Brewed with Love: Learn the Inspiring Story Behind Central’s Coffee Culture!

Step into Central on any Sunday morning and you’ll be greeted by the inviting aroma of freshly brewed coffee drifting from the bustling concourse. This cherished tradition, now known as the Central Café, has a rich history woven into the fabric of Central’s fellowship.

Serving coffee or tea has been a long tradition at Central. In the 90’s, the percolators were in a corner of the church where they were filled with water and coffee grounds to be ready before the 8 a.m. service. Ava Parran-Carey was a consistent and energetic coffee maker who came very early with her two sons, Byron and Brandon, to get pots brewing. She and many Centralites, Kathy Troch, Ed and Louise Klohr, Chris and Diane Carter, Bill and Pat Schwartz, Patty Dixon, Larry Jones, Erica Williams, Gary Espey, and others were faithful volunteers.

The Worship Center was built in 2008 with a new concourse between the two worship areas. A team was brought together to see how best to “foster a space for people to connect, linger and hang out.” A search for the preferred coffee beans led to Zeke’s Coffee Company, which trained volunteers and set up the cafe. Many staff and volunteers worked with Zeke’s Coffee to learn the technique for making a fresh cup of Joe. A good use of our space for fostering good conversations and a welcoming environment for a good cup of hot coffee was the goal!

The coffee process includes not only grinding the beans but also specific equipment, optimal water temperature and measurements, a safe source of very hot water, brewers, and pots. The coffee team included devoted Centralites who wanted to serve others and they became a close group.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

– Ephesians 2:10

What happened when COVID changed how we worshiped and communicated? The team members missed serving together at the Coffee Cafe and keeping in touch with each other. They decided to have a Zoom small group meeting at the time they would have been brewing coffee for Central. This special time of connection continued during COVID. For our team, some very substantial relationships were built, particularly during those weekly Zoom calls for two years. Various people went through difficult times, and this was one of the only groups where they could share and be a part of a family to laugh together.

The team has a schedule for those who prepare, refill and clean up the Coffee Cafe each week. Beans are ground and measured to be ready to brew. The water is ready at the proper temperature for tea and coffee. The Cafe volunteers fill and refill the pots, and clean all the equipment after the last service. It is a great place to volunteer for fellowship and service.

Volunteers Dave and Bonnie Kramer said that they volunteer here because they not only enjoy coffee, but love talking to and helping people and want to do what God calls them to do. John Pilotte and Glen Wischhusen both enjoy meeting and talking to people while they serve. Be sure to thank the team you see each Sunday and volunteer to help!

Share this article: