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Next Up Columbus 2022: Jake Marrah

Jake Marrah
Jake Marrah

Photo courtesy of Jake Marrah

Interview by Derek Grosso

Name: Jake Marrah
Age: 28
Profession: Family Outreach Pastor, Columbus Dream Center
Neighborhood: Near East Side
Education: BS in Education from the Ohio Sate University. Masters in Biblical Studies and Counseling (’23) from Calvary Chapel University.
Community Involvement: Columbus Dream Center and Rock City Church
Quote: “God will take you places you can’t go alone.” – Pastor Steve Campbell
Connect: Instagram | Facebook

Give us a snapshot of your path: Since 2014, I’ve had the absolute privilege of working for a non-profit organization now known as the Columbus Dream Center. My role includes leading after school programs, block parties, home visits, and mentoring programs for K-12 students within multiple disadvantaged communities in Columbus. In my time building relationships with children and families through the Dream Center, my eyes have been opened to the everyday realities of injustice, fear, anxiety, deception, hopelessness, hatred, and division while simultaneously witnessing God’s ability to bring justice, faith, peace, truth, hope, love, and unity. I’ve experienced the incredible joy found in walking through heartbreak with others, being a part of “the village” that surrounds the single parent, meeting a child in elementary school and seeing them graduate high school, watching individuals from different cultures become family, helping the aimless find purpose, stepping out of my comfort zone to join others in their discomfort, and more. This “incredible joy” I am talking about will not come in our pursuit of the next high, but in the relationships that carry us through the lows. If you don’t know this joy for yourself, I’ll go ahead and make a shameless plug here and invite you to join me Monday through Saturday at the Dream Center or on Sundays at Rock City Church!

What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
My wife and I have three boys (4 months, 2 years, and 5 years), and they are usually the alarm that wakes us up in the morning. My relationship with Jesus, family, and friends get me through the week!

What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
My parents and wife’s parents, Cris and Liz Gordon, Pastor Steve Campbell and Wanda Campbell, Pastors Chad and Katie Fisher, Pastor Gerald Murphy, and Pastor Dave Pound. As for advice, have a good definition of success! If your definition is unclear or poorly constructed, you are heading towards disappointment.

What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
My family loves taking walks around our neighborhood together. Personally, I am refreshed at Metro Parks and on Columbus’ bike trails.

What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
Upper Cup Coffee, Roosevelt Coffee, Amul India Restaurant, and the Columbus Dream Center.

When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher. This childhood dream really wasn’t too far off from my current reality.

What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
The Bible, Counseling the Hard Cases edited by Stuart Scott and Heath Lambert, Theology of Biblical Counseling by Heath Lambert, and Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund.

What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
It really is an honor. One of the Dream Center’s volunteers nominated me, and to know he thought I should have this award is such an encouragement and blessing. Thanks Steven!

If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
The best is yet to come. Columbus is growing and has so much in store for its future. If you are not already on the Cbus train then its time to jump onboard, because you won’t want to miss what is next!


The Next Up Columbus Awards highlight emerging leaders who are connectors and ambassadors in central Ohio and who are making a positive impact on the future of Columbus. The Columbus Young Professionals Club would like to offer special thanks to our 2022 co-presenters, Discover Financial, Ohio Dominican University and Spectrum for their support of this year’s awards program. Meet the entire “Class of 2022” »

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