CLEVELAND'S CHURCHES AND MISSIONS (also see part 2 of Church
"Show me a place where there isn't any Meetin' Houses and where preachers is never seen, and I'll show
you a place where old hats air stuffed into broken winders, where the children are dirty and ragged, where the
gates have no hinges, where the wiinmen air slipshod, and where maps of the devil's wild land air painted upon
men's shirt bosoms with tobacco jooce! That's what I'll show you. Let us consider what the preachers do for us
before we aboose 'em." - Artemus Ward.
About the beginning of the nineteenth century, Rev. Joseph Badger, a soldier of the Revolutionary war, preached
under a tree by the roadside out in Newburgh. He was a missionary. He wrote home that the people here were opposed
to piety and gloried in their infidelity. No effort was made at this time to organize a church and it was not until
1816, twenty years after the city was founded by Moses Cleveland, that it had a church organization and then no
On November 9th of that year Rev. Roger Searle from Connecticut got together a small gathering at the home of Phineas
Shepherd. Thirteen families were represented at this meeting and Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church, the first
in the city, the oldest of the multitude that we can now point to with pride, was organized with eleven members.
The first vestrymen and wardens were Josiah Barber, Phineas Shepherd, Charles Taylor, James S Clark, Sherlock J
Andrews, Levi Sargent, and John W. Allen. In 1820 they held their meetings out in Newburgh, where the more active
and influential members lived, but two years later they moved back to Cleveland. Reverend Mr. Freeman gave some
of his time to the church, and preached, and was the first rector. He went East and secured $1,000 to aid in building
a church In 1828 the vestry incorporated and a frame building was raised. It was built at a cost of $3,000 and
dedicated August 12, 1829. This, the first church built in Cleveland, was located in the residence and business
section of the town, at the corner of St. Clair and Seneca (West Third) streets, and the site was purchased at
the nominal price of two dollars per acre. In 1830 Reverend Mr. Elroy succeeded Reverend Freeman and was the first
rector who gave his whole time to the church. Trinity grew and in 1854 the site that had cost two dollars an acre
was sold for $250 per foot front, the old frame church having in the meantime been burned, and a stone church was
built at the corner of Superior and Bond (East Sixth) streets. This church was dedicated in 1855. It had a tower
and an equipment of chimes comprising nine bells. Among the early rectors of Trinity, the first church, were Revs.
W. N. Lyster, Seth Davis, E. Roy, E. Boynden, David Burger, Richard Bury, I. Windsor, James A. Bolles, Thomas A.
Starkey, Charles Breck, W. E. McLaren and John W. Brown. The next and crowning achievement after the building of
the stone church on Superior Street was the erection of Trinity Cathedral at Euclid and East Twenty second Street.
This present structure is the center of the Protestant Episcopal churches of Ohio. It is under the wing of Rt.
Rev. W. A. Leonard, Bishop of the Diocese of Ohio, Rev. Francis S. White is dean and Rev. W. L. Rutan, curate.
Near by is the Cathedral House, the Church Home and the City Mission.
Since the organization of this first church in Cleveland, which we have outlined in its history thus briefly, the
religious life of the city has kept pace with the growth in other respects, or it may be historically true that
it has led. As Cleveland is noted for the diversity of its products in manufactures, for the cosmopolitan character
of its people, developed from the New England nucleus that came before the beginning of the nineteenth century,
so is it remarkable in its religious development, having now nearly six hundred churches and missions, scattered
in convenient locations throughout its borders, and embracing nearly one hundred different denominations.
Of the Protestant Episcopal churches since Trinity St. John's on the West Side was organized in 1834. Meetings
were held in Columbus Block, in schoolhouses, and in homes until 1836 when a stone church was built at the corner
of Church and West Twenty sixth (Wall) streets. This building cost $17,000 and is still the home of the original
organization. In 1866 it was partly destroyed by fire but was rebuilt with additional room. The first rector was
Rev. Seth Davis. Among those who served later were Revs. S. R. Crane, D. W. Tall ord, William Burton and Lewis
Burton. In the '80s the wardens were George L. Chapman and C. L. Russell; vestrymen, Thomas Axworthy, George L.
Chapman, J. M. Ferris, M. A. Manna, F. W. Pelton, Elias Simms; treasurer, A. L. Withington; and clerk, Howard M.
Grace Church was organized in 1845 at the residence of Rev. Richard Bury by former members of Trinity, this congregation
having outgrown its accommodations. A lot was bought at the corner of Erie (Fast Ninth) and Huron, then the eastern
limits of the city. Here a brick church was built costing $10,000. The first vestrymen were A. A Treat and E. F.
Penderson, and the first wardens, H. A. Ackley, Moses Kelley, J. F. Jenkins, S. Englehart, William Richards, John
Powell, Thomas Bolton and George F. Marshall. Among the early rectors were Revs. Lawson Carter, Gideon Perry, William
A. Rich and William Allen Fisk. The money to build Grace Church was subscribed on condition that all seats should
be free. This was a new departure and Grace was designated as the "Peoples Church." It was the first
"free" church in Ohio. The downtown section of the city became so valuable for business purposes and
the churches with one or two exceptions, which we will name later, have moved for the better convenience of the
people into the residence districts and Grace Church moved with the rest. It now is located on Prospect Avenue
at Boliver Road. Rev. George C. Wadsworth preceded the present rector, Rev. Wm. C. Hicks.
St. Paul's was organized October 26, 1846. The first rector was Gideon B. Perry. D. W. Duty and Aaron Clark were
the first vestrymen and James Kellogg, H. L. Noble, Moses Kelley, W. J. Warner, T. W. Morse, O. A. Brooks, Oliver
Arey and Edward Shepard were the first wardens. Services were first held in an upper room on Superior Street near
Seneca (West Third). In March, 1848, a lot was bought at the corner of Sheriff (East Sixth) and Euclid and a frame
church begun but this was burned while under construction. Nothing daunted the members immediately began the construction
of a brick building which was completed and opened for services in 1851. The first sermon in the new building was
preached by Rev. Dr. Perry. Following him in their order were Revs. R. B. Claxton, Wilbur T. Paddock, J. H. Rylance
and Frederick Brooks. In 1874 the church property was sold and a chapel built at the corner of Euclid and Case
(East Fortieth). At this point is located the commodious church of today. In the '70s, Rev. Nelson S. Rulison was
rector; Rev. W. C. French, assistant rector; C. J. Comstock, senior warden; J. D. Devereaux, junior warden; Zenas
King, A. C. Armstrong, F. W. Hubby, H. C. Ranney, George A. Tisdale, J. M. Adams, E. S. Page, C. E. Stenley, vestrymen.
The present pastor is Walter R. Breed. It should be mentioned that the last rector of St. John's was Rev. Frederick
B. Avery, and at present there is no settled rector, as the church has not yet called his successor.
Another of the earlier churches of this denomination was St. James, a child of Trinity and presided over for some
time by the assistant rector of the parent church. The first established rector was Rev. R. Bury. A brick church
at the corner of Superior and Alabama streets was its home for many years. It is now located on East Fifty fifth
Street and the present rector is Rev. Vivian A. Peterson.
Grace Church, South, was organized in 1869 by Rev. Frederick Brooks, rector of St. Paul's. The congregation first
held meetings in an old Presbyterian building. This they afterwards purchased and moved to a site secured at Harvard
and Sawyer (Fast Ninety first) streets, where it is now located. After Frederick Brooks, Rev. Royal B. Bascome
was at the head, then came Revs. Stephen W. Garrett, Marmaduke M. Dillon and I. McK. Pittenger. Reverend Pittenger
had been pastor of the Congregational Church at Brecksville. This became Presbyterian and Reverend Pittenger was
chosen presiding elder at a meeting of the Synod in Cleveland. Soon after he embraced the Episcopal faith and became
rector of Grace Church This came in the days when the articles of belief were more strictly drawn in the popular
mind than now and he was roundly criticized by some of his former associates in religious work. This would seem
unjust, for in Protestant churches, according to Schaff, the authority of creeds is relative and always subordinate
to the Bible as the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We have referred to this incident in the history
of Grace Church as showing how in later years, as the churches multiplied, there has been a change and church homes
are selected with less regard to the form of worship. We would like to give more of the history of this church
and of others but the limits of this chapter will not permit. The present rector of the church is Reverend Mr.
St. Mary's Church began as a mission or school in 1863, when Levi Battles and S. N. Sanford started The Cleveland
Female Seminary, a school for girls, providing for religious training. Meetings were held and Mr. Sanford acted
as licensed lay reader. In 1868 a church was organized with S. N. Sanford and Levi Battles as wardens and Lorenzo
R. Chapman, Walter Blythe, H. C. Deming, J. W. Fawcett and T. W. Mason as vestrymen. The first rector was Rev.
Royal B. Bascom, and under his rectorate a church was built and dedicated in 1870. Among those who served after
him were Revs. J. J. A. Morgan, Frank M. Hall and J. Sidney Kent. We mention these who were connected with the
earlier history of the church. The present rector is Rev. James W. Heywood and the church building is located on
All Saints, St. Mark's, Emanuel Church, Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd, and St. Luke's, all have an interesting
history dating back some fifty years. To one who would pass today the modest frame church at the corner of Scranton
Road and Mentor Avenue, the home of All Saints Church, he would hardly associate it, without previous information,
with the many who are and have been prominent in the business and civic life of Cleveland and have been identified
with its history. The present rector is Rev. J. S. Banks. Emanuel Church on Euclid Avenue was organized in 1876.
The first wardens were Dr. J. B. McConnell and W. C. Miller, and its vestrymen, Thomas C. Early, Enos Foreman,
Zenas King, A. C. Armstrong, George Wratten, William Snape and B. C. Field; Rev. B. C. Noakes was its first rector.
Its first home was a chapel at Euclid and Case (West Fortieth) and its present home the commodious church at Euclid
and East Eighty seventh Street. The present rector is Rev. Kirk B. O'Ferrall. Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd
was built as a memorial to Rev. Alexander Varian, his widow and children providing a lot on which a church was
built in 1873 on Addison Road. The present rector is Rev. Geo. I. Foster. St. Luke's began as a mission of St.
Paul's and a brick church was built on Broadway. The St. Luke's of today is located at West Seventy eighth Street
on Lake Avenue and the present rector is Rev. Leon T. Haley.
The number of Protestant Episcopal churches in Cleveland, at the present time, is exceeded by other denominations
but it has the distinction of having established the first church in a city of six hundred churches, a consummation
not probably dreamed of by the little gathering that met at the log house of Phineas Shepherd in 1816 and organized
Trinity. Among the later churches organized may be mentioned Christ Church at Superior and East 108th with E. G.
Mapes as rector, Holy Spirit on Wade Park Avenue, with Edwin L. Williams as rector; Incarnation on 105th Street,
A. R. McKinstry, rector; St. Albans on Edghill Road, J. E. Carhartt, rector; St. Andrews (colored), East Forty
ninth Street, William B. Southern, rector; St. Mark's, on Franklin Avenue, Lucius W. Shey, rector; St. Martin's
on Fairmount Boulevard, John K. Coolidge, rector; St. Matthew's on Clark Avenue, Leon T. Haley, rector; St. Paul's,
Euclid in East Cleveland, Walter R. Breed, pastor; St. Peter's, Edanola Avenue, L. B. Goodwin, rector; St. Stephen's
East 105th, William H. Rogers, rector; and St. Phillip's at West Thirty third and Denison Avenue, Rev. George Bailey
its rector. The last named church under the active support of its rector and a mean's league of unusual capability
has in the past year erected a beautiful brick church replacing a modest frame building that had been its temporary
home. And here again, as appears in so much of written history, we have made a grave omission, for the woman's
guild was an important factor and history should so record.
Methodist preaching began in Newburgh quite early and a class was formed in 1818. This had its ups and downs
and finally became extinct. The town was given up as a lost colony for a while. The statement written home by Reverend
Badger seemed to be founded on fact. On New Year's day in 1832, Lyman Ferris went to Cleveland and invited Reverend
Mr. Goddard, who had preached out there, to come out and try again. He did so and a class was formed consisting
of Lyman Ferris and wife, Stephen Ames and wife, Cyrus Chapman and wife, Mr. D. Henderson and Mrs. Willis. This
was the beginning of Methodism in the present limits of Cleveland. The first Methodist to live in Cleveland was
Mrs. Grace Johnson, who came to the county in 1822. The class formed in Newburgh in 1832 grew, having preachers
from neighboring circuits, and in 1841 a church building was erected at a cost of $3,000. This church had no settled
pastor until 1860, when Rev. D. C. Wright was engaged. Revs. S. Gregg, D. Prosser, R. M. Warren, M. Hill, G. W.
Chesbro, Thomas Stubbs, J. R. Lyon and A. S. Dobbs followed him in the order named. Under Reverend Dobbs a brick
church was built to replace the first frame building. In the '70s the board of trustees consisted of Edmund James,
John Henderson, William P. Braund, George R. Hill, George W. Culett, J. D. Jones, Robert Woodley, Noah Rathmer
and William Jones. Revs. C. Prindle, A. D. Morton and Benjamin Excell had also been settled pastors of the church
prior to the '80s.
Various meetings had been held by circuit riders in Cleveland, as originally bounded, previous to 1841, and in
that year the first Methodist Church was organized and a church built at the corner of St. Clair and Wood streets.
This was the first Methodist church organized in the original boundaries of Cleveland. In 1869 a new chapel was
built at the corner of Euclid and Erie (East Ninth), which became the church home until 1874 when the chapel was
replaced by a fine building costing $140,000. This church on the outskirts of Cleveland soon found itself in the
business center of the city and in 1904 the present beautiful edifice at Euclid and Fast Thirtieth, costing $250,000,
was erected. In all of its history this church has been the parent organization of Methodism in the city, establishing
missions and churches and starting them on their way. It has a membership of over three thousand and the pastor
is Rev. Albert E. Piper. Among the early pastors have been Revs. Francis A. Dighton, Hiram Gilmore, J. W. Lowe,
Hiram Kinsley, H. N. Stevens, J. Renney, J. K. Hallock, H. M. Bettes, A. M. Brown, L. D. Mix, Samuel Gregg and
B. K. Maltby.
Of the fifty churches in the city and vicinity multiplied as the population grew to the present time, we have mentioned
the East Cleveland, which was organized in 1827. There was the First German Methodist Episcopal, which was organized
in 1845 and three years later built a brick church building between Ontario and Erie (East Ninth), the Franklin
Avenue, however, was organized fifteen years before, in 1830. In 1860 the First German Church was built on East
Ninth (Erie) and later exchanged for the Baptist Church building at the corner of Scovill and Sterling. Early pastors
of this church include Revs. C. H. Buhre, C. Helway, John A. Klein, C. Gahn, P. F. Schneider, J. Rothweiler, N.
Nuhfer and Ennis Barr.
Christ Church organized by Rev. Dillon Prosser, and Taylor Street organized three years later, in 1853, by Rev.
Benjamin Parkins, and The German Methodist Church of the west side, are linked with the early history of Cleveland.
Reverend Prosser in the '50s established a Ragged School at the corner of Canal and Water streets. This was a sort
of relief work, such as the Salvation Army, are engaged in at the present time. The efforts of Reverend Prosser
were directed towards the rescue of destitute children. As Mrs. Ingham wrote of his work: "His pulpit was
an inverted flour barrel, from which he preached to the 'great unwashed.' " Mrs. Harriet Sanford Mitchell
and Mrs. Abby Fitch Babbit were engaged with Reverend Prosser in this rescue work. The work was enlarged and, in
1855, many were engaged in perfecting the workings of this rescue mission. Homes were visited and idle and destitute
children were brought in, but as many came from the vicious classes the work of the missionary was an important
element. Classes were taught, clothing was distributed, and work now done by the Associated Charities was carried
on. Rev. Dillon Prosser was a pioneer in this work, the importance of which in the building up of a great city
can hardly be overestimated. Quite early the headquarters of this relief or rescue work was located on Champlain
Street near where the police station now stands. Of this we will speak later.
Superior Street Tabernacle, the Scovill Avenue Church, the first organized in 1860 and the second in 1866, were
also brought into being under the enthusiastic direction of Reverend Prosser. Lorain Street Methodist Church was
organized in 1868 by Rev. H. L. Parish, who was its first pastor. Grace Church near Literary Street, organized
in 1870, and Broadway in 1872 under Revs. Ruddick and C. N. Grant, respectively, have a place in the history of
the early Methodist churches. The Willson Avenue Mission is identified with the early history of Methodism in Cleveland.
This was organized in a saloon on St. Clair Street as a mission Sunday school, then Mrs. Prosser, wife of Rev.
Dillon Prosser, purchased the building and had it removed to Willson Avenue (Fifty fifth Street). This was never
organized into a church.
Closely allied in religious worship but differing somewhat in creed was the first Wesleyan Methodist Church formed
in Cleveland. It came about in this way. At the Erie conference of the Methodist churches held in 1838 some expression
was adopted on the question of slavery that offended very many of the Cleveland Methodists. This action seems to
have been taken at the conference before the organization of the First Methodist Church, but was probably brought
before the church here at a later period. As a result sixty members of the First Church withdrew and formed the
First Wesleyan Methodist in 1843. This church stood alone until 1848 when it entered into the Wesleyan Methodist
Connection of America. Thus early in the churches of Cleveland as elsewhere the slavery question became an issue.
Of the fifty Methodist churches in Cleveland three are German, one is Swedish and nine are colored. The first colored
church was organized in 1874 under the name of the Union Chapel. In the same year a church building was erected
by C. H. Norton and given to the society. The first pastor was Rev. Henry Stum. Since that others have been organized
from time to time and they have been a great factor in the training of men and women for good citizenship. There
is the Allen Chapel Mission on Burke Avenue with David Irvin as pastor. The Avery Methodist Episcopal Church on
East Twenty eighth Street with Rev. Jesse Bass as pastor, the Bethel on Shiloh Road with Rev. H. H. Applegrove
as pastor, the Cory on Scovill Avenue with Rev. John B. Redmond as pastor, the Holsey Mission on Croton Avenue,
Rev. Robert B. Vinson, pastor; Lee Memorial on Cedar Avenue, Rev. L. H. Brown, pastor, and others.
It would be interesting to include a history Of each of the fifty churches of this denomination. The German churches
have taken an enviable place in the caravan of progress. As early as 1853 Mrs. Charlotte Degmeier, wife of a German
Methodist minister, began a work among the neglected children of the city, particularly among those of her own
nationality. She organized a School and Relief Society. The boys and girls were collected in a brick building at
the corner of Detroit and Pearl (West Twenty fifth) Street. This labor of love continued and Mrs. Degmeier purchased
a building on Main Street and was aided by Mrs. Alf Davis, Mrs. Horace Benton, Mrs. W. B. Guyles and Mrs. John
Cannon in her School and Relief Society. How much we owe to the women through the century and more of Cleveland's
building the writer can only indicate and the reader reflect upon.
Of the Free Methodists there are only two churches in the city. The first was formed in 1873. It started with six
members and a small building was erected on Pearl (West Twenty fifth) Street. The first officers were A. Bradfield,
William C. Jones, E. Thomas and Thomas Service. The first pastor was Rev. William H. James. Rev. C. F. Irish was
the pastor in the latter part of the '70s and he was later the pastor of churches of the Methodist Episcopal faith.
There was a Welsh Calvinist Church organized in 1858. We have given the Union Chapel as the first African Methodist
Church organized in the city but St. John's appears to have been organized in 1865 and hence should claim the distinction
of being the first.
The circuit riders of the Methodist Church were genuine pioneers, they endured the hardships of the forest life
and were a part of the crude civilization that built the first fires in the woods, beside which they called to
a better life based on the example of the Great Master. It is probable that some in this later time who are engaged
in the ministry may trace their ancestry back to the circuit riders of the early days. Among them are Revs. Elmer
E. Smith, John M. Baxter, John Oetjen, James T. Hoffman, John H Le Croix, John B. Redmond, Paul E. Secrest, Elton
D. Barnett, Louis C. Wright, Albert E. Piper, William C. Stokes, F. M. Baker. J. J. Wyeth, Franklin J. Nichols,
Robert B. Vinson, D. W. Knight, L. O. Eldredge, Marcellus B. Fuller, L. H. Brown, Joseph Kenney, John J. McAlpin
and John F. Rutledge and the superintendent of the Cleveland District, Rev. Isaac E. Miller.
The first Presbyterian church was formed with sixteen members September 19, 1820. The organization meeting was
held in the old log courthouse on the public square. Rev. Randolph Stone was the first minister. The meetings of
the church were held in the log courthouse for two years, then in the brick academy on St. Clair Street, where
engine house No. 1 now stands. The meetings were held on the second floor. The organization of the church was preceded
by that of a Sunday school, which was formed in June, 1819, with Elisha Taylor as superintendent. He was a Presbyterian,
while the secretary, Moses White, was a Baptist. Mr. Taylor is represented as a forceful character and his wife
as one "given to hospitality and a readiness to entertain ministers of all creeds who chanced to visit the
settlement." These were prominent in the formation and early years of the church as they had been in the Sabbath
school which preceded it a short time. The secretary, Mr. White, attended the meetings until the formation of the
first Baptist Church in the city. The original or charter members of the church were Elisha Taylor and Ann Taylor,
his wife; Henry Baird and Ann Baird, his wife; Samuel I. Hamlen, Philip B. Andrews, Sophia L. Perry, Sophia Walworth,
Mabel Howe, Bertha Johnson, Robert Baird and Nancy Baird, his wife; Rebecca Carter, Juliana Long, Isabella Williamson
and Harriet Howe. These were the first members of the Old Stone Church, as it is now called, a church which has
withstood the test of fire and business aggression and still has its home on the Public Square, its walls resting
in solemn grandeur on a site purchased for $400. Its history is closely allied with that of Trinity, for after
various meeting places were used, including those we have mentioned, and after Trinity erected a frame building
on St. Clair Street, both churches met in the new building. Later the Presbyterian Church was built on the Public
Square. The site was purchased, and this is the site upon which the present Old Stone Church stands, by Samuel
Cowles from Joel Scranton and there was a provision in the sale that within three years the property be sold to
the First Presbyterian Church for the purpose of erecting a meeting house thereon. The $400 was contributed by
ten men, Samuel Williamson, Samuel Cowles, Leonard Case, Peter M. Weddell, Nathan Perry and Harmon Kingsbury each
gave $50, and John M. Sterling, Samuel Starkweather, A. W. Walworth and Edmund Clark each gave $25. The first building
was put up in 1832, or it was begun in that year and Samuel I. Hamlen was appointed to supervise the building at
$2 per day. Money was scarce and the construction did not progress rapidly until a loan was secured from the Commercial
Bank of Lake Erie. The building as dedicated in 1834 was of stone and cost $9,500. It was 55 by 80 feet and in
the language of the school youth a "swell" building. The Rev. John Keep, who later assisted in the founding
of Oberlin College, was a supply pastor of the church. The first installed pastor was Rev. Samuel Clark Aiken.
He began his pastorate in 1835, and, as illustrating the solidity and stability of the Old Stone Church, he remained
until 1861. In the meantime a great calamity had visited the congregation, their fine building, the finest in the
city, with a spire 230 feet high, was burned. There was insurance and reconstruction immediately began. In 1884
a second fire, which originated in the Wick Block adjoining, visited the church. The loss was $175,000. The next
day the pastor, Doctor Mitchell, preached on the text, "Thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."
After this fire the agitation in the church and community began for a removal of the church away from the downtown
location to some residence section but it did not prevail. Col. John Hay was one who urged the retention of the
present site. Others of influence joined and it was finally determined to retain the old historic site. The Old
Stone Church is identified with the history of Cleveland from a very early date and its activities have been many.
Probably no church in the city has had so many men and women of wealth and influence connected with it as has this
one. Its pastors have been retained for long periods. Among them have been Revs. Samuel Clark Aiken, William Henry
Goodrich, Hiram Collins Hayden, Arthur Mitchell and Alf red J. Wright. The present able and eloquent leader is
Rev. Andrew Barclay Meidrum, who began his labors as pastor in 1902. In a history of the Old Stone Church recently
published by Arthur C. Ludlow, D. D., we find this paragraph: "The growing cosmopolitan character of the Stone
Church is emphasized by such names upon its rolls as George Assad, Woo Let, Maryem and Farceedy Maalouf, Halvin
Najeb, Michael Nassif, Assas Said, Nahli and Naseef Salim, Foo Lock, Wong King, Carlos Gomez, Alphonzo Espinosa
Since the founding of the Old Stone Church thirty more have been added, many of them if not all promoted in their
organization by the first church on the Public Square. Among them are one colored, one Hungarian and one Italian
The South Presbyterian we have ref erred to in the chapter on Newburgh. There was no Presbyterian preaching
out there until 1821 when occasional meetings were held at the house of Noah Graves and it was in this house in
December, 1832, that Revs. David Peet of Euclid and Harvey Lyon organized the South Presbyterian Church. It was
Congregational in form but attached to the Cleveland Presbytery. There were eleven charter members, Edward and
Theodocia Taylor, James and Sarah Ashwell, Elizabeth Southern, John and Martha Stair, John and Amy Righter and
Elizabeth Derrick. A temporary meeting place was fitted up out of an old carpenter shop on Miles Avenue. At first
there were no regular meetings held but Rev. Simon Woodruff preached occasionally. Rev. John Keys, who began his
labors after Woodruff, was the first stated supply. He was followed by Rev. Mathew Fox and under his ministry the
church became Presbyterian in form and was attached to the Wooster Presbytery. In 1841-42 a frame church was built
near the present site of the Hospital for the Insane on a lot given by Judge Hosmer. This was the first house of
worship built in the part of Cleveland that was once Newburgh. In 1869 a brick church was built costing $15,000,
a large sum in those days, and the building was a wonderful advance over the carpenter shop where the first meetings
were held. Among the early pastors have been Revs. William McReynolds, James Straw, Erastus Chester, D. W. Childs,
William C. Turner, Joseph S. Edmonds and E. Curtis. In the '80s John Davidson, Harvey H. Pratt and H. B. Marble
Following a notice of the early churches somewhat chronologically, the United Presbyterian Church comes next although
of a different denomination. This was organized in the Hancock Block at the corner of Superior and Seneca streets
in 1843 by Reverend Mr. McLaren. The first ruling elders were I. Campbell, D. Pollock and J. Dodds. A small building
was erected for its meetings at the southwest corner of Seneca and Superior streets and in 1853 an expensive brick
one at Erie and Huron. Rev. J. W. Logue was the first minister giving a part of his time to a church of the same
denomination in Northfield Summit County. Reverend Logue was the father of Judge Logue of the Police and Common
Pleas courts of Cleveland. Revs. H. A. McDonald. and J. L. Althen were early pastors.
The Second Presbyterian Church was organized in 1844, under a charter granted some years before in the Ohio Legislature,
by Rev. S. C. Aiken of the Old Stone Church. Most of its membership came from that church originally. This congregation
first built on Rockwell where the County Jail now stands. This building they sold to the Second Baptist Society
and moved to Erie (East Ninth) Street. In 1876 this church was burned and two years later a fine church, seating
1,300 people, at the corner of Prospect and Sterling, was dedicated. David Long, Henry Sexton. Jeremiah Holt, Eli
P. Morgan, Jesse F. Taintor and Samuel Mather were the first ruling elders, and William A. Otis, T. P. Handy and
S H Fox the first deacons. Among the early pastors were Revs. Sherman B. Canfield, James Eells, Theron H. Hawks
and Charles H. Pomeroy. During the pastorate of the last named the roll of officers comprised many well known names
in the annals of Cleveland. There were Leverett Alcott, E. I. Baldwin, Martin L. Brooks, Dan P. Fells, Erastus
F. Gaylord, Truman P. Handy, John Mansfield, Samuel Mather and Edwin R. Perkins, who were ruling elders, O. J.
Benham, Charles W. Chase, Charles J. Dockstader, George G. Johnson, Charles H. Randall and Henry S. Whittlesey,
who were deacons, and H. B. Hurlbut, J. G. Hower, S. H. Benedict, A. K. Spencer and E. I. Baldwin were trustees.
The Euclid Avenue Presbyterian was an early church, organized in 1853 with thirteen members all from the Old Stone
or First Church. Zalmon Fitch and Elisha Taylor were the first elders, Augustus Fuller and Joseph Perkins the first
deacons, and Rev. Joseph B. Bittinger the first pastor. Among the early pastors were Revs. Oxman A. Lyman, Charles
H. Baldwin, W. H. Jeffers and J. L. Robertson. Its church building at the corner of Brownell and Euclid was put
up in 1853 by the Old Stone Church at a cost of $30,000.
A Welsh Presbyterian Church was organized in 1866 by John Moses, who was its first pastor. For various reasons
its membership soon dwindled away. The North Presbyterian Church began as a mission of the Old Stone Church as
a Sunday school on St. Clair Street and regular church services were instituted as early as 1865. It built a chapel
on Aaron Street and Revs. Aaron Peck, Jr., B. P. Johnson and D. W. Sharts preached. Rev. Aaron Smyth was the first
regular supply. In 1872 under the pastorate of Rev. H. R. Hoisington the Sunday school had an enrollment of 1,000.
Memorial Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Case (Fortieth) and Sibley, was organized in 1870 by Rev. James
A. Skinner. The first regular pastor was Rev. Francis A. Horton, W. H. Vantine, John C. Grant, John C. Preston,
Donly Hobart, Alfred Adams and Truman Hastings were the first elders; Henry T. Carline, deacon; and Mrs. Julia
L. Ozanne, Mrs. Mary W. Hastings and Mrs. Emily A. Horton, deaconesses. In these latter officers we note that the
age of progress was at hand. Walter R. Austin was auditor and Truman Hastings, clerk. The Woodland Avenue Presbyterian
Church was organized in 1872. Its first officers were Solon L. Severance, Ira Lewis, Marcus W. Montgomery and Henry
James, elders; John J. Davis and William W. Robinson, deacons. Its first pastor was Rev. Edward P. Gardner. Its
commodious church at Woodland and Kennard housed in the '70s the largest Sunday school in the city.
Presbyterian headquarters in the Hippodrome Building are in charge of Rev. C. L. Zorbaugh, superintendent. We cannot
dose this outline of the expansion of this great church in Cleveland without mentioning some of the ministers whose
activities are more recent. Among them are Revs. Elliott Field, Charles D. Darling, Adelbert P. Higley, Alexander
McGaffin, Francis De Simone, Samuel W. Griffiths, Joel B. Hayden, Andrew B. Meldrum, Frank H. Ferris, Julius Kish,
Arthur H. Limouxe, Eugene E. House, Fred W. Pace, Alfred J. Wright, Arthur M. Campbell, J. Grant Walter, Arthur
C. Ludlow, E. Pugh Thomas, Harvey E. Holt, W. P. Thomas, Pietro A. Fant, C. L. Jefferson, Narver H. Bergen, B.
R. King, L. F. Ruff, Frank T. Barry, Paul F. Sutphen, Louis F. Ruf and Doctor McIntosh.
The First Baptist Church of Cleveland was organized in February, 1833, by Rev. Richmond Taggart. It was attached
to the Rocky River Baptist Association. It should be remembered, however, that the first sermon preached in the
present confides of Cleveland was by a Baptist missionary, the Revolutionary soldier, Reverend Mr. Badger. The
original members of this first church were seventeen in number, Moses White, Benjamin Rouse, Rebecca E. Rouse,
Thomas Whelpley, Jeduthan Adams,
John Seamon, Horatio Ranney, Leonard Stockwell, Sophia Stockwell, Thomas Goodman, John Malvin, Harriet Malvin,
S. M. Cutler, Mary Belden, Harriet Hickox, Letha Griffin and Elizabeth Taylor. The first meetings were held in
the old academy at St. Clair and West Sixth Street. The church was not long in getting a home of its own, for,
three years later, a meeting house built at the corner of Seneca and Champlain streets at a cost of $13,000 was
dedicated. When Rev. Levi Tucker, who succeeded Mr. Taggart, began his labors the church had grown from the original
seventeen. Two hundred and twenty nine had been received by baptism and 204 by letter. Rev. S. W. Adams was the
church pastor from 1846 until his death in 1864. During his pastorate, in 1855, the Plymouth Congregational Church
at the corner of East Ninth and Euclid was purchased and this became the church home. Among the early pastors were
Revs. A. H. Strong, Judy L. Richmond, E. F. Willey, J. H. Walden, S. W. Adams, J. F. Behrends, George W. Gardner
and Phillip S. Moxom. The first deacons were Moses White, Alexander Sked, Benjamin Rouse and John Benney. A history
of the First Baptist Church published in 1922 under the direction of a historical committee consisting of A. L.
Walcott, Mary E. Adams and H. G. Baldwin, outlines its history as follows: Organization of the Female Baptist Sewing
Society, dedcation of first building at the corner of Seneca and Champlain, purchase of site corner Euclid and
East Ninth, organization of Idaka Sunday School, organization of Idaka Memorial Baptist Church, celebration of
the fiftieth anniversary, the union of Idaka Church with the First Baptist, laying the corner stone of the edifice
at Prospect and Kennard, dedication of the same, organization of the Men's League, organization of the Women's
League, celebrating of the seventy fifth anniversary, contributions reaching the high water mark for benevolence
in the year 1921, to-wit $56,862.07. Membership in 1922, 801. Idaka Chapel was the gift of Stillman Witt and his
daughter, Mrs. Dan P. Eells. This was the home first of a Sunday school and then of the church mentioned. The present
pastor of the church is Rev. David Bovington and the assistant pastor, Rev. H. Schuyler Foster. The trustees are
Ambrose Swasey, W. H. Prescott, David E. Green, H. G. Baldwin, C. S. Smith, C. B. Ellinwood, F. W. Lovill, J. P.
Mapes and C F. Groth, and the deacons, John R. Owens, A. L. Talcott, T. E. Adams, C. H. Prescott, W. A. Stevenson,
Harry Hales, Robert R. Buckley, Albert H. Price, H. C. Schofield and Edwin F. Groth. Among the later pastors have
been Revs. Herbert F. Stillwell, A. G. Upham, Loundes Pickard and Charles H. Prescott.
Since the organization of this first church in Cleveland the Baptist churches have increased to eighty six, outnumbering
any other Protestant church in the city and equaling the number of Catholic churches. We must mention a few of
the early churches.
The Second Baptist Church was organized from the First Baptist in 1851 and was first known as the Erie Street Baptist
Church. It began with forty three members. The first pastor was J. Hyatt Smith, the first trustees, Ransom Green,
V. A. Payne, H. Ranney, Peter Abbey and Daniel Himebaugh; clerk, Benjamin Rouse; and the treasurer, Ezra Thomas.
They built a church at the corner of Erie and Huntington, which was dedicated in 1871. After this they were known
as the Second Baptist Church. Among the early pastors were Revs. Alfred Pinney, D. S. Watson, Samuel W. Duncan
and George Thomas Dowling. The Third Baptist Church came into being as the First Baptist Church of Ohio City and
was organized in 1852. After the two cities united it took the name of the Third Baptist Church of Cleveland. It
began with a membership of eight men and twelve women. The first pastor was Rev. N. S. Burton; the clerk, C. A.
Crumb; the treasurer, William Tompkins; and the trustees, John McClelland, John Honeywell and Richard Phillips.
Its early pastors include Revs. S. B. Page, George W. Gates, William Carmac, A. Darrow, M. E. Hayne, W. F. Barten
and J. H. Scott. In the same year the Superior Street Baptist Church had its inception in the Cottage Baptist Mission
and Sunday School. A church was organized in 1870 with Rev. Edwin A. Taft as its first pastor. The mission was
founded in 1852. The Tabernacle Baptist Church should be included among the early churches. It developed from the
Scovill Avenue Baptist Mission which was founded in 1858. The first pastor was Rev. T. L. Lyon.
Shiloh (colored) was founded in 1865, the First German Baptist in 1866 with Rev. Gerhard Koopman as its first pastor
and Rev. Edward Greutzner as a later pastor, the Welsh Baptist, organized out in the old Eighteenth Ward (Newburgh)
with thirty six members in 1868, the first preachers, Revs. William Owen and Richard Evans, and the first regular
pastor, Rev. S. Thomas. Among the early pastors of this church have been Revs. J. T. Griffiths, D. C. Thomas, Moses
Wright, S. Job, W. Brees and W. J. Williams, and its early officers included Edward Jones, Edward Rodway, and John
Stevens, deacons, and John E. Jones, choir leader. This church became famous quite early for its excellent choir
singing. Of a different denomination, the Scranton Avenue Free Baptist, located at Scranton and Putnam, was founded
in 1868. The first pastor was Rev. A. H. Chase. A. K. Moulton, O. D. Patch and Ransom Dunn were early pastors.
Trinity Baptist founded in 1872 by Rev. J. L. Tollhurst, and the Garden Street Mission of the First Baptist are
identified with the early history of this church. The Baptist headquarters are located in the Schofield building
with Rev. Arc M. McDonald as superintendent. There are in the city, of this denomination, twenty four colored churches
and missions, two German, one Czecho-Slovak, two Hungarian, one Polish, one Swedish, one Slovak, one Italian mission,
two Romanian and one Slovanian mission.
Of the later ministers of this church we should mention Rev. William W. Bustard, pastor of the Euclid Avenue Baptist
Church, whose church has become famous by reason first of the eloquence of its pastor and second as having for
many years among its parishioners John D. Rockefeller, who took an active interest in its welfare. The thrift that
is inherent in Mr. Rockefeller's nature is shown in an incident connected with this church. Taking the Sunday school
out for an outing at one of the beaches, Mr. Rockefeller interviewed the boatman who operated a pleasure launch
giving rides out into the lake at so much per head. "How much do you charge?" said he to the captain.
On receiving a reply, he said, "Yes, but how much for a thousand?" An arrangement was made by which all
had a ride during the day much to the profit of the boatman and with much saving to Mr. Rockefeller over what it
would have cost at the retail price.
Among the later pastors of the city may be mentioned, in addition to Mr. Bustard, Revs. J. T. Raymond, Albert Knopf,
Washington M. Page, J. Sims, Irving DePuy, James M. Crawford, Joseph E. Wilson, William L. Lemon, Horace C. Bailey,
William Daude, Franklin W. Sweet, J. C. Walker, Howard A. Vernon, Millard Breisford, T. W. Dons, Roy D. Wood, Charles
Gersak, Joseph Vanek, Michael Prof ant, Fred J. Blake, Karl Jarsak, Romyer M. Green and others.
The Disciple or Christian Church as it is now called first began its history in Cleveland by preaching out in Newburgh,
then a separate township, as early as 1828, Ebenezer Williams being the first preacher. The Eighteenth Ward Disciple
Church was organized in that part of the present limits of the city in 1842. The elders have been William Hayden,
John Hopkinson, Jonas Hartzler, F. M. Green, James A. Garfield, O. M. Atwater, Lathrop Cooley, John Pinkerton,
J. M. Monroe, S. K. Sweetman, J. H. Jones, E. D. Barclay and W. F. Spindler. These among the early ministers officiated
during the first third of a century and more of the church life. In the same year the Franklin Street Disciple
Church on the West Side was organized by Rev. John Henry. This church began with thirty members. There was preaching
by many pioneer evangelists. Rev. Lathrop Cooley was the first pastor. Others who served the church in that capacity
were James A. Garfield, William Robinson, W. D. Winter, C. C. Foote, B. A. Hinsdale, James Cannon and Alanson Wilcox.
A. J. Marvin, James Cannon, William Tousley, R. O. White, N. D. Fisher and Albert Teachout were among the early
The Euclid Avenue Disciple Church was organized in 1843 near Doan's Corners. The first minister was Elder M. S.
Clapp. Among the first ministers were J. B. Pinkerton, C. C. Foote, J. H. Jones and Jabez Hall, and its early officers
included C. B. Lockwood, W. S. Streator and B. L. Pennington. There are now fourteen churches of this denomination
in the city, now denominated the Christian Church. The headquarters are in the Arcade with Rev. Isaac J. Cahill
as executive secretary. Ministers at the present time having charges include Revs. Franklin D. Butchart, Charles
N. Filson, T. E. Winter, Fred H. Schmitt, Jacob H. Golden, F. Hooker Groom, Clarence A. Hanna, Charles J. Pardee,
Walter S. Cook, William N. Vickers, G. S. Bennett and Myndert Bothyl. Rev. Golden has a wide reputation as a speaker
and leading divine.
[ Continued in part 2 ]