Continued from part 1 of Cleveland Church History.
When there were but five Catholic families in the city, Rev. John Dillon organized St Mary's Church, the first
Catholic Church in Cleveland. The first meetings were held on Union Lane at the location of the Atwater Building,
erected later. Father John Dillon was the first resident priest and he began the project of building at once. Seeing
the future growth of Cleveland in his mind's eye, he raised some money in New York for the building of a church
here. He died in 1837 before the building of a church had been commenced but Rev. P. O'Dyer, who succeeded him
and carried on the work he had commenced, continued to raise subscriptions and add to the fund already raised by
Father Dillon. From the few Catholic families and from non-Catholics he raised sufficient funds to insure the erection
of "St. Mary's Catholic Church on the Flats." This historic church on Columbus Street was completed in
1838 but before its dedication Rev. O'Dyer had been succeeded by Rev. P. McLaughlin and mass was celebrated by
him in the new church in December of that year. The entire cost of the building, site and furnishings was $3,000.
It may be interesting to recite some of the family names connected with this first church. They include Denier,
Wichmann, Filias, Wamelink, Duffy, Alivel, Hanlon, Fitzpatrick and Mathews. At the risk of getting a little ahead
of our story it may be added here that Mr. Wamelink, who was for so many years prominent in musical circles in
Cleveland and as a dealer in musical instruments, played the organ in the old church at the last meeting before
its abandonment. It was not a pipe organ but a reed instrument which he took down to the church for this occasion.
Reverend McLaughlin was succeeded by Rev. Maurice Howard. He remained until 1847 when Rt. Rev. Amadeus Rappe, the
first Bishop of Cleveland, took possession and made St Mary's his cathedral and appointed Rev. Louis De Goesbriand
pastor of the church Previous to the coming of Bishop Rappe, Reverend McLaughlin was the only priest stationed
in Cleveland. Bishop Rappe was of French birth and had come to America as a missionary of his church and was well
known over the Maumee Valley for his zeal as a Christian worker, a pioneer, when, on the recommendation of Bishop
Purcell, located at Cincinnati, whose diocese included the whole of the State of Ohio, the diocese was divided
and Reverend Rappe was appointed by Pope Pius IX, Bishop of Cleveland. From the time of his appointment the Catholic
population of Cleveland increased rapidly, largely at first by the immigration from Germany and Ireland. He was
a total abstainer and one of his first pastoral letters published in March, 1851, contained this extract: "Among
the evils which prevail, and of which the progress and consequences are most alarming, is one which we have observed
for years, and more especially during our last visitation; it is one which fills with sorrow the hearts of your
pastors and counteracts all their efforts to promote your spiritual welfare; it is one which is more frightful
than any calamity which could befall you; which threatens not only to put an end to all decent observance of the
Sunday, but to eradicate piety and to destroy every sentiment that elevates and ennobles the Christian soul, to
bring inevitable ruin upon reason, honor and fortune the drinking shop, the sink wherein all that is good is buried."
The vigor with which the new bishop expressed his temperance sentiments in the days when the cause had made so
little progress illustrates the character of the man. Bishop Rappe was a real democrat and in that character a
model pioneer. In his first pastoral letter he says to the clergy, from whose ranks he had been elevated: "It
is indeed consoling, venerable brethren of the clergy, that in discharging the functions of a ministry so sublime
and perilous, I will be seconded by your devotion, your talents, your virtues and your experience. For several
years I have fought in your ranks, shared your toils, admired your zeal and witnessed with joy the success that
crowned your efforts. It was then one of my greatest pleasures while associated with you in the ministry to call
you friends, and now placed at your head, as the first sentinel of the camp of Israel, I desire more than ever
to be regarded as your friend and father, rather than your superior."
It would be a history of achievement to follow the twenty three years of his work as bishop of the Cleveland diocese.
He was a truly great man but like all in authority he had his troubles and these led to his resignation in 1870.
In brief, he was charged with favoring the French and German speaking priests over the Irish, and, finally, charges
against his character were taken to Rome. These charges he declared to be false but believing that another course
would bring injury to the church, he resigned. The fact that his monument now adorns the church yard of the cathedral
at East Ninth and Superior would indicate that the people of his diocese believed in him. As we have said, Bishop
Rappe, when he assumed his duties as Bishop of Cleveland, took possession of St. Mary's Church on the Flats and
made it his cathedral, but previous to that time, in 1845, Rev. Peter McLaughlin, observing that the trend of the
city was eastward, purchased, out in the woods, three lots from the heirs of the May estate. Father McLaughlin
had some plans drawn for a new cathedral on this site at the corner of the present Superior and East Ninth streets
but when the building of the structure was actually in hand, Bishop Rapped secured new plans from New York which
were followed in the construction. This, the second church building and first cathedral, designed as such, was
begun in 1848 and occupied later and named St. John's Cathedral.
St. Mary's on the Flats was occupied after the removal of Bishop Rappe to the new cathedral by a German congregation
known as St. Mary's of the Asumption. They remained until 1863, then it was the home of the French Catholics for
two years. From 1865 to 1868 it was the meeting place of the St. Malachi Society, for two years after that the
Bohemian Catholics, and from 1872 the Polish Catholics. This old building when the final service that we have referred
to was held had had a varied history.
Rev. Louis De Goesbriand, who was later a bishop, was the first pastor at the new cathedral. Connected with the
early history of that church may be mentioned Reverends Donlan, Mareshai, Canaher, Walsh, Hannin, Thorpe, Carrell
and Gallagher. After the resignation of Bishop Rappe, Father Edward Hannin of Toledo was appointed administrator
of the diocese until the installing of the new bishop.
Rt. Rev. Richard Gilmour, the second bishop of Cleveland, was a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and was born in 1824.
His parents were Scotch Covenanters. The family emigrated to Pennsylvania. Here the son was converted to the Catholic
faith. He was made a priest by Archbishop Purcell of Cincinnati, and after serving in various positions was on
April 14, 1872, consecrated Bishop of Cleveland to succeed Bishop Rappe. He was a man of great force of character
and as a promoter and defender of the parochial school system had a national reputation. Often attacked by the
public press he founded the Catholic Universe and made it an organ of his church. Rev. T. P. Thorpe was its first
editor and Manly Tello succeeded him. The bishop, although active in the discharge of the duties pertaining to
his position in the church, did not become known to the general public for some time. His first appearance in public
as a citizen was on the occasion of the mass meeting on the Public Square, called to give expression to the general
sympathy aroused by the assassination of President Garfield. This meeting was held July 4, 1881, when the stricken
President was at the point of death. The eloquent address on that occasion by the bishop gave him a prominent place
in the citizenry of the growing city. He died in 1891 while holding his position as Bishop of Cleveland. He was
a man given to charity and after thirty nine years of hard work in this high position, he died without a cent,
except (as given in a comprehensive biography published in the paper he had founded) "the arrears of his current
year's salary, and without owning a foot of land, except his mother's grave."
The third Bishop of Cleveland was the Rt. Rev. Ignatius Horstman, who was a native of Philadelphia. His parents
were natives of Germany. He was installed in the cathedral March 9, 1892. In 1897 he celebrated the fiftieth anniversary
of the establishment of the Cleveland Diocese in a golden jubilee. This was held in St. John's Cathedral. Bishop
Horstman's appointment was made by Pope Leo XIII. He was a diligent collector of books and works of art and his
fine library of five thousand volumes he gave to the diocese of Cleveland. He died in office and his funeral was
attended by two archbishops, eighteen bishops and over four hundred priests.
Rt. Rev. John P. Farrelly was the fourth bishop of the Cleveland diocese, installed at St. John's Cathedral June
13, 1909. He was a native of Tennessee. He was a man of great scholarly attainments, and was secretary of the American
College at Rome when appointed Bishop of Cleveland. It is said that he spoke Italian, French, Spanish, German,
Greek and Latin fluently. He died in 1921 and was buried from St. John's Cathedral. The home that he occupied in
Cleveland, on Ambler Parkway, Cleveland Heights, was the gift of the priests of his parish.
The fifth and present bishop is Rt. Rev. Joseph C. Schrembs, who assumed the duties of the office June 16, 1921.
He presides over the tenth largest diocese in the United States, being exceeded only by New York, Chicago, Boston,
Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Newark, Pittsburgh, Hartford and Detroit. His immediate official family consists of Rt.
Rev. Msgr. Thomas C. O'Reilly, Episcopal delegate; Rev. Patrick J. O'Connell, chancellor; Rev. Carl E. Frey, bishop's
secretary; and Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Smith, vicar general. It would not be beyond the province of history to
say of Bishop Schrembs that, though his work is not completed, in ability, eloquence, religious zeal and all that
goes to make up a good bishop and a good citizen he is a fit successor to those who have gone before. The reader
must remember that "history is never hysterical, never proceeds by catastrophes and cataclysms, and it is
only by this that we can comprehend its higher meaning."
From St. John's, in the early '70s, fifteen Catholic parishes had been formed. Rev. F. M. Boff and Rev. T. P. Thorpe
were pastors of the early day. The latter afterwards became a bishop. While pastor of St. John's, Father Thorpe
renovated and beautified the interior and raised the spire 240 feet above the sidewalk. This building stands today,
one of the old landmarks. It is of brick, Gothic in style, fronting seventy eight feet on East Ninth Street and
175 feet on Superior Avenue.
We must mention a few of the early churches organized since St. Mary's and St. John's. St. Peter's, organized in
1853 for German speaking parishioners in various parts of the city, schoolhouse, pastor's residence and chapel
erected at the corner of Superior and Dodge (East Seventeenth Street). Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas Pfeil, rector at
the present time. The church was built in 1859. The Convent, Sisters of Notre Dame, had its inception in the building
of a schoolhouse in 1873. The convent was built in 1873. Revs. F. Westerholt and Thomas Litterst were early pastors.
The first council consisted of John Kuhr, John M. Luew, Matthias Wagner and Frederick Twilling. Among the early
pastors were Revs. James Ringell, Matthias Kreusch, Peter Kreusch, N. Roupp, J. H. Luhr and F. Westerholt. St.
Mary's of the Assumption (German) organized in 1853, to whom Bishop Rappe gave the use of St. Mary's on the Flats
when he removed his headquarters to St. John's, must be included. St. Peter's we have mentioned as having been
organized the same year. St. Patrick's was organized in 1854 by Rev. James Conlon, who was its first pastor. For
more than ten years this was the home of the English speaking Catholics of the West Side. The corner stone of its
building on Bridge Street was laid by Archbishop Purcell in 1871, and the dedicatory sermon was preached by Bishop
Gilmour, then of Dayton, Ohio. Rev. M. O'Callaghan followed Rev. James Conlan as pastor. The present pastor of
this historic church is Rt. Rev. Msgr. Francis T. Moran, who is treasurer general of the National Catholic Educational
Association, but finds time in addition to his church and other official duties to take a part in the civil life
of his city. He has been for some years an active member of the Cleveland Chamber of Industry.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception was organized as a mission in 1856 and a chapel was built at the corner
of Superior and Lyman (East Forty first) streets. At first services were held in a frame building at this locality
by Revs. J. F. Solam, F. Sullivan and A. M. Martin. The first regular pastor was Rev. A. Sauvadet and among the
early members were James Watson, O. M. Doran, Joseph Harkins, Thomas Mahar, Daniel and Dennis Mulcahy, Dennis Sheridan,
James Crotty, Daniel Taylor, Thomas O'Rieley, Patrick Fennell and Andrew McNally. Rev. T. P. Thorpe succeeded to
the pastorate in 1870, being appointed by Rev. E. Hannin, administrator of the diocese, and the corner stone of
the church was laid. Rev. A. R. Sidley was an early pastor. The present pastor is Rev. George F. Murphy. St. Bridget's
was an early church organized in 1857 by Bishop Rappe with twenty members. A small brick building was erected at
the corner of Prospect and Perry. Reverends O'Connor, Martin, Quinn, Leigh, Monaghan, Kelley, McGuire, McMahon
and others have been connected with the early history of this church.
St. Mary's of the Holy Rosary was organized in Newburgh in 1860. A stone church was built in 1863 when there were
but thirty families represented in the organization. Among the early pastors were Revs. Francis Sullivan, J. Kuhn,
John Daudet and J. F. Gallagher. St. Augustine's, on the Heights or South Side, was organized in the '60s. St.
Joseph's (German) was organized in 1862 by Andrew Krasney and Kilian Schlosser of the Franciscan Fathers in America.
Revs. Capistran Zwinge and Dominicus Drossler were early preachers. It was at first a German church and then Bohemian.
St. Wenceslaus (Bohemian) was organized in 1867 and among its early pastors were Revs. A. Kresing, George Beranek,
J. Revis and Anthony Hynek. A monastery was established in 1868 at Hazen and Chapel streets, which was advanced
to a convent in 1877. St. Steven's was organized in 1869 by Rev. H. Falk, who was followed by Rev. C. Reichlin,
St. Columbkill's was organized in 1870 by Father O'Reilley, but in 1872 it was attached to St. John's Cathedral
by Bishop Gilmour. St. Malachi's, organized in 1865; the Church of the Holy Family, and Church of the Annunciation,
in 1870; and St. Prokops (Bohemian), in 1872, are among the early churches organized in the city.
Since Father Dillon began his work eighty six churches have been formed in Cleveland. There are many fine church
buildings and schools, monasteries and convents. There are ten Polish Catholic churches, eight German, seven Slovak,
three Slovenian, two Syrian, two colored, five Bohemian, four Italian, two Romanian, one Magyar, one Croatian,
one Lithuanian and one Syro Maronite.
In fixing the chronological order of the founding of Cleveland's early churches the Congregational churches seem
to come next, but some authorities would put them earlier. So closely allied have they been with the Presbyterian
Church that their distinctive character, although that of the Pilgrim fathers, has often been hidden by this alliance.
Dr. Henry M Ladd said of this his chosen denomination: "Congregationalism has been defined as sanctified common
sense. Each church governs itself, but it does not stand alone; it stands for ecclesiastical democracy, pure and
simple. It stands in the fellowship of a common masterhood, and a common brotherhood in the active and aggressive
service of the Kingdom of Christ on earth. If Congregationalism had not so lavishly given itself away for the enrichment
of other denominations, it would be stronger in itself today." Again he said: "Congregationalism, poorly
understood and greatly undervalued in the course of time found its way to Cleveland. In the opening days of this
closing century (this was written in 1896) a few Congregationalists from New England blazed their way westward
through the forests and across the rivers, to what was then the far West, and settled within the present borders
of this city. In those days the minds of men in New England were so holden that they could not see beyond the Hudson
River, and Presbyterianism and Congregationalism went forth hand in hand, but the latter was led blindfolded. Those
were the days of a rude genesis; and though too frequently the Presbyterian Lion lay down with the Congregational
Lamb inside, nevertheless Congregationalism was there."
The Archwood Avenue Congregational Church is designated by some early annals as the oldest Congregational church
in the city and yet it was organized July 25, 1819, by missionaries of the Presbyterian Church and for nearly fifty
years was connected with the Cleveland Presbytery in a "plan of union." It is referred to in its early
records as the Congregational Church of Brooklyn, was incorporated as "First Congregational Society of Brooklyn,"
and there is a record of the meeting of this society held in 1831. It was a "Presbigational" Church.
In the '40s, the records show, a certain deacon was disciplined because he was seen coming from the direction of
Brigg's tavern in a state of intoxication. A man and his wife were expelled from the church because they believed
in universal salvation. A deacon was brought up for discipline because of using "very profane language."
A resolution was offered in a meeting of the church and society in 1847 as follows: Resolved, that we will neither
invite a slave holder to our pulpit, nor welcome him to the communion table; and that we will have no fellowship
with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them This resolution was debated and lost. The original
membership of the church consisted of six persons. Just how large it had grown when this anti slavery resolution
was presented is not definitely known. Revs. William McLane, S. I. Bradstreet, B. B. Drake and Thomas Lee preached
until 1840. Then came a lapse of services until Rev. B. Foltz became pastor. He was followed by Rev. Calvin Durfee.
The pastorate of Rev. J. B. Allen extended from 1856 to 1867. Then came Revs. W. H. Rice, C. L. Hamlin, J. A. Bates,
E. H. Votaw, J. W. Hargrave, J. M. Merrill and George H. Peeke. Reverend Hargrave was again pastor following Reverend
Peeke. During his first pastorate the present church building on Archwood was erected and the church home moved
from Newburgh Street (Denison Avenue). The present pastor is Rev. Robert B. Blythe, whose pastorate is just about
to close. The early officers include James Sears, Abel Hinckley and Hiram Welch, and among its members have been
Dr. James Hedley and wife, O. L. Neff and wife, H. M. Farnsworth and wife, Dr. G. B. Farnsworth and wife, Alice;
Francis B. Cunningham and wife, Mrs. Mary L. Turner, C. Day, and Zula Wheelock, Dr. Lincoln Wheelock, J. A. Tousle,
Mrs. Ellen J. and Fred W. Sears, Mrs. Ella C. Wheelock, Mrs. Daisy Wittenmyer, George S. Kain and wife, and in
one family. Mrs. Mary S., Anbella, George H., Wilfred, John F., Reginald, Winnif red and Samuel Singleton. There
was Mrs. Nellie F. Laird, later Mrs. Mellon, who was at the head of the non-partisan Christian Temperance Union
for some years. Mrs. Paul Kitzsteiner was president of the Ladies' Social Union, under the second pastorate of
J. W. Hargrave. If space would permit it would be interesting to give more names of those who have been connected
with this first church.
The present First Congregational Church was organized Dec. 21, 1834. Among the first members were Mrs. Ursula M.
Taylor, Miss Catherine Taylor, Mrs. Lufkin, Mrs. Jane McGuire, Miss Ester Taft (Robinson), Miss C. H. Buxton (Skinner).
A temporary house of worship was erected in 1835. The first pastor was Rev. John Keep. It first adopted the Presbyterian
name but was Congregational in form. Rev. J. D. Pickands succeeded Reverend Keep. In 1838 forty four members withdrew
to form a strictly Congregational church, and three years later the two churches united. After the reunion Rev.
S. B. Canfield was called to the pastorate. He was followed by Rev. C. L. Watson. and he by Rev. James A. Thome,
who remained for twenty years and more. Under the ministry of Rev. S. H. Lee three missions were established and
placed in charge of Rev. S. B. Shipman. Rev. H. M. Tenney followed Mr. Lee in 1880 and during his ministry the
present church building was begun and its completion and formal dedication in December of 1893 occurred during
the ministry of Rev. James W. Malcolm. It is located at the corner of Franklin and West Forty fifth Street. To
be more exact, it was under the ministry of Rev. A. E. Thompson, who followed Reverend Tenney, that the corner
stone of the new auditorium was laid. Reverend Malcolm obtained a wide reputation as a popular lecturer while serving
as pastor of this church and his lectures and writings on Lincoln gave him a prominence in the public eye for many
years. The present pastor is Rev. W. F. Kedzie.
The Euclid Avenue Congregational Church was organized November 30, 1843, by Revs. S. C. Aiken and S. C. Cady. It
was called the First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland. The original members were Cyrus Ford, Clarissa Ford, Horace
Ford, Horatio Ford, Samuel Cozad, Hefty Ann Cozad, Elizabeth Walters, Edwin Cowles, Almena M. Cowles, Jonathan
Bowles, Samuel F. Baldwin, Lydia Baldwin, Rhoda Clark, Cornelius Cookley, Harriet Cookley, Jarvis F. Hanks, Charlotte
Hanks and Romelia L. Hanks. Cyrus Ford, Jarvis F. Hanks and Samuel W. Baldwin were the first elders. A large number
of the first members, in fact all but one, were of the Congregational faith by birth and training. In 1852, on
account of the attitude of the Presbyterian Church on the subject of slavery, this church withdrew and became independent
and then Congregational. The early pastors in their order were Revs. Anthony McReynolds, C. L. Watson, C. W. Torrey,
A. D. Barber, Albert M. Richardson, J. E. Twitchell and Henry M. Ladd. From being called the First Congregational
Church of East Cleveland, on January 4, 1872, its corporate name was changed to the present name which heads this
paragraph. The first building was erected and dedicated in 1849 on Doan (105th) near Euclid. This was 40 by 60
feet and cost a little over three thousand dollars. This became too small and a new brick church was built in 1867
at the corner of Logan and Euclid. This had a seating capacity of 600 and was eighty eight feet in depth with a
chapel in the rear. It cost $25,000 and was the largest and finest in the neighborhood. This advance came during
the ministry of Rev. Albert M. Richardson. Rev. Henry M. Ladd began his ministry in 1883. He had been a successful
African explorer and missionary under the American Association, just previous, and entered into his ministry with
great energy. This second church soon became too small and a stone church was built in 1887. The idea voiced by
the builders was to erect a church "good enough for the rich man and not too good for the poor man."
The windows in the new structure in memory of Captain Bradley and his daughter were the first of the kind in the
city, showing glass folded so as to represent drapery. Among the active members of this church have been J. W.
Moore, H. Clark Ford, L. V. Denis, Miss Miriam Smith, J. G. Frazer, President Thwing of the Western Reserve University,
and Henry Ford. The present pastor of the church is Rev. F. Q. Blanchard. Like the Old Stone church of the Presbyterian
denomination this church has been the mother church and has aided in founding a number of the later Congregational
churches of the city.
Plymouth Congregational Church has an interesting history. It has been said that when this church was organized
Cleveland was a pro slavery town. In 1850, Rev. E. H. Nevin was holding revival meetings in the Old Stone Church.
He was an outspoken abolitionist and Benajah Barker, who was converted at these meetings, had like views on the
subject of slavery. Barker enlisted a number of members of the church in the project of founding another, presumably
with anti slavery as one of its cardinal doctrines. They had been aroused by the incident of the pastor of one
of the leading churches hiding behind a church column while a fugitive slave was arrested in the church and carried
away into bondage. The new church was organized with thirty members. It was first called the Free Presbyterian
Church. Afterwards it was styled the Third Presbyterian Church. It was independent in its government until 1852
when it became Plymouth Congregational Church. The first pastor was Rev. E. H. Nevin mentioned. The first church
building was the Round Church or Tabernacle on Wood. This building had been vacated by the "Millerites"
after their disappointment over the failure of the Angel Gabriel to arrive and announce the end of the world in
1843. They erected a church at the corner of Euclid and East Ninth, where the Hickox Building now stands. When
built this was the finest church in the city. This was sold to the First Baptist Society and their next home was
on Prospect Street and Oak Place. Here they remained for twenty years. Their next location was at Prospect and
Perry, where a fine church was erected. Among the early pastors have been Revs. James C White, the second pastor,
Samuel Wolcott, Charles Terry Collins, George A. Leavitt, Livingston L. Taylor. The early members of prominence
have been George Hall, of piano fame; S. C. Smith, merchant; L. M. Pitkin, iron manufacturer; L. F. Mellon, charity
worker; J. G. W. Cowles, prominent in city affairs; M. M. Hobart, attorney; W. H. Doering, D. Charlesworth, A.
W. Strong, J. W. Tyler, W. B. Davis, Geo. L. Schryver, and S. H. Stilson. This church with a large membership but
never financially strong was dissolved in 1913 and the present Plymouth Church at Coventry Road and Weymouth is
its heir but really a new organization. The present pastor is Rev. Charles H. Myers. It was organized in 1916.
The Welsh Congregational Church was organized in Newburgh in 1858 at the home of William E. Jones. It began its
work in a little frame building on Wales Street, twenty by thirty feet. It had a family start, for the original
promoters were David I., John, Thomas D., George M., Evan and William E. Jones. In 1876 a fine brick church was
built at a cost of $16,000 and the name changed to the Centennial Church The services were conducted in the Welsh
language. There were fifteen original members but only seven of them were Joneses. David I. Jones and his brother,
John Jones, together started in a small way the mill, which grew into the Cleveland Rolling Mill Company. It is
said the church services were conducted in the Welsh language "because nothing will touch a Welshman's heart
like the harmonious chords that swell in the consonants of his mother's language." They had no preacher at
first. Finally the secretary of the organization, George M. Jones, was induced to supply the pulpit. Rev. R. Richards
was another supply. Then Rev. W. Watkins was engaged as a regular pastor. Among the early pastors have been Revs.
John E. Jones, W. Lewis, W. P. Edwards, E. Bowen, J. V. Stephens and T. Henry Jones. On the membership roll in
1896 there were thirty four by the name of Jones. This church has recently been called upon to mourn the death
of its pastor, Rev. Isaac T. Williams.
Pilgrim Congregational Church located at Starkweather Avenue and West Fourteenth Street is designated in the early
annals as University Heights Congregational Church. It was organized in 1859 and was at first undenominational.
It was served by pastors from three different denominations. Revs. William H. Brewster, T. K. Noble, William H.
Warren and N. M. Calhoun were early ministers, and Henry R. Hadlow, Dr. Charles Buffett, John G. Jennings, Dr.
A. G. Hart, Martin House, Hiram V. Wilson, Stephen Owen, Alexander C. Caskey, and Isaac P. Lamson were early officers.
The church united with the Congregational Conference in 1862. Meetings were first held in a schoolhouse, then in
a building on University Street. Rev. Julian M. Sturtevant was pastor from 1885 to 1890. Rev. Charles S Mills was
installed as pastor in 1891 and Rev. Dan F. Bradley, the present pastor, began his ministry in the church in 1905.
A church building at the corner of Jennings (West Fourteenth) and Howard streets, begun in 1865, was dedicated
in 1870. In 1877 this building was enlarged and in 1894 the present building was dedicated during the pastorate
of Rev. Charles S. Mills. The associate pastor at this time was Rev. Irving W. Metcalf. Just before the dedication
of this new church, Pilgrim Church Institute in connection with Pilgrim Church was organized. Thus with the building
of this structure costing with its site $150,000 was put in operation the first institutional church in the City
of Cleveland. Its success has exceeded the expectations of its founders. The Institute was organized November 9.
1894, with Charles P. Olney as its president, Dr. W. J. Sheppard, vice president; Miss Josephine M. Hartzell, secretary;
Irving W. Metcalf, treasurer; Henry C. Holt, auditor, and a board of trustees of twenty four elected by the church
and society, Pastors Mills and Metcalf, being ex-officio members. This first board consisted of J. J. Crooks, John
G. Jennings, Jr., Charles L. Fish, Theodore P. Lyman. A. M. Gibbons, Michael Riser, F. W. Throssel, R. S. Gardner,
Mrs. Charles Buffet, Mrs. Charles F. Olney, Miss Harriet S. Kinney, Miss Jeannette Hart, Miss Josephine M. Hartzell,
Miss Eva E. Sheppard, Charles F. Olney, Isaac P. Lamson, J. M. Curtiss, A. D. Hudson, A. C. Caskey, W. J. Sheppard,
Mrs. George W. Kinney, Mrs. H. C. Holt and Miss Ruth Curtiss. Thus the Institute became a department of the church.
During the dedication of the new church, which continued for an entire week, many prominent men, who took part
in the exercises, seeing the magnitude of the new undertaking, expressed the opinion privately that the church
had taken on a "white elephant," that is a burden too heavy to carry. On the contrary, as the writer
has been informed, there has never been a time of financial embarrassment since the Institutional Church was launched.
The activities have been many and during the first year the Institute maintained Fine Arts, History and Travel
clubs, a literary society, kitchen garden and kindergarten classes, a gymnasium, with classes for men, boys, women
and girls. There were classes in bookkeeping, business arithmetic, penmanship, piano and vocal music, a microscopical
exhibition, and a reading room with an attendance this opening year of nearly 8,000. The recreation rooms were
in evidence with an attendance of 2,354. The variety and scope of the institute work has been added to from year
to year. Additional recreation room has been added by the erection of a new building a year ago. The Sunday school
grew into large proportions and at one time was the largest Congregational Sunday School in the state. It is still
large and the church membership is nearly 1,300. Dr. Dan Bradley, the present pastor, has been prominent in the
civic life of the city during his nearly nineteen years of service as pastor of Pilgrim Church. He believes in
good citizenship and in all that makes for better government. In the changes that have come to the city by reason
of the great increase in foreign population, he has believed in the power and value of the American "melting
pot," and his church to quite a degree is cosmopolitan.
Mount Zion Congregational Church, the only colored church of that denomination in the city, was organized in 1864,
something over a year after the Proclamation of Emancipation by President Lincoln. It was organized in Plymouth
Church, at that time located on Prospect Street west of Erie (Fast Ninth) Street, and has ever regarded Plymouth
as its "foster mother." The first minister was Rev. J. H. Muse. The congregation built a brick church
on Erie but got much in debt. This was sold and a modest church built on Maple Street, free from debt. Among the
early ministers were Revs. C. E. Ruddick, A. J. DeHart, S. S. Calkins, S. N. Brown and Daniel W. Shaw. The present
pastor is Rev. Harold M. Kingsley.
On October 9, 1870, a Welsh Congregational Church was organized on the West Side. They met at the home of Rev.
John M. Evans, had a Sunday school at his home on Bradford near Lorain. This is not now in existence. A Harbor
Street mission was established in 1874 by the First Congregational Church, which continued for some time.
In 1875 the East Madison Avenue Congregational Church was organized with twenty two members. This started with
a mission Sunday school at a home on Lincoln Avenue. Rev. O. D. Fisher was the first pastor. He was succeeded by
Herbert Melville Tenney. After a pastorate of four years he accepted a call to Grinnell, Iowa, and Rev. William
L. Tenney succeeded him. Revs. William A. Knight and D. T. Thomas were early ministers. The membership grew to
some four hundred. A few years ago this church disbanded. The Franklin Avenue Congregational Church was organized
in 1876 and this was the outgrowth of a Sunday school started in 1857. The church building was located at Franklin
and Waverly avenues (Waverly being now West Fifty eighth Street). Rev. S. B. Shipman was the first pastor. The
early pastors have been Revs. Herbert O. Allen and others. This church was disbanded about the time that East Madison
surrendered its separate existence. We have thus mentioned a few of the early churches of the Congregational denomination.
Of the thirty one churches in the city there are, besides the Welsh, Bohemian and Swedish churches. Among the pastors
of the city may be mentioned Revs. Tobias A. S. Homme, S. Paul Stowell, J. Henry Horning, Andrew J. Moncal, Philip
C. King, John H. Couch, Samuel Fritch, Roy E. Bowers, Howard L. Torbet, Lewis D. Williams, Charles J. Dole, Harry
Palmer and Franklin L. Graff. Philip C. King is a son of President Henry C. King of Oberlin College.
There were fifteen early German churches organized in the city, all evangelical, but not of the same denomination,
exactly. In 1834 there were only fifteen German families in the city. These joined and organized the Schefflein
Christi Church (Ship of Christ). This was the first German church in the city. The members first met in the old
Bethel Building at the corner of Superior and Water streets, then at the corner of Hamilton and Erie (East Ninth),
and then in various places of worship, until a fine brick church was built at the corner of Superior and Dodge
(East Seventeenth) streets. The early pastors were Revs. John F. Tanka, William Busey, Edward Allard, Theodore
Stenmear, William Schmitt, Frederick Porus, Benjamin Fieth, Henry Sehorsten and Charles Muench. Salem Church of
the Evangelical Association was organized in 1840, and Rev. Mr. Stroch was its first pastor. Their church home
was at the corner of Erie (Fast Ninth) and Eagile. It was first frame and then brick. Zion Church, Evangelical
Lutheran, was organized in 1843. The early pastors were Revs. D. Schuh, August Schmidt and C. Schwan. They located
at Erie and Boliver Road. Trinity Church, Evangelical Lutheran, was organized in 1853. The first pastor was J.
C. W. Lindeman and he was followed by Rev. Frederick Wynchen. They located on Jersey (West Thirtieth) Street. This
rapidly grew in numbers and in the '80s there were 1,400 communicants. Zion Church began as a mission of the Evangelical
Association and was organized as a church with eight members in 1856.
There was St. Paul's (Evangelical United) organized in 1857 by Rev. Mr. Steiner, and among its early pastors were
Reverends Groemlein, Young, Bank, Zeller and Buttner. Calvary Church (Evangelical Association) was organized in
1862 by Rev. S. F. Crowther. It was incorporated in 1864 when located at Woodland and Perry (Fast Twenty second)
streets The United German Church (Evangelical Protestant) was organized in 1860. They built a brick church at the
corner of Bridge and Kentucky (West Thirty eighth) streets. Emanuel Church of the Evangelical Association was organized
in 1864. Their church building on Jennings Avenue (West Fourteenth Street) was dedicated in 1874. Among the early
officers were John Herr, Jac. Weith, and George Becker. Zion Church (German Evangelical) was organized on University
Heights in 1867. A church building was erected at Branch Avenue and West Fourteenth Street. The early pastors were
Revs. A. Bauer, G. Boohest, O. Shetler and Albert Klein. The First German United Evangelical Protestant Church
was organized in 1869 by Rev. William Schmidt and located at Ohio Street (now Central Avenue) and Erie (East Ninth)
Street. Among the early officers were Charles Wable, Fred Hamm, John C. Wagner, N. Heisel, H. Keller, J. G. Denzel,
C. Koenek, H. Schmidt, John Rock, P. Schuethelm, J. Hoffman and F. Burgart. We will mention specifically Trinity
Evangelical organized on East Madison Avenue (East Seventy ninth Street) by Rev. S. J. Gammertsfelder, and Friedenskirke
(Church of Peace) organized as a mission by the Evangelical Association in 1873. And about 1878 Trinity Evangelical
Protestant at Case (West Fortieth) and Superior with Rev. August Kimmel as pastor, and St. Johns German Evangelical
Lutheran on Bessemer Avenue with Rev. August Dankworth as pastor and Oscar Schmidt and Frederick Hoppensack, deacons.
Mention should have been made in advance of the foregoing paragraph of the First Reformed Church, which was the
first German church on the. West Side. It was organized in 1848 by Rev. F. J. Kaufholtz. A church building was
erected. This church was independent until 1860, when under the pastorate of Rev. H. J. Ruetenik it united with
the Reformed German body. A new church was built in 1863. Then as the German population of Cleveland increased
until it became 40 per cent of the entire population, the church organizations increased in a corresponding ratio.
After the First Reformed Church there was the Second Reformed German Church organized in 1863, the Third in 1868,
the Fourth in 1872, the Fifth in 1872, and the Sixth in 1877. The First Church, United Brethren, German, was organized
in 1852 and the Second of the same denomination in 1874.
The variety of religious expression began quite early in the life of the growing city. Ebenezer Bible Christian
was organized in 1852 and The Bible Christian Church out in the eighteenth ward (Newburgh) was organized in 1872.
The Church of God in 1860, the First Reformed Church (Holland) in 1864, the True Dutch Reformed Church in 1872,
and the Free Dutch Reformed Church in 1875 came into existence. As early as 1856 a Friends Church (Society of Friends)
was organized and in 1874 a church building erected at Cedar and Sterling (East Thirty second) streets. James Farmer,
who always wore a broad white felt hat, indicative of his creed, was an elder in this church. "Jimmy Farmer
was prominent in Cleveland business circles, promoted and was the first president of the Valley Railway, built
from Cleveland to Akron, now a part of the Baltimore & Ohio system. He was the soul of honor. A Church of the
Unity (Unitarian) organized in 1867, and the New Jerusalem Church (Swedenborgian) in organized add to the variety.
In the '70s The First Religious Society of Progressive Spiritualists came into being
Four Jewish or Hebrew churches belong to the early history of the city. The Hebrew churches of the city now number
thirty two and with their fine synagogues and progressive congregations, their eloquent divines, they are a large
factor in the religious life of the city. The Anshe Chesed Congregation was organized with twenty five members
in 1840. Their location was Eagle Street between Erie (East Ninth) and Woodland. Rabbi Seligman Stern was the first
pastor. Tiffereth Israel Congregation was established by Rabbi M. Kalish. This was a radical reform body. They
met first in a hall and then built a fine synagogue on Huron Street. Among the early pastors were Rev. Jacob Cohn,
Dr. I. Mayer, and Dr. Aaron Hahn. Doctor Hahn left the ministry for the practice of law and is still a member of
the Cleveland bar. The B'ne Yeshurun Congregation (Hungarian Hebrew) was organized in 1869. They first met in Halle's
Hall, then at 71 Michigan Street, and later in the old German Theatre Building. Rev. E. M. Kline was the first
pastor. Beth Israel Chebra Kadisha Congregation (Hebrew) was organized in 1874 on Hill Street. A division came
and the Anshe Emeth was formed from this, on Broadway, with Rev. Henry Bernstein as pastor. Rev. Rabbi Moses J.
Griese of the Jewish Temple Congregation was one of the most eloquent and influential of divines and his death
was most deeply deplored. He became a figure of great prominence in the civic life as well as the religious life
of Cleveland. Another in the present day is equally gifted and prominent, Rev. Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver. His addresses
before civic bodies on citizen problems are equally eloquent and effective with those delivered before congregations
of his church Of the nearly six hundred churches in the city, organized since Rev. Joseph Badger, the Baptist,
preached to unresponsive ears, before the beginning of the nineteenth century, the variety and scope of the religious
life of the city is shown. Perhaps the growth of the Christian Science Church in the last quarter of a century
with its fine church buildings and large congregations has exceeded in these later years all the rest. There are
eighty six Baptist churches, including the colored churches, the same number of Catholic churches, with one monastery
and fourteen convents, fourteen Christian and two Christian Reformed churches, seven Christian Science churches
with the same number of reading rooms, thirty eight Congregational, two Dutch Reformed, eleven Evangelical, three
Independent Evangelical, four United Evangelical, seven of the Evangelical Association, and forty one Evangelical
Lutheran. There are two Free Methodist, three Friends churches, and six Greek Orthodox. The Hebrew churches, as
we have said, number thirty two. The Holland Christian Reformed Church is represented by one organization. There
are fifty one Methodist Episcopal churches, two New Jerusalem, two Polish National Catholic, thirty one Presbyterian,
one Reformed Episcopal, sixteen Salvation Army, three Seventh Day Adventist, seven Spiritualists, fourteen Independent
Spiritualists, one Unitarian, five United Brethren in Christ, seven United Presbyterian churches and one Universalist
Church. There are two of the Volunteers of America and sixty four of miscellaneous denominations including the
Church of God and others. The Methodist Church, although not excelling in the number of churches, has a large membership
and is a particularly strong body among the galaxy of churches.
THE FEDERATED CHURCHES
The Federated Churches of Cleveland, an organization promoted by the Ministers' Union of the city, adopted its
constitution at the Old Stone Church June 12, 1911, containing two cardinal propositions. The purpose being first
"for comity in religious work amongst the foreign populations of the county, and in establishing mission centers
and new churches." Second, "for united and aggressive action upon religious and moral questions."
The constitution provides that any Protestant Church in Cuyahoga County may become a member by the appointment
of delegates, namely, the pastor and one man and one woman elected by the governing body of the church. Sixty seven
churches were represented at this organization meeting and officers and standing committees elected as follows:
President, The Very Rev. Frank Du Moulin; vice president, Rev. Worth M. Tippy; treasurer, Charles E. Adams; secretary,
Rev. N. M. Pratt; standing committees, on religious work, Rev. H. F. Stilwell; comity, Rev. Dan F. Bradley; social
betterment, Rev. T. S. McWilliams; civic, Judge Frederick A. Henry; finance, F. W. Ramsey.
The meetings of this Federation have been full of interest. The effort has been made to work out the "golden
rule" among churches. The question of church extension, establishing of missions, etc., due to the growth
of the city, a delicate and interesting problem among so many denominations, was taken up at once. In the first
year of its life the Federation adopted this cardinal principle: "That the first consideration in all matters
of comity shall be the efficiency of the work and evangelization of the people, rather than denominational prerogatives."
Conflicting claims to new fields arose. In one instance, three denominations desired to enter a new residence territory
in a community that was only able to support one enterprise. Ref erred to the comity committee of the Federation,
it was finally given to a fourth denomination, that at first had made no claim to it. Again: Five denominations
were supporting churches in an old residential community that was filling up with foreign population. On the recommendation
of the Federation four of the churches removed from the field and the fifth enlarged its activities. In some instances
property had been purchased by different denominations in a locality and vested interests came up but these dissensions
were ironed out by the Federation but with great difficulty.
At its meeting on April 9, 1913, the comity committee adopted a set of principles to aid in its work. Among them
was this one: "That we deem it inadvisable to locate a new church enterprise within a radius of one third
of a mile of an organization already well established on the field." The articles also provided for submitting
all questions of church extension to the Federation. But these are only items in the comprehensive work accomplished
and mapped out to be accomplished by the Federation churches of Cleveland. The Federation has endorsed the Institutional
Church as "next to the public schools, the most outstanding Americanization agency in the community."
There are three prominent ones in the city. Pilgrim Congregation, Broadway Methodist, and Woodland Avenue Presbyterian.
The presidents of the Federation in their order have been Revs. Frank DuMoulin, Worth M. Tippy, Judge Frederick
A. Henry, Revs. Dan F. Bradley, J. H. Bomberger, Mr. David E. Green, Rev. Alexander McGaffin, Mr. Frank M. Gregg,
Rev. Ferdinand Q. Blanchard, Mr. F. W. Ramsey, Rev. J. H. Goldner, and Rev. Gerrard F. Tatterson. There are now
over three hundred churches in the Federation.