Jump directly to the Content

Sacred Space, Shared Space

A city planner says it is time for churches to serve their communities by restoring sacred spaces to the public square.

Two of Mel McGowan's earliest memories are bombs exploding in Saigon during the Vietnam War and then, a few months later, gazing at the lights of Main Street USA at Disneyland. The juxtaposition of those scenes was, in his words, the start of his "weird wiring." McGowan was born to an American G.I. father and his Vietnamese wife near the end of the Vietnam War but was raised primarily in Germany. McGowan became a Christian in high school when his family moved to California. He then followed his best friend to film school with plans to influence the world through movies. But McGowan was soon drawn to architecture and urban planning courses.

After graduation he went to work for Disney designing a number of the entertainment company's properties, including Downtown Disney. McGowan now serves as the president of Visioneering Studios, a leading design firm for churches and ministries. Rather than communicating through movies, he found his calling by communicating through sacred space.

Leadership's ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Live from Shift: Ministry 2.0 in World 2.0
Live from Shift: Ministry 2.0 in World 2.0
Five adjustments we need to make in a changing culture.
From the Magazine
They Fled Ukraine, and Ukraine Followed
They Fled Ukraine, and Ukraine Followed
Escaping Russian missiles, some exiled believers found a new sense of purpose helping refugees.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.