Bethany Theological Seminary celebrated the naming of Patterson House, one of its student housing properties, along with a dedication of the Bethany Neighborhood at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, April 10. Along with members of Bethany’s administration who spoke, Amy Holthouse, president of the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, represented the Chamber.
Lowell Flory, executive director of institutional advancement, spoke words of appreciation for Ivan and Clara Patterson of Greenville, Ohio, who have given years of volunteer service to the Seminary. Clara served on Bethany’s board of trustees from 1987-2000, and Ivan chaired the building committee for the Bethany Center when the Seminary relocated to Richmond from Oak Brook, Illinois, in 1994. The Pattersons also created and managed the former Brethren Housing Organization, which provided residential properties for Bethany’s use, including the newly named Patterson House.
Three student rental properties along with Brethren House, the Seminary’s guest house, comprise the Bethany Neighborhood near the intersection of SW C Street and College Ave. Within the past two years, the rental homes have been remodeled to offer flexible living arrangements, and common backyard space has been opened up. Much of the interior work was done by Church of the Brethren volunteers from Maryland and southern Ohio, led by Miller Davis from Westminster, Maryland. The Seminary is making the homes available at low rent to help offset student debt and build the residential student body.
Jeff Carter, president of Bethany, spoke about the importance of the neighborhood to Bethany’s program and that it is also an investment in the community. “The Bethany Neighborhood is a creative student housing project which emphasizes Church of the Brethren values of community and simplicity. Building on a twenty-year presence in the Richmond community, Bethany is seeking to be a blessing to this city and our students.”
Following the ceremony, guests had the opportunity to walk through some of the houses, and refreshments were served at Mullen House.