Roethlisberger, fiancee find acceptance at Christ Church
It is not uncommon to see Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and fiancee Ashley Harlan stay after Sunday service at Christ Church at Grove Farm in Ohio Township, mingling with parishioners where the couple will marry this weekend, a pastor at the church said.
"Ben and Ashley have been very consistent and genuine in their worship," the Rev. Bruce Cote, senior associate pastor and interim lead pastor, said Sunday. "I often see them talking with other people before and after services."
The couple joined the church about a year ago. After they did, a letter was sent to parishioners asking them to treat Roethlisberger like any other member. Cote said it is hard to know what Roethlisberger goes through, being such a popular sports figure, but added he and Harlan have embraced the church community.
"That is refreshing," Cote said. " 'Good job' I say to how they handle themselves."
Christ Church at Grove Farm offers two choices of worship. Roethlisberger and Harlan enjoy what is called the "Third Service," held in Wilson Hall. It provides high-energy music and a media-driven experience.
Their wedding most likely will be in the Sanctuary, which holds 1,300 people. Sanctuary services are a blend of traditional and contemporary styles in which music is presented by an instrumental ensemble, a robed choir and clergy, and a liturgical style of worship.
The Lakeside Cafe also is an important part of the Sunday experience for Roethlisberger and Harlan. It is centrally located and serves as a bridge between the Sanctuary and Third Service. It is where members mingle before and after services and have a cup of coffee, sandwich or pastry.
Cote is unsure how Roethlisberger and Harlan came to worship at the church but said other Steelers players are members.
Founded in 1995, the nondenominational church was formed from the Episcopal/Anglican tradition of worship and theology, which is reflected in the worship style of the church's Sanctuary services. Christ Church at Grove Farm is more than 2,000 members strong. Most attend one of two Sunday services every week.
The first Christ Church service was held in the ballroom of the Sewickley Country Inn on, coincidentally, July 23, the same day as Roethlisberger and Harlan's planned nuptials.
One of the greeters said yesterday that Roethlisberger and Harlan are a wonderful couple who attend service weekly when they are in town and that both come from Christian households from which their foundation of faith was formed.
"I know Ben's parents, and they are pillars of faith," Cote said. "And as you know, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New Steelers kicker Boswell ready for challenge at Heinz
- Steelers’ Bryant returns from drug suspension, ‘won’t happen again’
- Steelers notebook: Shazier practices, hopes to play Monday at Chargers
- Nothing normal about Steelers’ standard as backups fill vital roles
- New book credits Nunn for Steelers’ 1970s success
- Steelers QB Roethlisberger not targeting Oct. 25 return
- Steelers notebook: Safety Mitchell shrugs off Ravens WR’s comments
- Steelers film study: Team finds success blitzing members of secondary
- Steelers cut Scobee, sign free agent kicker Boswell
- Four downs: Williams brothers on the rise
- Rossi: Put this Steelers loss squarely on the kicker