GREENVILLE — Greenville Grace Brethren Church celebrates its 23rd anniversary this Easter season. Their March 28 blood drive marked 15 years of hosting Community Blood Center Blood Drives in the “narthex” of their beautiful church on Ohio 49.
Narthex is the name of the gathering space as you enter the church, which includes a welcoming coffee bar and big windows that look out on fields turning green with spring.
Beds for platelet and plasma donors were lined up in front of the narthex windows, while rows of chairs were moved aside in the main church to make room for the donor beds for whole blood donors.
“We’re not totally sure where the name comes from,” said Pastor Danny Wright as he donated at Monday’s blood drive. “That’s what the builder called it.”
It turns out a narthex is the name used for the western entrance of some early Christian churches and refers now to an antechamber or porch in a modern church. At Greenville Grace, it is indeed the western entrance.
Jamie and Steve Baker are Greenville Grace members who came to donate with their nephew David. They are among some regular Grace donors who know the gathering space is the narthex, but not sure of the name’s origin. They are proud of the way the church supports the blood drive. “One of the things I like is there is a lot of staff here at Greenville Grace who donate as well.”
“It’s a good chance for the community,” said Pastor Wright, who is one of many staff members who donates at the blood drives. “We see people come in from the church.”
Daniel and Teressa Pierce helped found Greenville Grace, which began with small group meetings. The first public service was held on Palm Sunday of 1999.
The congregation originally met at the Greenville Inn. They then used a building on Fair Street until their current church was completed on New Year’s Day 2006.
The church has been a CBC blood drive partner since February 2007 and currently hosts three blood drives per year. Monday’s blood drive totaled 49 whole blood donors and 42 donations plus nine platelet and plasma donors.
Greenville donor Becky Garrison made her milestone 75th lifetime donation Monday. She donates at blood drives all around the Greenville area and Greenville Grace is one of her favorite places. “You get right in,” said Becky. “I’m usually in a hurry to get it done!”
The next blood drive is scheduled for July 25 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Blood donation requirements: Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors are also asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with parental consent: form available at www.givingblood.org or at the Dayton CBC and mobile blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (you may have to weigh more depending on your height), and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions can email [email protected] or call 937-461-3220. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com.