Jacob's Porch has become a ministry synonymous with creative, innovative, adaptive community life that is shaping leaders who have had a church-wide impact. In the past ten years, more than 15 students have entered 10 different seminaries across a wide range of Christian faith traditions, making leaders in Lutheran, Presbyterian, Mennonite, and Methodist churches. Students have served the church abroad through the Young Adults in Global Mission program of the ELCA, teaching in schools in Africa and South Korea, or working locally in Ohio to bring relief in food deserts and community clinics because of the impact on their identity through our collective work for justice at Jacob's Porch.  Numerous current leaders in the church have benefitted from their experience at Jacob's Porch and continue to bring fresh eyes and ideas to ministry across the United States and abroad as a result of their involvement in our multiple internship programs, such as our gap year experiences for college students and seminary internship and mentorship programs. People across the church look to Jacob's Porch as a pioneer in ministry to millennials and have learned from our example. It is without question: Jacob's Porch is at the forefront in generating leaders faithful to the grace-message of Jesus.

Thanks to the generosity of so many individuals, churches and Porch Partners just like you, campus ministry happens year-round on the front doorstep of The Ohio State University. To ensure Jacob’s Porch remains strategically positioned at this location, with the greatest potential to reach even more students, we are seeking to raise $300,000. Gifts given of any size will first fund the purchase of this 45 East 13th Avenue property outright, then maintenance costs and/or future renovation.Will you join us in giving a gift?  Can you also join us in sharing this opportunity and good news?

In September 2017, Jacob’s Porch was contacted by our property’s co-owner, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod – Ohio District (LCMS); seeking to sell the LCMS’s 50% share of the property to Jacob’s Porch. Thanks to the collective efforts of many key leaders from several Porch Partner congregations and all three ELCA Ohio synods, all the involved parties have agreed to the terms of this property title transfer.

Jacob’s Porch and the LCMS agreed on a property value of $467,000 with a $100,000 credit for outstanding maintenance.  The LCMS has agreed to give Jacob’s Porch full ownership of the property for half of this reduced amount less monies applied from previous capital improvements bringing the final price to $173,500, due June 1, 2018. Jacob’s Porch also agreed to complete all deferred maintenance (estimated at $100,000) or pay the LCMS $50k by June 1, 2023 (pro-rated for deferred maintenance completed).

To date, we’ve already received gifts of over $125,000!  This would not be possible without you and generous people like you!  This makes us very confident that we will reach our short-term goal of $173,500, by June 1, and propel us toward our targeted goal of $300,000 by 2023.

The Jacob’s Porch Ministry Board is deeply committed to investing every gift wisely. Each gift received for this appeal will be earmarked first for the building purchase, then maintenance and/or renovations. The amount of deferred maintenance within the current facility, and the five-year timetable, gives us time to consider the best options for every generous resource.  Already full property ownership is opening up new opportunities for our Ministry Board to think strategically with Porch Partner congregations about this vital ministry’s future structure and to consider every best use of the Jacob’s Porch facility and property for today and tomorrow as a platform for ministry.

We are excited to secure continued ownership to operate this robust ministry in this premiere location at OSU’s doorstep.  If you’d like to receive a copy of this full Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiated with the LCMS, and/or hear more about our new innovative and forward thinking board and support structure, please connect with us!

Thank you for your support, prayers, and partnership at this critical time; please contact us with any further questions you may have. We also invite you to track the progress of this appeal and give a gift by visiting our website: If you prefer, send a check payable to “Jacob's Porch” (memo line "13th Ave") and mail it to:

Jacobs Porch
45 E. 13th. Ave
Columbus, Ohio 43201

We give thanks to God for Jacob’s Porch, and your partnership in this campus ministry!

With thankful hearts,

Rev. Grant Eckhart

Rev. Shelley Nelson-Bridger, President

Troy Baer, Vice President

Ben Buss, Secretary

Kevin Saionzkowski, Treasurer

Marta Diem, Board Member

Karen Lintala, Board Member

Matt Pittman, Board Member

Erin Wesner, Student Board President, Board Member

Brianna Fries, Student Board Treasurer, Board Member

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