17:1 St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran
17:2 Pilgrim English Evangelical Lutheran
17:3-4 Pilgrim Evangelican Lutheran Church
17:5 Lakewood English Evangelical Lutheran
17:6 English Evangelical Lutheran Church
17:7 (Pentecost) Lutherans to Observe 45th Anniversary
17:8-9 Pilgrim Church Will Mark 50th Anniversary
17:10 Pilgrim Evangelical Lutheran Pastors
17:11 (Trinity Lutheran Church) Marks 50th Year
17:12 Springfield Calls Lakewood Pastor (Trinity Lutheran)
17:13 Detroit Street Methodist Episcopal
17:14 Detroit Street Methodist Episcopal
17:15 Detroit Avenue Methodist Church
17:16 Detroit Avenue M. E. Church
17:17 Detroit Avenue Methodist Church
17:18 Rockport Methodist Episcopal Church
17:19-22 Lakewood Methodist Episcopal Church
17:23-24a Lakewood Methodist Episcopal Church
17:25-28 Lakewood Methodist
17:29 Lakewood M.E. (Methodist Episcopal) Church
17:30 Lakewood Methodist Episcopal
17:31 Lakewood Methodist Pastors
17:31a Farewell of Dr. Duncan on Sunday (Lakewood Methodist)
17:32 Rockport Methodist Episcopal Church
17:33 Rockport Methodist Episcopal Church
17:34 Rockport Methodist Episcopal
17:35 Rocky River M.E. Church
17:36 Rocky River M.E. Church
17:37-38 Lakewood Presbyterian Church
17:39 Lakewood Presbyterian
17:40 Lakewood Presbyterian Church
17:41 Men's Bible Class New Home (Lakewood Presbyterian)
17:42 Lakewood Presbyterian Has Had Only Two Pastors Since Founding
17:43 Lakewood Grace Presbyterian to Mark 40th Year
17:44 Lakewood United Presbyterian
17:45 Lakewood United Presbyterian Church
17:46-47 New Jerusalem Church
17:48-49 Church of the Redeemer
17:50-52 Church of the Redeemer
17:53 First New Jerusalem (Swedenborgian)
17:54 Church of the Redeemer
17:55 New Jerusalem Church (Swedenborgian)
17:56 Calvary United Brethren Church
17:57 Lakewood Calvary United Brethren
17:57a-58 St. Christopher's Church
17:59-60 SS. Cyril & Methodius
17:61-63 St. Gregory's Church
17:64-65 St. Hedwig's Catholic Church
17:66-67 Sts. Peter & Paul Russian Orthodox Church
17:68-70 Parkwood Congregational
17:71-72 Church of the Ascension (Episcopal)
17:73-75 St. Paul's Lutheran Church
17:76-77 S.S. Peter and Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church
17:78-79 Trinity Lutheran Church
17:80-81 Membership of Twenty Laid Foundations of Lakewood Methodist
17:82-83 Rockport Methodist Church
17:84-85 Church of the Nazarene
17:86-87 Lakewood United Presbyterian
17:88-90 Lakewood Seventh Day Adventist
17:91-93 Gethsemane Lutheran Church
17:95-97 First Evangelical and Reformed Church
17:98 Georgian Style in Lakewood (Lakewood Congregational Church)
17:99 After 123 Years, Lakewood's First Church Will Come Down (Church of the Redeemer)
17:100 New Woman Cleric in Lakewood (St. Peter's Episcopal)
17:101 Church to Have Woman Assistant Rector (St. Peter's Episcopal)
17:102-105 Diamond Jubilee: Italian-inspired Church Is Priest's Legacy (St. James Church)
ST. PAUL'S EVENGELICAL LUTHERAN
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 10
Organized in 1904, by seven families from St. Luke's Lutheran Church at West 85th Street and three members from Rocky River. A lot was purchased on Lakeland Avenue, and a mission church erected. Of the charter members eight are still living.
On the 22nd of April, 1917, the present beautiful church edifice, corner Detroit and Arthur Avenues, was dedicated. There are now more than 200 communicant members. From the beginning St. Paul's church has maintained a parish school in connection with the religious work.
While in the Sunday morning services English and German alternate, the Sunday School and the religious instructions in the school are conducted altogether in the English language.
The first pastor was Rev. F. Zucker, who was succeeded by Rev. Carl E. Hoffmann.
The present pastor, who took up his work here in November, 1913, is Rev. J .H. Meyer. He graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, and served the first years of his ministry in South America.
The congregation owns besides the church building on Arthur Avenue and the school with two lots on Lakeland Avenue, also a parsonage at 1434 Lakeland Avenue.
The following teachers, all graduates of our Lutheran teachers' colleges in Seward, Nebraska, and in River Forest, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, have served the school: Mr. W. Niermann, Mr. G. Witte, Mr. F. Schwass and the present teacher, Mr. Paul Hoffmeyer.
The growth of the church has been constant and she looks with confidence and bright hopes into the future.
PILGRIM ENGLISH EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 11
One of the latest, if not the latest, of the many churches which grace the corners of the streets and avenues of our fair city is Pilgrim English Evangelical Lutheran Church on the corner of Manor Park and Detroit Avenue. Why this latest addition to the already large family of Lakewood churches? About four years ago, realizing that there was a distinct and persistent call for English Lutheran mission work of the type that was born in the Reformation that transformed the whole world in the time of Dr. Martin Luther, a small group of men and women, mostly members of the Local Missouri Synod Lutheran church, separated themselves peacefully from their former congregation and began this work to which they felt so earnestly called. Surely within so large and flourishing a city as ours and with so large a Lutheran population in our mother city, Lutherans whose children at least are no longer able to speak the German language and yet to whom the sacred principles of Lutherism are so dear, surely there must be a call here for this particular work. Were they mistaken in their diagnosis of the situation? Not if we may be allowed to judge by results. For about a year the little congregation held its services, by the kindness of Dr. Thomas King and Redeemer congregation, in the little chapel on Andrew's Avenue. During this first year the congregation was served by Rev. C.C. Morhart and other English Lutheran pastors of Cleveland and vicinity. In December of 1914, the present pastor, the Rev. Paul G. Kenrich, was called from Baltimore, Maryland, and in June of the following year, the congregation dedicated its present beautiful basement church on one of the finest corners of Lakewood. Today the congregation numbers over 300 members with a Sunday school enrollment of 140. The congregation is self-supporting and has been for more than a year past. It owns its own property, valued at approximately $20,000, and has plans underway for the enlargement of the basement and for building the superstructure.
Among the most valued of the assets of this congregation is its splendidly zealous ladies society of tireless workers, who have been a constant source of inspirations to the whole congregation. Among the other organizations Pilgrim church numbers; a Men's club, choir, Young People's, Young Ladies', and Junior societies and latest of all a Young People's Patriotic League--combining all societies into an organization for service and helpfulness to the boys of the army and navy. While Pilgrim church is a staunch advocate of that sacred principle of Liberty embodied in the constitution of the United States--the complete separation of church and state--and therefore in no sense a meddler in politics, yet she is thoroughly American in all her sentiments and patriotic in all her members. Pilgrim Lutheran Church on the corner of Manor Park and Detroit Avenues stands for the promulgation, in the English language, to the American public, of those self-same eternal principles of truth and of liberty for which Dr. Martin Luther contended in the sixteenth century—the complete and verbal inspiration of the Bible. Its sole and absolute authority in all matters of faith; the absolute liberty of the individual conscience and the complete separation of church and state. Understanding her one great mission to be the preaching of the Gospel of Christ crucified for the sins of the world, Pilgrim church sticks to her mission, year in, year out, in times of war and in times of peace, in sunshine and in shadows, ever the same, and doors are open to all who desire the message of the cross of Christ. You are welcome.
PILGRIM EVANGELICAN LUTHERAN CHURCH
The Dedication of Our Church
Unspecified source, undated
The dedication of our church is now a glorious event of the past, and pleasant indeed is the memory of it. As previously announced, it took place on the 12th of November. On that day we "went with the voice of joy and praise with a multitude that kept holy day. Though rain fell in a steady drizzle the greater part of the day, we estimate that least 1500 persons worshipped with us. The evening service was best attended, many failing to get a seat, not a few failing to get even standingroom. We found that we can seat about 600.
In the morning Pastor George Schutes preached to us about "the true church", dwelling on the comforting blessing of Aaron: Numbers 6, 24-26. Pastor Muhly, who spoke in the afternoon, used as his text Joshua 3,5: Tomorrow The Lord will do wonders among you." Pastor G. Schuessler spoke on the words: "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning,--Luke 12, 35. He said that the Christian should gird his loins because he is Christ's soldier and servant, and a pilgrim; that he should keep burning the light of truth, love and confidence. Referring to the latter, he said: "that if you sit here discouraged and doleful, I am not with you. I can't be. I have the utmost confidence in the cause of Christ, in which I am serving." The excellent music rendered by our singers and organist added greatly to the beauty and appeal of every service.
Of course, our building came in for a great deal of comment. Most of it was highly favorable. Pastor Schutes, as soon as he stepped into the church, could not refrain from exclaiming: "Wonderful windows! That's R. Toland Wright." Our venerable brother, Pastor Weseloh, was equally impressed. After he had extended general congratulations, he said: "And your windows are jewels." Pastor Webber, before whose knowledge of these things we bow in humility, who has seen nearly all of America's best church buildings, declares that in his opinion the window in our chancel is the very finest. It is, more over, a source of unending inspiration for all who worship with us, especially because it so plainly holds before us all Christ, our Lord and Saviour, on the cross.
LAKEWOOD ENGLISH EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918, Pg. 11
This church owns the splendid lot at the northeast corner of Detroit and Hall Avenues, free of all debt. The congregation worships in a comfortable portable chapel and hopes to build a new church in the near future, and has been gathering a building fund for some time.
Since the new pastor, Rev. Charles H. Tilp, B.D. [corrected to D.D. ?] 1488 Wagar Avenue, took charge, the membership has been increased and others are to be received soon.
The Sunday school meets at 9:30 a.m. and is active and growing in interest and numbers. A Young Ladies' class, of which Mr. B.C. Kibler, 1493 Lauderdale Avenue, is the efficient teacher, has had a remarkable record. The best graded system is used in the study of the Word and there are classes for all ages, with an efficient corps of teachers. Men, women and children not members of other Lakewood churches, are urged to join one of the Bible classes. Mr. R.E. Stimely, 1444 Woodward Avenue, superintendent; Miss Mildred Hallstrom, 1258 Marlowe Avenue, secretary; Mr. H.A. Kurth, 1281 Nicholson Avenue, treasurer. The offerings average more than ten cents per capita. The school and church have contributed to the Y.M.C.A., Library and Red Cross funds as well as to the Syrian and Armenian Relief and are contributing to the War Fund of the National Lutheran Commission which is raising $750,000 for Soldiers and Sailors Welfare.
A Luther League was organized recently and is doing a splendid work among the young people. The devotional survice is held at 6:45 o'clock every Sunday evening. Monthly business meetings and socials are held in the homes of the members. A military social was held February 12, at the home of Miss Prudence Stimely. Mr. V.S. Byler, 1607 Elmwood Avenue is the president.
The Ladies' Aid is a strong arm of the church.
The pastor conducts two Catechetical [corrected to Catechistical] classes, advanced class, Friday at 1 p.m.; beginners, Saturday at 2 p.m.
Lenten services each Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Public worship at 10:45 a.m., and 7:30 p.m.
ENGLISH EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
HISTORY OF THE CITY OF LAKEWOOD -- F.C. LOWING
The English Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized January 7, 1912, by Ralph J. White, who is the mission superintendent of the East Ohio Synod of the English Evangelical Lutheran denomination. There were 22 members at its inception. A few months later Rev. H.M. Havice became the pastor and assumed the duties of the work.
At the outset a lot was secured on Detroit Avenue, at the intersection of Hall, and a chapel erected at a cost of $750. There are 81 members at this time, and the congregation is planning to build a permanent church home.
LUTHERANS TO OBSERVE 45TH ANNIVERSARY
LAKEWOOD POST -- May 9, 1963
Pentecost Lutheran Church will mark the 45th anniversary of its founding on May 19. Twenty-five charter members met to organize the Pentecost Congregation in Lakewood of whom five will be present to celebrate this event: John Simon, Sr., George Fenko, Joseph Lukach, Andrew Folta and Adam P. Pangrac.
The Rev. L. A. Jarosi, retired pastor of Holy Trinity, organized the group and served it during various vacancies. The pastors serving the parish were Rev. Andrew Bomba 1923-1927; Rev. Jon Pelikan, 1927-1930; Rev. Adam Valencik 1930-1949; Rev. Martin L. Slovak 1949-1958; and the present pastor, Rev. Samuel P. Mozolak who was called here in 1958.
On September 21, 1952 the congregation erected its new church building at a cost of $225,000. On May 19 there will be rededication of the refurbished church interior and a remodeled church basement. The anniversary guest preachers will be the Rev. Andrew Hvizdak of Pleasant City, Ohio, who will speak at the 9 A.M. Slovak Service; Rev. Andrew Brondos of Massillon who will speak at the 11 A.M. English Worship, and Rev. Albert Marcis of Parma who will speak at the 5 P.M. Vesper Service.
PILGRIM CHURCH WILL MARK 50TH ANNIVERSARY
LAKEWOOD POST -- March 28, 1963
On Sunday, March 31, Pilgrim Lutheran Church will conduct its special Anniversary Service of Thanksgiving at 10:30 a.m. This service will commemorate Pilgrim Church's 50th Anniversary. Rev. Karl H. Ehlers, who was the church's pastor from 1921 until his retirement in September, 1962, will be guest minister, and Rev. Paul E. Woidke, Pilgrim's present pastor, will serve as liturgist.
On April 5, 1913, a group of Lutherans met to organize a church which was to be known as Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 14224 Detroit. On April 5, 1963, exactly 50 years later, Pilgrim Church will celebrate its Golden Anniversary at a dinner which will be served at 6:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Detroit at Arthur.
At this dinner, Rev. Lester W. Draheim, Chaplain at Lutheran Hospital and fellow -member will serve as master of ceremonies. Rev. Werner H. Jurgens, minister of Christ Lutheran Church, Cleveland, will be guest speaker. Other honored guests will include Frank Maag, president of the congregation, the Rev. Karl H. Ehlers and Paul E. Woidke, and Mrs. Pauline Grumney, widow of Pilgrim's first pastor.
The guest of honor at this celebration will be Miss Catherine Warschefski, who is the only living charter member still with the church. Miss Warschefski has been very faithful in her attendance during these 50 years; for many years she served as secretary of the Sunday School; sheis a member of the Lutheran Business and Professional Women's group and an active member in Pilgrim's Guild.
PILGRIM EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN PASTORS
Rev. Charles Morhart -- 1913 temporary
Rev. Walter Auping -- 1913 temporary
Rev. George Romoser -- 1913 temporary
Rev. J. F. Yount -- 1913 temporary
Rev. Harry Muh1y -- 1913 temporary
Rev. Paul Kenrich -- 1914 - 1921
Rev. Karl Ehlers -- 1921 -
MARKS 50TH YEAR
CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER -- October 15, 1962
Trinity Lutheran Church, Lakewood, began its 50th anniversary observance with a Sunday school rally and a commemorative service with Dr. John W. Ri11ing, a former pastor, of Springfield, Ohio, preaching. The Rev. John H. Evans, pastor, officiated.
Dollar-size gold-plated medallions in token of the anniversary were given to 150 Sunday school youngsters. Others will be given to persons attending the anniversary banquet Friday night.
The church edifice was dedicated in 1921 and a Sunday school addition completed 10 years ago.
SPRINGFIELD CALLS LAKEWOOD PASTOR
Unidentified Newspaper -- March 6, ?
Rev. John W. Rilling, minister of Trinity Lutheran Church, 16402 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, yesterday announced his resignation, to take effect July 1.
Rev. Mr. Rilling is leaving to accept a call from the large First Lutheran Church in Springfield, O. His new charge was the mother church of all the Lutheran churches in Springfield. It is 100 years old and has more than 1,000 members. The church also founded Wittenberg College.
Since coming here in 1937, Rev. Mr. Rilling has doubled the membership of Trinity Church and has won the friendship of large numbers of people in Lakewood and Cleveland.
He was graduated from Wittenberg College and Hamma Divinity School, Springfield. He has done advanced study at Leipzig University, Germany, and at Oberlin Graduate School of Theology. He was pastor of the Lutheran Church at Versailles, 0., before coming to Trinity Church.
DETROIT STREET METHODIST EPISCOPAL
HISTORY OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY -- C. JOHNSON -- 1879, Pg. 507
About 1850 a small band of "Bible Christians" used to worship occasionally in the Free Will Baptist church and continued to do so for three or four years. The first class contained sixteen members; its leader being Mark Tegardine. Rev. Richard Roach, of C1eveland, used to come out and preach for them, as did others whose names cannot now be recalled. Members of the denomination known as the United Brethren also had meetings in the Baptist church at that time, and after the Bible Christians discontinued worship, the Wesleyan Methodists formed a class with Tegardine as the leader. Their first minister was Rev. Mr. Crooks.
Later, the Wesleyans gave place to a Methodist Episcopa1 class of twenty members and of that, too, Mark Tegardine was chosen leader; the Rev. Mr. Jewett of Berea preaching the first sermon. A church edifice known as the Detroit Street M.E. Church was bui1t in 1876, at which time Rev. Mr. McCaskie was the pastor. After him Rev. William Warren took charge. The present membership is one hundred and twenty-five. The class leaders are James Primat, John Webb, Stephen Hutchins and Mark Tegardine, and the trustees are Archibald Webb, James Bean, Joseph Parsons and Peter C1ampet.
DETROIT STREET METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
HISTORY OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY AND CLEVELAND -- W.R. COATES -- Volume I, Pg. 179
In 1850 a little band of "Bible Christians" met at frequent intervals for four or five years in the Free Will Baptist Church. It was called a class and Mark Tegardine was its leader. Rev. Richard Roach used to come out from Cleveland occasionally to preach to them. The United Brethren also met in the same building for occasional worship.
After the "Bible Christians" stopped meeting, the Wesleyan Methodists formed a class and Mark Tegardine was its leader. They engaged Reverend Crooks as the first preacher. After a while the Wesleyan Methodists gave way to the Methodist Episcopal denomination and a class was formed and still Mark Tegardine was the class leader. Their first pastor was Reverend Jewett of Berea.
This organization was denominated the Detroit Street Methodist Episcopal Church and a building was ereoted in 1876, when Reverend McCaskie was pastor. Rev. William Warren followed him and the class leaders under Warren were Joseph Primat, John Webb, Stephen Hutchins and Mark Tegardine, and the trustees, Archibald Webb, James Bean, James Parsons and Peter Clampitt.
DETROIT AVENUE METHODIST CHURCH
EARLY DAYS OF LAKE WOOD -- D. A. R., Pg. 95-96
A cottage prayer meeting in the home of Mr. and Mrs. F.M. Barton on Grace Avenue was the first of a series of such meetings held in various homes during the summer of 1897; and in September, the Methodist Conference sent Reverend Hilberry to have charge of the new "Lakewood Mission". Reverend Hilberry and his wife moved to a house at Winchester and Detroit Avenues. The large front room of this house was used for a time for the church services, with Mrs. Hilberry's high top sewing machine answering for a pu1pit. The mission was first called "West End M.E. Society", but in March, 1898, was formally organized, taking the name Detroit Street Methodist Episcopal Church". The members started at once to work for a church building, and a lot was bought that same month. A reception in the home of the mayor celebrated the organization and purchase. A large room over Mr. Southern's grocery store was loaned to them without charge, and this was used until the new building was completed. The following September the first service was held in the new church, on the corner of Detroit and Winchester Avenues. The building was still unfinished, with no roof on the tower, no siding, and only part of the shingles on the sides. The day was stormy, rain came in through the venti1ating holes and under the tower, yet nothing could dampen the fervor and joy of those present. On Thanksgiving Day, the men of the church met and tinted the walls of the rooms. The furnace was cared for in turn by the members. When the church was dedicated in June, 1900, it was free of all debt. This first building is still used, forming the rear part of the newer structure.
The enthusiasm and sacrifice of the people of the church are typical of the zeal and consecration of the members of the eight Christian churches formed in early Rockport and Lakewood before the end of the nineteenth century.
DETROIT AVENUE M. E. CHURCH
HISTORY OF THE CITY OF LAKEWOOD -- F.C.LOWING
This church was projected in 1897, by its present pastor, Rev. Duston Kemble, D.D., then presiding elder of the Cleveland Conference. Rev. Howard K. Hilberry, just graduated from Baldwin University, made the neighborhood visitation and preliminary meetings were held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Kollfrath.
The first regular services were held at 1439 Winchester Avenue, the home of the organizing minister. The formal organization was made in the spring of 1898, the roster including the names of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Butter, Mr. and Mrs. F.M. Barton, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Baird, Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Kollfrath, Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Kellmer, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Lippert, Mr. and Mrs. S.F. Long, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lee, Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Lacey, Mrs. Louisa Miller and family, Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Pelton, Mr. and Mrs. H.M. Sherwood, Mrs. E.S. Stoddard, Mrs. J .H. Johnson, and Miss Ella Johnson, Mrs. E.A. Witte and sons, Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Wright and later Capt. and Mrs. J .L. Weeks.
A Sunday school was organized in the hall over John W. Southern's store, corner Detroit and Winchester, with W.L. Lippert as superintendent.
In 1900 the first church edifice was built, but in 1904 it was found to be too small and was enlarged to double its former seating capacity. In the fall of 1900, Rev. Hilberry went to another field and Rev. G.W. Huddleston was pastor for four years. His work was very efficient and the church grew and prospered. He was transferred and Rev. E.I. Collier was pastor for a year. Rev. F.W. Poole followed him for a year and Rev. H.D. Fleming was then pastor for two years.
Rev. Duston Kemble, who really was the moving spirit of the church's organization, became pastor in 1908 and has served for seven years. The church now has a membership of 500 and the Sunday School is one of' the largest in the city.
Rev. Duston Kemble was born on a farm near Findlay, Ohio, just before the Civil War. After his studies in grammar and normal schools he was graduated from the Northwestern University in 1880, from Garrett Biblical School in 1884.
DETROIT AVENUE METHODIST CHURCH
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- October 11, 1917, Pg. 5
It is true of Lakewood, as it was of Brooklyn, that it is a "city of churches.” New and beautiful edifices have been erected there, a new one seemingly being constantly under construction.
The newest is to be the Detroit Avenue Methodist Church, which is to be built by the Chrisford Construction Company, general building contractors of Lakewood.
J.W. Chrisford, president of the company, has announced the early beginning of work on the building which is to be erected at the corner of Detroit and Winchester Avenues.
The building will be constructed of stone and brick and will be approximately 75 feet wide and 80 feet long. It is intended to seat 650 persons in the auditorium, galleries and choir.
The basement of the new church will include a kitchen, a social room, retiring rooms, etc., and the wing and tower will contain the cloak rooms, the class rooms and the pastor's study. The estimated cost of the church is $50,000.
The Chrisford Construction Company is now at work on a number of large contracts in Lakewood. Among them are the Lakewood Baptist Church and the Church of the Ascension in Lakewood.
The offices of the Chrisford Construction Company are located at 1452 Highland Avenue. Mr. Chrisford is president and treasurer of the company. C.W. Schaefer is vice president, and R.E. Hoyt is secretary.
ROCKPORT METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The Methodists residing in Rockport, in the west side of the river, enjoyed irregular worship in schoolhouses and private residences until 1847, when a house of worship was erected about a mile and a half west of the mouth of Rocky River. The first c1ass was organized in 1828. William Jordan was the leader; the other members being Dyer Eaton, Mrs. Mary Jordan, ----- Whiting, ----- Bennett, Philena Alger, Sarah Doty, Polly Jordan and Sallie Usher. The organization took place in William Jordan's log cabin and there worship was held for some time afterward.
The first preacher was Rev. Henry O. She1don, a most industrious laborer in the moral vineyard. Upon the erection of the church building, in 1847, the trustees were John D. Taylor, John Barnes, Henry Rauch, Benjamin Lowell, and Sidney Lowell. The church membership is now 50. The leader is C. S. Giddings, who is also the secretary of the society. The present trustees are S. H. Brown, Mark Able, C. S. Giddings, F. McMahon, Ira Burlingame, C. N. Wise and Charles Cuddeback. The present pastor is Rev. John McKean.
LAKEWOOD METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Source: DR. W.W.T. DUNCAN
A small company of English people on and around Detroit Street, East Rockport were converted at a camp meeting in Berea. They formed a group of their own and held meetings in an old Baptist church at the east end of Hilliard Road on Warren Road. Ministers of different creeds served this group. Rev. Crooks, a United Brethren minister baptized the first converts in Rocky River. Other pastors serving were Rev. Mr. Parkins, Rev. Mr. Pinch, and two Methodist preachers, Rev. Mr. Jewett from Berea and Rev. Mr. Mower, the latter from Taylor Street Methodist Church, Cleveland.
A Sunday School was organized the first year and Miss Carrie Phelps (mother of A.C. Bartter) was appointed Superintendent. She left town to teach a mission school in the south before the first church was built. Mr. Christopher Southerner was then appointed superintendent. (He was not a member of the Methodist Church.)
1872 - 75
Ministers serving were Rev. Samuel Mower and Rev. Robert McCloskey. The Baptist church was sold by Mr. Frank Wagar, on whose property it was located, so it was necessary to look for another meeting place. Meetings were then held in the school house located on the corner of Detroit Street and West Clifton Boulevard, but the school board authorities decided the school could not be used for religious purposes. Following this desision of the school board, the meetings were held in the homes of the various members, until spring of 1876 when Mrs. Stephen Hutchins, Mrs. Daniel Webb, and Mrs. Archer Webb decided something should be done about a meeting place of their own.
First Board of Trustees appointed:
|Stephen S. Hutchins||John Webb|
|Mark Tegardine||Archer Webb|
On April 10, 1876 the lot, 48 x 223 feet at corner of Detroit and Summit Avenues was purchased from Hiram Barrett and wife, for $1,200. A frame building was planned, and corner-stone was laid May 11, 1876 and building completed the same year. At this time there were only about twenty members. It took not only faith and courage but real effort and sacrifice to make the project possible. It is said that some of these pioneers practical1y mortgaged their farms to raise the necessary amount of money. Cost of the first church including the lot, $5,005.00. It was served by pastors of the Taylor Street Methodist Church.
|1875 - 78||Rev. Robert McCaskey|
|1878 - 81||Rev. T.C. Warner|
|1881 - 84||Rev. John Mitchell|
|1884 - 85||Rev. A.H. Lyon|
This appointment and that then known as "River Bank" were united and called "East Rockport and River Bank" Charge.
|1885 - 87||Rev. G.W. Houck|
|1887 - 90||Rev. S.O. Elliott|
|1890 - 95||Rev. F.W.Z. Barrett|
|1895 - 96||Rev. R.L. Waggoner|
On February 24, 1896 incorporation papers were filed by
|Daniel Webb||Fred. E. Preslan|
|Archer Webb||R.L. Waggoner|
and the church was incorporated under the name "The Lakewood Methodist Episcopal Church," “ for the purpose of promoting religion according to the discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church."
|1896 - 99||Rev. H.P. Richards|
|1899 - 01||Rev. Abbott Van Camp|
|1901 - 05||Rev. Orlando Badgley|
The charge first came to be known as "Lakewood in 1889.
At the beginning of Rev. Badgley's pastorate in 1901 the membership roll contained the names of 11 members. The addition of 115 new members during the pastorate brought the total number to 185. Such growth made imperitive the provision of a more commodious house of worship. The first subscription for the new church was received January 28, 1902
More land to the west was added during the summer of 1903 and Corner-stone was laid June 26, 1904. The church was dedicated March 26, 1905.
The church of 1905 was also of frame construction and cost with organ and furnishings approximately $13,000. The old church and a parsonage which had been added in 1898, continued to occupy a part of the lot, adding to the facilities provided by the new building. Interesting facts in connection with the building reveal that a single exception the Board of Trustees who provided the church of 1905 have faithfully served the church in that capacity through the twenty-one years since and from the committee planning for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the church. It consisted of
|George H. Thorne, Chairman||C.H. Thompson|
|J.O. Gordon||George H. Brown|
|*Daniel Webb||Dr. F.S. Burkett|
|W.J. Webb||C.H. Bleil|
|A.C. Bartter||*Dr. C. Lee Graber|
(*) The name of Daniel Webb, a charter member of the church, has since been withdrawn through change in membership and that of Dr. C. Lee Graber added. Mr. A.C. Bartter was the contractor and builder.
1905 - 1915
In the fall following the dedication of the second church in March 1905, Dr. John H. Blackburn was appointed pastor, and served the church 1905 - 1915. During this period Lakewood began its rapid growth and under the able leadership of Dr. Blackburn, Lakewood church began a remarkable period of growth and prosperity. At the beginning of the Conference year in 1910 the membership had reached 580, and all departments of the growing work overtaxed the capacity of the second building. A new structure was proposed. Pastor and people entered heartily into the project and in November of 1911 the ground was broken for the new building. The corner-stone was laid in July, 1912, and the auditorium section was dedicated September 21, 1913. The Sunday School wing was completed and dedicated October 18, 1914.
The cost of the structure did not exceed $140,000 although that figure represented a daring undertaking for the congregation at the time it was begun. The completeness of the present building and the vision of those who planned it in anticipating the growth and needs of the future, are sources of admiration for the pastor and the builders. It was and remains one of the most beautiful and well appointed church structures in Greater Cleveland.
* NOTE: Conference leaflet said $130,OOO.
1915 - 1917
At the Annual Conference in 1915 Dr. John I. Wean was appointed pastor of Lakewood Church and served for two years. Under Dr. Wean's earnest preaching the church continued to grow in membership and to struggle successfully with its indebtedness. During the two years of Dr. Wean's pastorate the membership increased to 1302.
1917 - 1931
With the new conference year in September, 1917, Dr. M.B. Fuller began his work in Lakewood. Under his able leadership and through his ceaseless efforts Lakewood has had a growth in membership perhaps without parallel. The increase has averaged more than five hundred per year during the nine year period, new members having been received practically every Sunday. Through the unified budget plan the debt totaling $95,000 in 1917 has been reduced at an average rate of almost $10,000 per year, and is now (1926) fully provided for by the special effort of last year.
The church has more than kept pace with the rapid growth of the city. Under the guidance of Dr. C.P. Lynch the Church School has led Greater Cleveland in point of attendance for several years and has become a fully graded and departmentalized educational organization, a vital part of the church.
During the trying days 1917-18, 115 young men from Lakewood Church served their country. Two made the supreme sacrifice. The names of these men appear on a fine bronze memorial tablet in the church vestibule. As we near the close of the fiscal year 1925-26 there are many things in the fifty years history of our church in its present organization and its future possibilities in which we may take pride and hope. It has been served by a great succession of pastors, all of whom have been builders and men of vision.
It has served a great community during its growth from a farming section to a metropolitan "City of Homes."
It has achieved its growth, not through the patronage of wealthy members, but through the cooperative efforts of all. This has made for a rare spirit of democracy. This growth has not been achieved without struggle and hardships on the part of a faithful membership. Today the congregation finds itself facing a unique opportunity. It has as its pastor a man unusually loved and respected for his industry, fearlessness, and breadth of industry.
It has a church plant valued at several times its original cost and practically free from debt.
It has a membership of over four thousand communicants who have come from every type of church and community.
It has a great variety of organizations which foster the spiritual, social, moral and mental life of the membership. It provides training agencies for the younger generation which should make for even greater usefulness and influence in the future.
Lakewood church enters Sunday, October 31, 1926 on what should be one of the greatest weeks of its existence, either past or future. Probably most of the present generation of members will not be able to celebrate another occasion like it in our local church. Four big events have been arranged.
(1) Sunday, October 31, two former pastors, Dr. John H. Blackburn, and Dr. John I. Wean will preach.
(2) On Wednesday evening, November 3, "Fellowship Night" will be observed. The choir of twenty-five years ago has been reassembled to furnish the music, and the old and new members will mingle in an evening of social good fellowship.
(3) On Friday evening, November 5, the Homecoming Banquet will bring together the former members and friends of the church with those of the present for a grand reunion.
(4) The climax will come on Sunday morning when the church in retrospect will be presented by Mr. D.G. Jaeger and in prospect by Dr. Fuller. The mortgage burning ceremony will close the service. This cermony will be in charge of George H. Thorne, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and George H. Brown, Chairman of the Official Board.
With the new conference year - 1931 - Dr. W.W.T.Duncan began his work in Lakewood Church
LAKEWOOD METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
MRS. W. J. WEBB -- Nov. 8, 1926
In the year 1865, a small company of English people on and around Detroit Street, East Rockport, heard of a camp meeting being held in Berea, and decided to go to it. They became converted there. They decided they would have a preacher come to preach to them. They got permission to hold their meetings in an old Baptist Church that stood at the east end of Hilliard Road on Warren Road, where the Barber home now stands.
The preachers came at first from Berea on horseback. Rev. Crooks baptized the first converts that wished to be baptized in the Rocky River, down near the flats where the filtering plant now stands. This was a United Brethren preacher. There were others of different creeds who came to preach as they could get them. We have the names of some of them: Revs. Parkins, Pinch, Jewet, and Mower. The last two named were Methodists.
This company of Christians organized a Sunday School the first year. Miss Carrie Phelps was the first superintendent, and one of the first members of the Methodist organization, but she left town to go to teach in a mission school in the south before the first church was build. Then Mr. Christopher Southern, Sr., was Superintendent of the Sunday School, but he did not belong to the Methodist Church. The Methodist preachers came from the city of Cleveland. The story is told that one of the first preachers was a very good preacher, had a lot of fire, pep and earnestness in his preaching, but would not stop to speak to anyone after the service closed if he could help it. But if anyone succeeded in telling him it was a good sermon, he would answer, "Yes, the devil told me so," and go on out.
After a time, Mr. Frank Wagar, on whose farm the Baptist Church stood got the rest of the owners or trustees to sell out their interest in the church for a dollar each.
Then he sold it to Mr. Martinett, who kept a wine garden on Madison Avenue, a little east of Warren Road. He moved the old stone church across lots to the back end of his property and set it on the edge of a ravine and made a wine cellar of it.
This company of Christians had been organized into a Methodist church about that time, and Rev. Robert McKasky was sent out Sunday afternoon from the Taylor Street
Church (now called “The People's Church). They held their meetings in the west schoo1 house on Detroit Street, corner of West Boulevard. Then the school board said a school house could not be used for religious purposes. Then they met in the homes. In the spring of 1876, Mrs. Stephen Hutchins had been thinking and came to the conclusion that they must have a place of meeting of their own. So she went to her neighbor, Mrs. Daniel Webb, another member, and said, "We have to do something to get a church home of our own." They both had bought small fruit farms on Warren Road, but had not gotten them all paid for. Mrs. Hutchins said, "I think Dan will if we can get John, his brother, to do the same." So they hitched up the pony and wagon and drove down to John Webb's on Detroit Street, and told his wife, Sophia about it. She said, "I think I can get John to do that." So they all went along Detroit Street to the home of Archer Webb, another brother, and told his wife about it. She said, "I am sure Archer will lend you the money and give a thousand himself," and he did.
It was Mrs. Archer Webb, Rhoda, that thought they ought to do something for the salvation of souls, in the first place. I understand it was from her talk that the little company of people went to Berea to the camp meeting. They had been a care-free amusement-loving people before that, but they were thoroughly converted. Some were very conservative. They did not think anything but religious meetings should be held in the church. The young people wanted social life, concerts, suppers, festivals, etc., and the older ones needed money to pay their debts. The first social event was held before the church was finished inside, so they had booths where they liked, and had a strawberry festival and sold ice cream and flowers, and some fancy work. But after the building was completed, in the fall after the dedication, an oyster supper was held. And, in order not to use the auditorium they had to cook and serve the supper in the gallery over the vestibule, a space about 30 feet long, after taking the stairway off, and ten feet wide. In it was a two-burner gasoline stove with short legs standing on empty boxes, a wash boiler (perhaps dishpan and pail, I am not sure). Oysters were cooked in the wash boiler. Someone loaned a kettle for the coffee. The kitchen was at the far end. Boards were laid along each side of the gallery for tables. Board benches to sit on back-to-back with a narrow aisle between for the waiters, everything else was loaned from the homes, such as tablecloths, dishes etc.
January 5, 1927
On January 1, Daniel Webb died at 2:30a.m. He was the last of the charter members of the Lakewood (then East Rockport) Methodist Church. William John Webb is now the oldest member. He joined in full membership the day the first building was dedicated. The following winter there were revival meetings held. Quite a number were converted and joined the church. Among them were Joseph Swingler,
his wife, who was Elizabeth Sanderson, and her sister Annis, Herbert Sanderson, Charles Hutchins, his brother George, Minnie Stafford (now Hutchins), Ester and Elizabeth Townsend, Mary Prutton, Mr. and Mrs. Jake Burkamer, Mr. & Mrs. Sullivan, Mr. and Mrs. James Beam, Mr. and Mrs. James Parson, James Gray (who came to make fun and became converted and at once started to study for the ministry) and several others joined about that time.
There were Mr. and Mrs. Jewel Southern, Mr. and Mrs. Bowers, Mr. Clampet, Sr., and Mr. and Mrs. Clampet, Jr., and Mrs. Castle when the first mortgage was canceled. Mr. Archer Webb said he would pay twice as much as the rest of the official board did, so they signed a contract to pay it off in a certain length of time. The following members signed it: John Webb, W.J. Webb, Charles Greening, Charles Thompson, Steven Hutchins. They paid it $25.00 each with $50.00 from Archer Webb.
CHARTER,MEMBERS OF THE LAKEWOOD METHODIST CHURCH
Mr. John Webb, Sr. and his wife Maria
Mr. Archer Webb and his wife, Rhoda
Mr. John Webbm Jr. and his wife, Sophia
Mr. Daniel Webb and his wife, Hattie
Mr, Stephen Hutchens and his wife, Emma Dorcas
Mr. James Primett and his wife Ann
Mr. Mark Tegardine and his wife
Mr. Peter Bowers and his wife, Julia
Mr. James Newberry
Mrs. Johanathan Bates (Hannah)
A few of the charter members of the Lakewood Methodist Episcopal Church went to Berea to a camp meeting several years before the church was organized, and became converted then they had a minister come and preach to them. The first minister came from Berea on horseback. They organized the Sunday School that same year, and Miss Carrie Phelps, mother of Mr. Fred Bartter, was made superintendent. After several ministers had come to preach, Rev. Samuel Mower was sent out from the Taylor Street church (now called the People's Church) and the little company of people were organized under the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mrs. Johnathan Bates gave the church bell during her last illness. She had it hung and heard it ring before she died. Mrs. Bates was sister to Mrs. Archer Webb and Mr. John Sanderson, Mr. Sanderson was grandfather to Mr. George Thorne, Mrs. F.S. Burkett and Mrs. F.E. Stevens.
Mrs. Ida Mitchell organized the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society in March,
Rev. Robert McCasky, 1875 to 1878
Rev. Thomas Warner, 1878 to 1881
Rev. John Mitchell, 1881 to 1884
Rev. A.J. Lyons, 1884 to 1885
Rev. George W. Huik, 1885 to 1887
Rev. S.O. Elliott, 1887 to 1890
Rev. Frank W.Z, Barrett, 1890 to 1895
Rev. Robert L. Waggoner, 1895 to 1896
Rev. Harry P. Richards, 1896 to 1899
Rev. Albert Van Camp, 1899 to 1901
Rev. O. Badgley, 1901 to 1905
Rev. John Blackburn, 1905 to 1915
Rev. John Wean, 1915 to 1917
Rev. M.B. Fuller, 1917 to -
Before the church was built there were several different preachers from several different denominations: Crooks, Parkins, Pinch, Jewet, Mower. Rev. Crooks was United Brethern. He baptized the first converts in Rocky River.
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918. Pg. 9 - 10
Conceived as a community center, the big Bedford stone church at the corner of Summit and Detroit Avenues lives up to the expectations of its builders. It is open every day in the week, and except during the recent fuel famine there have been few occasions since its dedication when some portion of it has not been lighted up at night which is indicative to the passerby of the activity going on within. Its doors are open to every meeting of a community nature, Whether it be a Chamber of Commerce banquet or a Suffrage party luncheon, a lecture by Dr. Newell Dwight Hillis on some phase of the great war, or an address by Mel Trotter at a union meeting in the interest of the City Mission.
The main auditorium of the church will seat approximately 1100 people and its capacity is frequently taxed by the crowds that come out to hear the Rev. Dr. Fuller each Sunday, and the monthly musical service on the last Sunday evening of each month. The church is so constructed that seatings for six or seven hundred within view of the pulpit can be had be raising the partition between the auditorium and the Sunday school room. On the main floor of the church are located the church office, the pastor's study, the choir room, and separate rooms for many of the Sunday school classes.
In the basement is located the gymnasium and shower baths which are open to the young people of the community (except during the fuel shortage) under the direction of a competent instructor, Mr. G.E. Whitman, three nights in the week. The kitchen and dining room, also in the kitchen, are equipped to feed as many as 500 people at one time, and its capacity is often taxed to accommodate the larger banquets held in our city.
The Lakewood Methodist Sunday school, of which Professor C.P. Lynch of the city schools, is superintendent, is the largest in Cuyahoga county, both in point of attendance and enrollment. It is divided into the following departments: Beginners, primary, junior, teen age, young peoples' and adults, each with its own superintendent and staff of officers.
Among the other organizations centering about the church may be mentioned the Ladies' Aid society, of which Mr. J.0. Gordon is the president, which subscribed and has nearly paid $18,000 toward the cost of the church during the past four years.
The Men's club, presided over by Mr. H.O. Merriman, meets once a month for a dinner and an address by some well known speaker. Like the church of which it is a part, the Men's club is a community affair, having many men on its roll and
attending its meetings who are not members of the church.
Troop 60 of the Boy scouts, under the leadership of Scoutmaster H.A. Pope, has established an enviable record among the troops of the city.
The Epworth League of which Mr. C.A. Webb is president, ranks as one of the largest in the county, and is also one of the most active. Its contributions of money to the Fresh Air work of the city and of service to the City Mission and Pleasant Hill mission have earned for it many high encomiums.
The Women's Home and Foreign Missionary societies and allied organizations are contributing much toward "the evangelization of the world in this generation", not only in their generous contributions of money to missionary causes, but also in educating many people along missionary lines.
Second only, perhaps, to the work of the present and past ministers, in the building up of a large congregation, has been the splendid devotion of the musicians of the church. The fine Moler pipe organ has been played ever since its installation by Miss Augusta Hayner, member of the American Guild of Organists. The volunteer choir of about 50 voices was built up by Mr. F. Karl Grossman, now in the National Army at Camp Sherman. The present choir master is Mr. Griffith J. Jones, and under his direction the work has gone forward in a very satisfactory way. On the last Sunday night of each month a musical service is given.
* * *
To Mr. Grossman also must be given the main credit for the building up of the church orchestra. The present director is Mr. Norman M. Collart, and under his direction this organization, consisting of about 12 pieces, gave the January monthly concert and acquitted itself creditably. The Junior orchestra, under the direction of Miss Lucille Brown, is one of the noteworthy organizations of the church. Miss Brown is the head ofthe violin Thirty-Five--Lakewood Special… department in Mount Union college, Alliance. She has trained her juvenile players to a remarkable degree ofefficiency, and the personal esteem in which she is held is a tribute to her charm as a woman as well as her ability as a musician.
The beautiful church was built and dedicated during the pastorate of Dr. J .H. Blackburn and under his administration often years the congregation was built up from a small organization to a number approximating its present proportions. Dr. Blackburn is now serving a successful pastorate at Conneaut, Ohio. He was succeeded by the Rev. J. I. Wean, who during a two years' pastorate made a noteworthy contribution to the temporal and spiritual welfare of the congregation.
The present membership is approximately 1,500. About 200 ofthe names on the roll bear the handwriting ofthe present pastor, Rev. M.B. Fuller, D.D. Dr. Fuller came to Lakewood last September after a successful five years' pastorate in Lima, Ohio, and he has already endeared himself to all with whom he has come in contact. Under his administration the church has taken on a renewed interest and plans for continued growth and additional resources have already been perfected. One of the plans inaugurated by Dr. Fuller is a series of neighborhood meetings which are being held on the various streets of Lakewood on Thursday evenings.
Dr. Fuller is an alumnus of Ohio Wesleyan university and a former student in Boston Theological seminary. He has held successful pastorates in Urbana, Dayton, Cincinnati and Lima before coming to Lakewood and his work here promises to eclipse his past record.
Several years ago the clerical and financial work of the church assumed such proportions that it was necessary to secure the services of a competent layman to devote all his time to the work of the church. This end of the work was started and organized by Mr. L.D. Dungan who served as the executive secretary forthree years. The present incumbent is G.W. Grill. During the past year the church debt has been reduced to the extent of $10,000, and the funds out of which are paid the current expenses and benevolences have been built up.
Mr. Grill is also the editor of Tidings, the little weekly paper which reaches the homes of all members of the church on Saturday. This publication carries announcements for the following week, notices of the Sunday services, and news items concerning members and friends of the church.
Mr. Joseph Roland Piatt, "Lakewood's Lyrical Laureate of Rosewood Avenue", is a member of this church. He is the author of "Songs of the Heart and Soul", and a regular contributor to the Lakewood Press.
The Lakewood Methodist church has had a glorious past, but it is a church with a forward look and expects in the future, as in the past, to make its contributions to the Kingdom of God not only by worship to God but also by service to humanity. The stranger in our midst will find a welcome at its services, the new comer in the community will find a congenial church home, the sin-sick and
soul-weary will be helped and comforted, and the lovers of God and humanity will be given a glorious opportunity to serve.
LAKEWOOD M. E. CHURCH
HISTORY OF THE CITY OF LAKEWOOD - F. C. LOWING
The second church to get a foothold in Lakewood was a small Baptist congregation that was organized on Warren Road. For some reason the church was unable to support a pastor, or unable to secure one, and after a precarious existence,
Rev. Samuel Mower, who preached at the Taylor Street M.E. Church in Cleveland from 1872-5, accepted an invitation to preach in this church on Sunday afternoon. After a few weeks of service in this Warren Road edifice it was decided to move to a small brick school house on what is now Clifton boulevard and continue the services there.
In 1876 a board of trustees was elected and the church took on the form of a Methodist congregation, and a little later purchased a lot at the corner of Summit and Detroit. One step led to another until on May 11, of the same year, a corner stone was laid for a new M.E. church and the building was completed that same year.
Rev. O. Badgley assumed the pastorate of the church in 1901, and soon thereafter the project of building a new edifice was begun, which culminated in the dedication of the structure March 26, 1905. But the rapid growth of the village soon made another new edifice essential to the expanding work of the church and at the beginning of the conference year 1910, a new church was decided on.
Ground for this new church was broken in November, 1911. The corner stone was laid in July, 1912, the main auditorium completed and dedicated in September, 1913, the Sunday School department began in March, 1914, and completed and dedicated in October, 1914. The total cost of this new and present structure was $135,000, and it is one of the most complete and handsome church structures in the city of Cleveland.
LAKEWOOD METHODIST EPISCOPAL
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 28, 1918. Pg. 4
Palm Sunday, March 24, was the greatest day our church has ever known. Two hundred and sixty-four new members were received in full membership, and 21 on preparatory membership. That is as many members as the average church in the United States has on its roll. That is a larger number of new members than the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce has been able to secure in its four months' drive for new members, I think. Most of this week' s issue of Tidings will be given over to publishing the names and addresses of these new members.
I think without a doubt this church will rank second among the Protestant Churches of Cuyahoga County. I think that Epworth Memorial has about 1,900 members, and we now have 1,757.
The present pastor of our church is Rev. M.B. Fuller, D.D. He has been with us since last September, and during that time he has received 490 new members in the church. We have had no special evangelistic meetings, but each new member has been secured by personal work on the part of the pastor and members of the church, and the teachers in the Sunday School.
Last Sunday our Sunday School attendance was 1,060, the high water mark so far. One class, Epworth, had 144 in attendance, and another, Mr. Jaeger' s, had 104 present. The collection amounted to $40.29, and approximately 75 per cent of those in attendance were on time at 9:15 o' clock. Our Sunday school has its own choir, and two orchestras, Miss Lucile Brown being the leader of the remarkable Junior Orchestra, composed of children whom she has been training for the past three years, until at the present time they are playing classical music. Mr. Norman M. Collart is conductor of the Senior orchestra.
George W. Grill
LAKEWOOD METHODIST PASTORS
|Rev. Samuel Mower||1872 - 1875|
|Rev. Robert McCaskey||1875 - 1878|
|Rev. R. C. Warner||1878 - 1881|
|Rev. John Mitchell||1881 - 1884|
|Rev. A. J. Lyon||1884 - 1885|
|Rev. S. O. Elliott||1887 - 1890|
|Rev. F. W. Barrett||1890 - 1895|
|Rev. R. L. Waggoner||1895 - 1896|
|Rev. H. P. Richards||1896 - 1899|
|Rev. Abbott VanCamp||1899 - 1901|
|Rev. Orlando Badgley||1901 - 1905|
|Dr. John H. Blackburn||1905 - 1915|
|Dr. John I. Wean||1915 - 1917|
|Dr. M. B. Fuller||1917 - 1931|
|Dr. W. W. T. Duncan||1931 - 1942|
|Dr. Harold Ford Carr||1942 -|
FARWELL OF DR. DUNCAN ON SUNDAY (Lakewood Methodist)
Congregation Will Honor Pastor Tonight
Unidentified Newspaper - June 1942
(See Editorial Page)
Dr. W.W.T. Duncan, pastor of the Lakewood Methodist for the past 11 years and long prominent in Greater Cleveland religious life, will take leave of his congregation Sunday morning. His retirement is automatic under the age regulations which govern the Methodist church.
Theme of Dr. Duncan' s last sermon will be “Friendship' s Farewell.”
Members of the Lakewood Methodist congregation and friends will honor Dr. and Mrs. Duncan tonight at a testimonial dinner and reception in the church. A souvenir of the event, which is under auspices of the Women' s Society of Christian Service, will be a volume of Dr. Duncan' s sermons which the church has published. The book includes ten of Dr. Duncan' s pulpit messages with a biographical sketch by Mrs. Ethel K. Howard and an appreciation by Dr. George W. Grill. Publication is under direction of a committee headed by G.V. Woodward and all copies of the volume have been subscribed for by members of the church and others interested in Dr. Duncan' s ministry.
A final editorial is to appear this week in the church' s weekly publication, “Tidings” through which Dr. Duncan has interpreted and expressed opinions regarding current events during the past eleven years.
Starting June 24 Dr. Duncan, together with a number of other Methodists from Lakewood, will be at the North East Ohio Conference which convenes in Lakeside. Dr. Duncan, chairman of the conference program committee, has secured a number of distinguished speakers from various parts of the country including Dr. Henry Hitt Crane of Detroit, Dr. Harold W. Ruopp of Chicago, Dr. Hornell Hart of Duke university, Dr. Louis J. Taber, president of the Ohio Council of Churches, Dr. Richard Raines of Minneapolis and Dr. George P. Howard of Lima, Peru. The conference adjourns Monday June 29.
Dr. Duncan will be succeeded by Dr. Harold F. Carr of Flint, Michigan who is expected to arrive in Lakewood September 1.
Mrs. Duncan and I are utterly at a loss to find words with which to express our appreciation of the wonderful manifestation of friendship and generosity of which we have been the recipients during these days of pastoral farewell.
These expressions are the climax of those which have come to us throughout the years, for a loyal and loving people have given us constant assurance of their kindness and sincerity.
Good wishes and kind words have been accompanied by substantial tokens which have surprised and enriched us. They have been coming, from all organizations ranging from the Men's Club to the boys and girls of the Junior Department and culminating in the amazingly complete Fellowship Dinner provided by the Woman's Society of Christian Service. Planned and executed with perfect precision, yet with the utmost flexibility of spirit it was the most complete evening we have ever known. It was appreciated still more because it was indeed a Family Fellowship when the great dining room was filled to capacity with a large number hearing by amplifier who could not secure seats at the tables. The program provided entirely by brilliant talent from our own church was greatly enjoyed. Mrs. Duncan and I were entirely overwhelmed by the most liberal gift in money. It was doubly appreciated when we learned that it was entirely a spontaneous and representative token secured without pressure of any kind.
We would gladly describe every detail of that occasion and of the fitting farewell feature of last Sunday, but that would impose on the good nature of the new staff of "Tidings." We can only say a thousand thanks! God bless you all! Our bonds of Christian friendship will last forever, here and hereafter.
Clara B. and W. W. T. Duncan
PHOTO 17:31a, CAPTION: Dr. W.W.T. Duncan delivers his farewell sermon Sunday morning in Lakewood Methodist church. (Story elsewhere.)
ROCKPORT METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
EARLY DAYS OF LAKEWOOD -- D. A. R. -- Pg. 92
About the time of the New Jerusalem Church was organized, another small company of Christians in Rockport were forming a church in the log cabin of William Jordan on the west side of Rocky River. The church was organized in the year 1822 by Reverend Reynolds. For twenty years this group had no church building, but met for worship regularly, sometimes in homes, or in the school house; or in summer, on the bank of a nearby brook. For several years the ministers of the people of this faith were circuit riders who rode from place to place on horseback, holding meetings at stated times. The men serving Rockport covered a district reaching from Cleveland to Toledo.
In 1847, the members in Rockport determined to have a church building. They cut the timbers from the forest and built a small frame structure in what was still a wilderness. Indians were sometimes seen here, and wild animals were numerous. This building is still used for worship. It is on the present Wooster Road, a short distance south of Center Ridge Road.
ROCKPORT METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
HISTORY OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY AND CLEVELAND -- W.R. COATES -- Volume I, Pg. 177
From the first settlement of Rockport the Methodists held class meetings in schoolhouses in irregular fashion until 1847, when, a church having been organized, a building was erected one and a half miles west of the mouth of Rocky River. William Jordan was class leader at that time, and the membership included Dyer Eaton, Mrs. Mary Jordan, Mr. Whiting, Mr. Bennett, Philena Alger, Sarah Doty, Polly Jordan, and Sally Usher.
The church was organized in William Jordan's log house. The first preacher was Rev. O. Sheldon. We hear much of him, from his unsuccessful efforts to found a colony in Middleburg Township, on the basis of Christian socialism, he seemed always an active worker and a figure to stand out in the early history of this part of the county.
When the church was built the trustees were: John D. Taylor, John Barnes, Henry Rauch, Benjamin Lowell and Sidney Lowell. In the '70s C.S. Giddings was class leader; Rev. John McKean, pastor, and the trustees were S.H. Brown, Mark Able, C.S. Giddings, F. McMahon, Ira Burlingame, C.N. Wise and Charles Cuddeback.
ROCKPORT METHODIST EPISCOPAL
HISTORY OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY -- C. JOHNSON -- l879, Pg. 505 - 506
The Methodists residing in Rockport, on the west side of the river, enjoyed irregular worship in schoolhouses and private residences until 1847, when a house of worship was erected about a mile and a half west of the mouth of Rocky River. The first class was organized in 1828. William Jordan was the leader; the other members being Dyer Eaton, Mrs. Mary Jordan, ---Whiting, ---Bennett, Phinela Alger, Sarah Doty, Polly Jordan and Sallie Usher. The organization took place in William Jordan' s log cabin, and there worship was held for some time afterward.
The first preacher was Rev. Henry O. Sheldon, a most industrious laborer in the moral vineyard. Upon the erection of the church building, in 1847, the trustees were John D. Taylor, John Barnes, Henry Rauch, Benjamin Lowell and Sidney Lowell. The church membership is now fifty. The leader is C.S. Giddings, who is also the secretary of the society. The present trustees are S.H. Brown, Mark Able, C.S. Giddings, F. McMahon, Ira Burlingame, C.N. Wise and Charles Cuddeback. The present pastor is Rev. John McKean.
ROCKY RIVER M. E. CHURCH
HISTORY OF THE CITY OF LAKEWOOD -- F.C.LOWING
The first attempt to establish an M.E. Church in Rocky River, that led to the organization ofthe present church and Sunday School was the assembling of a few people in 1885. Among the most influential and persistent were Mrs. Julia Berkimer, Mrs. H.H. Thomas, Mrs. C. Gates, Mrs. Mary E. McMahon, Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Arnold end Mr. and Mrs. G.B. Sloat. The school organized soon grew beyond the capacity ofthe homes of interested parties and meetings for the study of the Bible were held in the school house, until such time as the board declared the school to be a nuisance and shut them out from the school room.
Forced out of the school building the little band decided to build a church, which was done, and a $5,000 structure was dedicated in June, 1893.
Rev. F.W.Z. Barrett was the first pastor, and he was followed successively by Rev. Robert McCaskey, Rev. M.W. Reece, Rev. E.H. Warner, Rev. T.H. Harrold, Rev. Edwin M. Lewis, Rev. Jos. Mottershead and the present pastor--Rev. A.T. Wooley.
ROCKY RIVER M. E. CHURCH
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918 -- Pg. 11
Rocky River Methodist Episcopal church was dedicated twenty-four years ego this June. It is located on Detroit Road. Rockford M.E. Church on Wooster Road is in connection with Rocky River M.E. church, it being sixty-five years old and was the original Rocky River church.
Rocky River M.E. church has a membership of about 130, and the Sunday school enrollment is 200, with an average attendance of about 150. Mr. Earl L. Stafford has been the Sunday school's very efficient superintendent for the past nineteen years.
The various organizations of the church are the Willing Worker's Society, organized even before the church was organized, with Mrs. Nellie Keyse as president; Mrs. Daisy Rollings, secretary; and Mrs. S.L. Root, treasurer; the Woman's Foreign Mission, with about thirty members, and with Mrs. Hughes as president; and the Woman's Home Mission, with about fifteen members, and with Mrs. C.W. Cuzzins as president.
A very fine Epworth League with a membership of forty-five, also helps to equip the church.
Rev. Thomas Hughes, the present pastor, becomes pastor of Trinity M.E. church, corner of Madison and West 99th street, soon, and it is with regret that his present congregation lets him go to his new field. But he has its best wishes, on his departure.
LAKEWOOD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918 -- Pg. 9
The Lakewood Presbyterian Church at the corner of Detroit and Marlowe will be dedicated on Sunday, March 17, with appropriate ceremonies. Consistent growth each year has made possible the step from a tent at the corner of Detroit and Robinwood in which a Sunday school was first organized in June, 1904, to the present splendid edifice, which will be dedicated next month.
On March 9, 1905, the work was taken over by the Session of the Old Stone church, and was organized as "The Lakewood Branch of the Old stone Church." On May 1 of the same year Rev. Alfred J. Wright took up the pastorate and has continued his work ever since.
After moving from the tent, services were first held in part of the double house at 14312 Detroit street, and later in Miller hall. The chapel was dedicated January 5, 1908. In 1913 a wing was added to the chapel and this doubled the capacity.
In April, 1912, the Cleveland Presbytery organized the Lakewood Presbyterian church, with 342 members. That number has now increased to 760.
Work on the new building was begun in September, 1916, and has been almost continuous since that time. The main auditorium is finished in oak, is beautifully decorated and has very artistic electric fixtures. The seating capacity will about 900. The pipe organ which will have an echo attachment, has been donated by the Ladies' Guild of the church.
The basement contains a gymnasium, kitchen, pantry, shower and locker rooms. The gymnasium is 49x66 feet with an 18 foot ceiling and is surrounded on three sides by a commodious balcony. This room will be used as a dining room, for receptions, entertainments, etc. A corridor at the rear is so arranged that by throwing open folding doors a large stage is available. The seating capacity will be about a thousand.
The chapel will be renovated and used for Sunday school rooms, prayer meetings Christian Endeavor meetings, etc.
The church is open seven days each week and has activities each day and night. The Sunday school is one of the largest in the country, with an average attendance of about 450. A Men's Bible class under the presidency of Mr. David Olmsted and the leadership of Mr. William D. Smith, was organized 1ast fall and has had an average attendance of over 50.
The Ladies' Guild has over a hundred members and has regular monthly meetings. The Men's club, which meets the third Tuesday of each month has a membership of over 200. The next meeting, on February 19, will be addressed by Mr. W.R. Warner of the Warner-Swasey Company.
The three Christian Endeavor societies -- Junior, Intermediate and Young People -- have regular Sunday meetings.
The gymnasium is given over to the boys of the Sunday school on Monday and Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoon. About 75 boys are members of the various clubs. Later it is the intention to organize girls' classes for the afternoons and a men's class for Friday evening.
The exact cost of the new church cannot be definitely stated until everything is complete, but it will be in the neighborhood of $75,000, exclusive of the cost ofthe chapel.
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- May 2, 1918 - Pg. 5
The Presbyterian form of dedication was used last Sunday afternoon when the new Lakewood Presbyterian church, at the corner of Detroit and Marlowe Avenues, was dedicated. The invocation was given by the Rev. James D. Williamson of Cleveland. Rev. Dr. Adelbert P. Higley, pastor of Calvary Presbyterian church, delivered the dedicatory sermon. Rev. Wilbur C. Mickey, pastor of Bethany Presbyterian church, led in the prayer of dedication.
Mr. T.W. Henderson, the treasurer, read the report of the building committee, which showed that the total cost of the new church and its furnishings, was $74,600, of which amount $38,000 had been paid.
A communion service was held in the morning at which a number of new members were received into the church.
In the evening Rev. Thomas S. McWilliams, of Western Reserve University, delivered an address on the subject: “The Moral and Religious Conditions of Our Cantonments.”
The new auditorium, which seats approximately 800, was filled at all the services. While no effort was made to raise money at any of the services, yet a large sum was contributed in cash and pledges during the day.
LAKEWOOD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
HISTORY OF THE CITY OF LAKEWOOD -- F.C.LOWING
This church was first organized as a branch, or mission, of the Old Stone Church, of Cleveland. The date of organization--or consummation of the organization--was Sunday, March 12, 1905, at which time Dr. A.N. Meldrum, the pastor of the Old Stone Church, conducted a communion service and received 19 members into the newly organized mission.
The first work looking to the establishment of a Presbyterian church in Lakewood was the institution of a Sunday School in a tent, at the corner of Robinwood and Detroit Avenues, one Sunday afternoon in June, 1904. This was followed by Sunday school exercises and preaching services in the New Jerusalem church until December 4, when a dwelling house was rented for public worship; and on March 9, 1905, the Old Stone Church congregation got behind the new organization financially, thus assuring success for the enterprise.
May 16, 1907, ground was broken for the present structure of the Lakewood Presbyterian church--built at the rear of the church site to allow of the erection of a permanent structure later- and services were held in it in November for the first time. The edifice was dedicated on January 5, 1908. The organization was continued as a branch or mission until April 12, 1912, when a permanent organization was effected with a membership--many of them from the roster of the Old Stone Church--of 342 souls. Since that time the Lakewood Presbyterian church has enjoyed a healthy growth until today it is one of the more aggressive religious organizations in the city.
LAKEWOOD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
(Men' s Bible Class New Home)
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918 -- Pg. 2
Next Sunday morning, the lOth, will find the Men's Bible Class of the Lakewood Presbyterian Church in their new quarters, and it is confidently expected 150 men will be present to inaugurate the long looked-forward to event.
The balcony of the new church will be opened as their permanent quarters and will comfortably seat 150 men. Present indications are every chair will be occupied.
A special program is being arranged, and Mr. Soerheide, in charge of City Mission work, a rapid fire speaker with a real message, will be seen in action.
Very likely some of your men friends have in the past week spoken to you about attending this class, but if they haven't, this is an invitation. If you are not affiliated with such a class on Sunday mornings at 9:30, it will pay you to give this class the "once over" at least.
LAKEWOOD PRESBYTERIAN HAS HAD ONLY TWO PASTORS SINCE FOUNDING
LAKEWOOD POST -- no date
Editor's Note - This is the fifth in a series of historical accounts of churches in Lakewood and the West Shore which will appear in The Post during coming weeks.
By Jeanette Glen Thorne
A church with only two leaders during its lifetime is the record of the Lakewood Presbyterian church, located at the corner of Marlowe and Detroit. Rev. A.J. Wright was its leader for twenty-two years. Dr. Leroy Lawther, the present pastor, has served this church for sixteen years.
The church is one that "grew with the town." In 1905 Lakewood was only composed of 4,000 people, and during that year 108 building permits were issued. In the following year the number of building permits doubled, marking the beginning of the real growth of Lakewood.
This was Lakewood when the services of the Lakewood Presbyterian church "to be” were held within half of a double house on Detroit opposite the foot of Olive.
A total of sixteen people banded together to build the beginning of the Presbyterian church. The original members belonged to Old Stone Church as this church in its inception was considered a branch of Old Stone, and it was not until 1912 that it was known as the Lakewood Presbyterian church.
A lot was purchased at Detroit and Marlowe and a chapel was begun in 1908. This $15,329.16 edifice was dedicated in November of that year. An addition was made to the chapel three years later, at which time the membership had grown to 320 members. At the time of the first World War, the congregation dedicated a $75,000 church auditorium; and within four years burned the mortgage on the church.
Today the membership has jumped from its original 16 to a total of 2,200 members and maintains a Sunday school composed of 800 children and 400 adults. Assisting Dr. Lawther is Rev. William S. Hockman.
LAKEWOOD GRACE PRESBYTERIAN TO MARK 40th YEAR
PLAIN DEALER -- October 1, 1966
Grace Presbyterian Church, Lakewood, begun as a mission of Lakewood Presbyterian Church, will celebrate its 40th anniversary in a community service and reception at 7:45 PM Monday.
Ten of the 99 charter members, who are still active in the church, will be honored. They are Mr. and Mrs. Alvan G. Evans, Mrs. William A. Fishell, Mrs. William R. Nelson, Mrs. Thomas S. Flowers, Mr. and Mrs. William J. Primose, Mrs. Albert Schmidt, Mrs. Fred C. Speir and Miss Frances Richardson.
Miss Richardson is a daughter of the first pastor of the church, the Rev. L. H. Richardson and has been organist of Grace Church from its beginning.
Dr. J. Harold Gwynne, pastor since 1952, will officiate.
He hopes that Dr. A. J. Wright, 90, pastor of Lakewood Presbyterian Church when Grace Church was founded, and Mrs. Wright will be guests.
Several church and civic leaders of Lakewood and Greater Cleveland are to speak.
Grace Church worshiped in a basement chapel from 1929 until its present modernistic building was dedicated in 1955.
The church school was added in 1958.
LAKEWOOD UNITED PRESBYTERIAN
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 7, 1918 -- Pg. 11
The Lakewood United Presbyterian church, located at the corner of Detroit and Lakewood Avenues, was organized about twelve years ago under the leadership of the Rev. O.A. Keach, now pastor of the First United Presbyterian church, Akron, Ohio. The work was carried on for a time in a small frame chapel situated at the rear ofthe present building, an attractive stone structure.
The congregation has a membership of about 200 and is well organized for progressive work along all lines. While this congregation is not as large numerically as some others, it is distinguished for its liberality in the support of every good work. It is a strong force for righteousness, and the outlook for this congregation was never better than at the present time.
The present minister is the Rev. T.N. McQuoid who was called to this church about the first of last June.
LAKEWOOD UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
HISTORY OF THE CITY OF LAKEWOOD -- F.C.LOWING
This church was duly organized April 21, 1905 with the following incorporators: C.J. Neal, C. G. Robinson, Daniel Martin, Clara Neal, Clara Keach, Bessie Brady, Sarah Bayne, William S.H. Brady and H.A. Cochran. The organization was effected at the request of a number of United Presbyterians living in Lakewood, who wished to worship in a church of that denomination.
The first pastor to assume the spiritual duties of the newly formed church was Rev. Orin A. Keach, now pastor of the First U.P. Church, Akron. He was succeeded by Rev. Ainsworth Hope, now at Cedar Rapids, Iowa; next came Rev. A.W. Caldwell, now at Crafton, Pennsylvania.
The church started off with a membership of about thirty, but now has grown to 103 communicants. The Sunday School has an enrollment of 125 and an average attendance of about ninety. The commodious brick structure erected ten years ago was built so that an addition can be easily effected from the south side, and the church has ground sufficient for such an improvement.
NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH
HISTORY OF THE CITY OF LAKEWOOD -- F .C. LOWING
The doctrines of the New Jerusalem church were introduced into Rockport, now Lakewood, as early as 1813 by James Nicholson, who with his family migrated to this state from Connecticut. He came in a pioneer wagon. Reaching the Cuyahoga River and crossing it at the point where Detroit Avenue now begins, he blazed his way through the forest to the place where the present Nicholson homestead is at present located. Here, with his family, he spent the night. Later he purchased a large tract of woodland, built a log house and began to clear his land. He was for a number of years the only New Jerusalem churchman in this part of Ohio. He was a man of sterling qualities of character and was highly esteemed by his neighbors. His religious faith was the one all absorbing factor in his life. He had gained, as he thought and sincerely believed, a broader and more comprehensive faith in God, in the Bible and the life of Christianity; and he never let an opportunity go by of speaking to his friends of the things that had enlightened his mind and filled his soul. A few of his neighbors became interested in the new faith; but no very great progress was made in propagating the doctrines of the new church until the coming to this state from Massachusetts of Mr. Mars Wagar, and his conversion to the doctrines of the new church through the talks he had from time to time with James Nicholson. Mars Wagar was a graduate of Harvard College. He had lost his faith in God and in the Bible. Meeting Mr. Nicholson, he was surprised to find that every objection he urged against the inspiration of the Bible and the claims of the Christian religion was answered in a way that appealed to his reason. He forsook his infidelity and became an earnest and humble Christian; and with his conversion began the growth of the New Jerusalem church in this locality.
The greater part of the sparsely populated community became interested in the church. The first formal meeting for worship was held in a log school house near what is now known as Granger Avenue. It was a very simple service, conducted by a layman who read a printed sermon. A few years later, Rev. Richard Hooper, a local Methodist preacher from England, was converted to the church; and with his conversion, the meetings began to take on new interest. It was the first formal religious meeting held in this community.
The society was formed in 1830, and continued to worship in the log school house under the leadership of Mr. Hopper, until 1835, when a frame church was built on a lot donated by Mr. Mars Wagar, at what is now known as Detroit and Andrews Avenues.
The Rt. Rev. Thomas Worcester, D.D. of Boston, Massachusetts, made the long journey from Boston to Rockport and ordained Mr. Hooper into the priesthood of the church, in March, 1836.
The society was formed with 28 members. Each member was required to subscribe his or her name to the following articles of faith:
1st. The sole and Supreme Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ in whom is the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.
2nd. The holiness and verbal inspiration of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
3rd. The necessity of Regeneration, or the new birth in order to enter the Kingdom of God.
4th. The universality of the Redemption wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ.
5th. The Sacraments--baptism and the Supper of the Lord as of binding obligation--baptism the Sacrament ofentrance into the church--and Holy Communion the Sacrament of Christ' s presence in the Consecrated bread and wine.
6th. The need for faith and charity in the daily life.
7th. Heaven as the final home of the good and hell as the final home of the wicked.
This statement of the Christian faith was explained in a rational manner, and the church continued to grow in numbers and power.
The clergymen who have at different times served the parish have been as follows: Revs. Hooper, Day, Newman, Williams, Noble, Mercer, Saul, Frost, Stearns, Cabell, Browne, and King. Deaths and removals to other parts of the country reduced the membership of the church to a mere handful, so that in 1903, when the present pastor, Rev. Dr. Thomas A. King, took up his residence in Lakewood, he found only a few left to begin the work of rebuilding the parish.
The few who were left gathered around him; and his ministry has been one of marked success. Within four years, under his leadership, there was built a beautiful rectory, located on Mars Avenue, the old chapel was removed to a lot on Andrews Avenue and remodeled and converted into a parish house, and the present churchly structure erected and dedicated.
The church has a communicant membership of 150, a flourishing Sunday School, a live young People' s League, a most effective Woman' s Guild and an active Altar Guild. The property of the church is valued at $40,000. The church is out of debt.
CHURCH OF THE REDEEMER
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- March 1, 1918 -- Pg. 11
"Church of the Redeemer" is the local name of this parish. The denominational name of the body with which this parish is affiliated is, "The New Jerusalem Church". This name is taken from the 21st chapter of the Book of Revelation. For St. John's vision of the descent of the Holy City from God out of heaven, we understand to be the Bible symbol of the new dispensation of the Christian religion. We therefore call ourselves New Churchmen and our church the New church, not, however, in the sense of regarding it as a new sect, but as the church that stands for the doctrines of Christianity that have inaugurated the New Religious Age.
The New Jerusalem church is distinctly Christian, differing from denominational bodies of the Christian church only in the explanation which it gives to the Christian doctrines and symbols.
To illustrate: Evangelical Protestantism believes in the doctrine that there is a trinity in the Godhead, but it claims that the trinity in the Godhead is constituted of three equally divine persons, each of whom is singly and by Himself God.
The New Jerusalem church also believes that the Godhead is constituted of a divine trinity, but it does not accept, either the Roman or Protestant explanation of the trinity. We teach that God is one in essence and in person, but that in God there is a divine trinity of Essentials, called the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and that these three essentials are distinctly one God, just as soul and body and resultant operation of life are one man.
The New Jerusalem church believes in the actual incarnation of God in the person of Jesus Christ, thus that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Father, as to His eternal divinity, and the Son as to the Humanity which was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary, and the Holy Spirit as to His divine operation.
Thus the New Church worships the Lord Jesus Christ in whom is the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost.
The New Church, in common with all Evangelical bodies, believes in the Bible as the written word of God, but it differs from them in its explanation of the Bible. The New Church stands for the Bible as a spiritual book. It does not undervalue its literal sense, for it regards the literal sense as holy, but it claims that within the literal sense there is a deeper spiritual sense, which sustains the same relation to the literal sense that the soul does to the body. This spiritual sense treats always of the Lord and of his operation in the regeneration of man.
In common with all Evangelical Christians, the members of the New Church believes in the need for personal regeneration, but they do not believe in instantaneous regeneration. The New Church teaches that regeneration is a new birth and that one gradually grows in the life of it, as he reads the Lord's Word, faithfully attends the services of the church, and devoutly receives the Lord's Spiritual body and blood in the Holy Communion; and especially as he lives the Christian life in the shunning of evil because it is sin against God.
The New Jerusalem Church believes in common with all Christians in the atonement of Jesus Christ, but it differs from them in its explanation of it. The atonement as explained in the New Church was the great at-one-ment which Christ effected between God and man in His own person, which at one ment made in Him and by Him may be received by all who believe in Him, repent of their sins and lead a new life.
These are the differences--differences of explanation of the same facts.
The New Jerusalem Church is therefore a thing separate and apart from a mere sect or cult. It has no connection with what is known as New Thought nor has it the slightest connection with spiritualism, which it regards as a diabolical practice. It is simply what we regard as the higher and more rational explanation of the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The New Jerusalem Church was organized in this place in 1835.
The government and ritual of the church are Episcopal. It maintains all the offices and usages of the Church of England.
The present edifice, known as the Church of the Redeemer, was erected on a lot already owned by the parish, and cost $25,000. In addition to the church, there has been built a large and beautiful rectory on Mars Avenue and a parish house on Andrews Avenue. The total value of the property owned by the parish is $60,000. There is no debt.
The communicant membership is 160. There is a flourishing Sunday school, a Woman's Guild, an Altar Guild, and a Young People's League in connection with the church.
The church does its work quietly, seeking always to reach and develop the spiritual life.
The present rector of the parish is the Rev. Dr. Thomas A. King, who has been with the parish about fifteen years.
It has been under his leadership that the parish has acquired its present property and attained its present state of spiritual life. His sermons are free from sensationalism. They are expositions of the Word of God and replete with lessons of daily life.
GEORGE LINDSTROM UNPUBLISHED HISTORY ?
The Church of the Redeemer stands at the corner of Andrews and Detroit. It is a red brick building covered with ivy, and is altogether inviting and quaint with its mammoth doors and iron hinges. Some day we shall call it old, but today its predecessor interests us. It is the little white and green parish house around the corner immediately behind the church, erected almost 100 years ago. It originally stood on the site of the brick church and for a great many years was the social, intellectual and religious center for all of Lakewood, then called Rockport. It is still the select center for the descendents of Lakewood’s first citizens, many of whom have clung to the faith embraced by their forefathers, that of Emanuel Swedenborg. The little church was filled to capacity in the old days, and the church register records the regular attendance of the Nicholson’s, Wagar’s, Hotchkiss’, French’s, Case’s, Southern’s and Howe’s.
The seed for this church was inspired by James Nicholson, who built the lovely New England structure at Nicholson and Detroit. He was our earliest permanent settler, who as a young man of 21 left the comfortable home of his father, a minister in Chatham, Massachusetts, and made the long journey west on foot. It was a tedious trip, beset with danger from wild animals and Indian uprisings, and although one might be young and alert physically, it took its toll in weariness, making many stops necessary. Often these stops were profitable, and so it proved in his case, for it was in Trumbull County, Ohio, that James met and woo’d Betsy Bartholomew one May day in 1812. She was a pert little miss of 18, already accustomed to the rigors of pioneer life, having left her native Waterbury, Connecticut a number of years previously. Three months before the War of 1812, James Nicholson was drafted, compelling him to leave his wife and two small children alone in their log cabin in the wilderness.
In 1818 we find records of his purchase of land in Rockport, where he built a log cabin on Detroit, then an Indian trail leading west from Cleveland. His family had increased, and he soon found it necessary to build a frame house, but due to lack of materials, the beams and rafter were secured without nails, and the slightest wind would cause the house to sway and creak. The Nicholsons bore seven children, James, Hiram, Delia, Melissa, Celestia, Lewis and Ezra. The land was also fruitful, and in 1835 they erected the white colonial gem as we know it at the corner of Nicholson Avenue.
For a number of years James Nicholson had no neighbors, so he had plenty of time to think and very little material to read. No wonder he devoured the books of Swedenborg which he had purchased from an itinerant book agent. His early religious and educational training helped him to interpret Swedenborg’s teachings better than the average convert, and he became so ardent in his beliefs, and set such a good example that as Rockport grew, all the settlers in the near community readily accepted his faith.
One of his most difficult converts was Mars Wagar, who with his wife Keturah Miller came by oxcart from Phelps, New York, and settled in Rockport in 1820. They purchased the farm adjoining Nicholson’s extending from Belle to Warren and south to Madison about 160 acres at $7 per acre. Mars was a tall, heavy set dark man, a graduate of Harvard and an expert surveyor. He was a confirmed atheist, but for the sake of argument and mental recreation, he and the slight, mild mannered, James Nicholson held long sessions disputing the teachings of the Bible. Great was the rejoicing when James finally converted Mars. Neither would rest till they and their wives were able to make the long journey by cart to Wooster, Ohio, home of the nearest Swedenborgian church, that they might be confirmed into their new faith.
They returned greatly inspired and immediately started gatherings in neighbors’ barns, in school houses, and in homes, and finally on the site of the present church, the land being given by the Wagars, the funds for building the church by James Nicholson. The church was finally completed in 1848, every member having had a share in its construction. Timber was cut from trees on the land, and the roughly hewn limbs with bark attached may still be seen in the basement rafters. Building in the early days was a gala community event. Families gathered from near and far, the men setting up the frame, and the women feeding the laborers. The last detail as an elaborate portico at the front entrance added to accommodate the fringe covered surreys in dislodging passengers in comfort. Sunday was the hub of life. It was good to meet and chat with one’s neighbors, and to have such a fine church in which worship God, and to ponder over the amazing teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, a man who astounded the world with his knowledge 200 years ago, and who still inspires educators and scientists, everywhere.
There was no resident minister for many years, but James Nicholson was on hand each Sunday to interpret in simple language the marvelous writings of Swedenborg. He stressed, as they do today, the love of truth, the desire of be useful, the development of character, the reality of the spiritual world and the certainty of man’s life after death.
At the turn of the century the Swedenborgians boomed throughout the land. Lakewood’s little church proved too small and the new brick was erected to replace it, the smaller building moved back to be used as a parish house. It has been remodeled and painted many times, but the original sanctuary is much as it was when eager hands put it together as a tribute to early Christian training.
FIRST NEW JERUSALEM (SWEDENBORGIAN)
HISTORY OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY -- C. JOHNSON -- 1879 Pg. 506 – 507
Previous to 1841 there were several families of the Swedenborgian faith in Rockport, James Nicholson and Mars Wagar being leading believers. Rev. M. McCarr, of Cincinnati, was invited to come out and form a church, which he did on the 4th of September, 1841, in a schoolhouse near Rocky river. The first members were W.D. Bell and wife, Osborne Case, James Nicholson and wife, I.D. Wagar and wife, Delia Paddock, A.M. Wagar, Boadicea and Diantha Thayer, James Newman, Jane E. Johnson, Susanna Parshall, Mars Wagar and wife, James Coolahan and wife, Asa Dickinson and wife, Richard Hooper and wife, Matilda Wagar, Mary Berthong and John Berry.
The first trustees were W.D. Bell, James Nicholson and I.D. Wagar. The first ordained minister was Rev. Richard Hooper who had been a Methodist preacher in Rockport, and who is said to have been suddenly converted, at a camp meeting, to the new faith. He was ordained directly after the organization just mentioned, and labored vigorously four years as the pastor. Succeeding him the ordained ministers have been Revs. W.G. Day (who preached ten years), L.P. Mercer, D. Noble, John Saal, and George L. Stearns, the present incumbent who was ordained in 1876. The church membership now numbers about forty.
The society worshiped in the Rocky River schoolhouse until 1848, when the present house of worship (remodeled and improved in 1878) was built. The trustees are now Ezra Nicholson, A.M. Wagar and Alfred French.
Incidental to the religious experience of James Nicholson and Mars Wagar it is said that upon their awakening to the new faith they, with their wives, rode in a two-horse wagon all the way to Wooster to be baptized into the church.
CHURCH OF THE REDEEMER
EARLY DAYS OF LAKEWOOD -- D. A. R. -- Pg. 91 – 92
From the time of his coming to Rockport, James Nicholson had used every opportunity to talk to friends and acquaintances about the religious faith, which was the great interest of his life.
Mars Wagar, a Harvard graduate, had lost all belief in the Christian religion. It was James Nicholson who convinced him of the truth of the Bible and led him to give himself to Christian work. So sincere were these two that it is said that they with their wives rode in a two-horse wagon all the way to Wooster, Ohio, to be baptized into the "New Faith". Many others became interested after the conversion of Mr. Wagar, and the first formal worship was held in the log school house near the present Cannon Avenue. This is believed to have been the first formal worship in the township.
Early in 1825, a group of twenty-five people organized a church, the first in the township; and within the first year of their church life, they were able to build a place of worship. Mars Wagar donated the lot on the corner of the present Andrews and Detroit Avenues, and in 1825, the Swedenborgians erected their church, sometimes called "The New Jerusalem Church". Their first ordained minister was Reverend R. Hooper, a local Methodist preacher, who had been converted to the "New Church," as it was then called. This church grew and prospered through the years, including in its membership many prominent families of Rockport. It played an important part in the development of those early days, as many of the ministers were also teachers of the pioneer children.
This first building was used for eighty-two years. It was then moved to the rear of the lot to become a parish house. (A part of the original building is still to be found.) On this site there now stands a beautiful brick structure, The Church of the Redeemer.
NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH (SWEDENBORGIAN)
HISTORY OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY AND CLEVELAND
W.R. COATES -- Volume 1, Pg. 178-179
The New Jerusalem Church (Swedenborgian) has an interesting history. Before 1841 a number of families of that faith had settled in Rockport, James Nicholson and Mars Wagar were the leading believers. They invited Reverend McCarr of Cincinnati to come to Rockport and form a church. He came September 4, 1841, and called a meeting in a schoolhouse on Rooky River. Here and at that time a church was organized.
The first members were W.D. Bell and wife, Osborn Case, James Nicholson and wife, Israel D. Wagar and wife, Delia Paddock, A.M. Wagar, Baadicea and Diantha Thayer, James Newman, Jane E. Johnson, Susanna Parshall, Mars Wagar and wife, James Coolahan and wife, Asa Dickinson and wife, Richard Harper and wife, Matilda Wagar, Mary Berthong and John Berry. The first trustees were W.D. Bell, James Nicholson and L.D. Wagar.
The first ordained minister was Rev. Richard Hooper. Reverend Hooper had been a Methodist minister in Rockport, attended a camp meeting of Swedenborgians and was suddenly converted to that faith, and was ordained at once. He was the pastor for four years. Following him were Revs. W.G. Day, L.P. Mercer, D. Noble, John Saal and George L. Stearns in the order named. Their meetings were held in schoolhouses until 1848, then in other church buildings. In 1878 the church put up a building of their own. The trustees at this time were A.M. Wagar, Ezra Nicholson and Alfred French.
Israel D. Wagar, a son of Mars and Katura, who was one of the first members of the church, gave this as his creed: "I believe that all men will in the end be saved, that the eternal purposes of the A1mighty will never be thwarted or turned aside by his creatures; that 'He is good to all and His tender mercies are over all His works', and that the human mind is so organized that it will yield to treatment, that the wicked by association, discipline and punishment, under the guidance of divine wisdom, will in the end be saved."
The religious experience of the two leading members of this church and their intense devotion to the cause, is shown by the fact that they, when first awakened to the call, drove with their wives in a two-horse lumber wagon all the way to Wooster to be baptised into the new faith.
CALVARY UNITED BRETHREN CHURCH
HISTORY OF THE CITY OF LAKEWOOD -– F.C. LOWING
The beginning of this church dates back to the organization of a Sunday School in April, 1913, by Rev. W.W. Williamson, who had been sent to Lakewood to gather members of this denomination into a church. His personal work had been begun in January of that year. At first the little band of Christians gathered for worship in the Chamber of Commerce Hall, but later the erection of a Sunday school room was begun at the corner of Detroit and Virginia Avenues, where the basement room was completed in January of this year. (1915)
At the beginning of the year there were 65 communicants in the church and a Sunday school enrollment of 125. The Sunday school quarters and church will be completed as the needs of the church demand expansion, the church structure proper being built to front on Detroit Avenue.
LAKEWOOD CALVARY UNITED BRETHREN
LAKEWOOD PRESS –- March 7, 1918 -– Pg. 11
At a session of the East Ohio Conference of the United Brethren in Christ church, held at Sugar Creek, Ohio, September 22, 1913, Rev. W.W. Williamson, D.D. was appointed to organize a church in Lakewood, Ohio. The parish house of the Church of the Redeemer was rented for the period of six months. Seven charter members constituted the new organization. A Bible school was organized. A Woman’s Aid Society was formed, and under the leadership of Mrs. Edith Robinson, has been a very important factor in the life of the church. Services were held for about two years in the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce hall.
The church lot, northwest corner of Detroit and Virginia Avenues, was purchased from the Andrews brothers for $7,150. Dimensions of lot, 130 feet front, and 175 feet deep. On October 10, 1915, the present Sunday school chapel was dedicated by Rev. W.R. Funk, D.D., of Dayton, Ohio. In the basement we have a social hall and kitchen, shower bath, locker and boiler rooms and lavatories. The Sunday school auditorium is built on the Akron plan with gallery. Seven class rooms above gallery and seven class rooms below gallery, and also pastor’s study. At a later date we will take down the present blank wall and build the church auditorium, which will complete the original plan. The present structure and furnishings cost $16,000.
We now have a membership of 121 persons. A Bible school enrollment of 200, including cradle roll department. Professor Ellis McNelly, of the Lakewood High School, is general superintendent; John Postance and J.P. Wagner, associate superintendents. The school is having a vigorous growth and is up to date in its methods. The Christian Endeavor Society has thirty-five members. Miss Nettie Ebie is the alert president. Dr. D.W. Johnson is the corresponding secretary. The society is doing excellent work.
The Woman’s Aid Society is under the leadership of Mrs. W.A. Ross, Edith Robinson, Hattie Postance and Laura Leisk.
ST. CHRISTOPHER’S CHURCH
LAKEWOOD POST –- October 10, 1957
The Rev. Richard J. Patterson was appointed by Bishop Joseph Schrembs of the Diocese of Cleveland, on April 27, 1922, to organize the parish of St. Christopher. Land was purchased at Detroit and Lakeview avenues for the church. The first Mass in the new parish was said on Sunday, May 14, 1922, in the Council Room in the old Rocky River City Hall.
Ground for the first Catholic church to be built in Rocky River and dedicated to St. Christopher was broken on Friday, November 4, 1922. On Sunday, March 18, 1923, the First Mass in the new Saint Christopher’s church was celebrated. Three Masses were offered each Sunday for the next two and a half years. On the night of November 12, 1925, the Church, which was a frame building, was entirely destroyed by fire. Sunday Masses were said in Rocky River High School auditorium, until the church was finished. The Church was rebuilt after the fire and the first Mass in the newly constructed edifice was said on Christmas Day 1925. In September, 1930, St. Christopher’s opened the first rooms of a new school. There were but two rooms for two years, but in 1932, two more rooms were added. Four rooms were added to the school building in 1941, giving the school eight classrooms. The Parish of St. Christopher’s paid tribute to Rev. Richard J. Patterson on May 11, 1937, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination to the Priesthood. Father Patterson was named a Domestic Prelate, with the title of Right Reverend, on October 20, 1945. Monsignor Richard J. Patterson died on March 3, 1947. On March 5, 1947, the Rev. Edmund J. Ahern was appointed to the Pastorate of St. Christopher’s church. Father Ahern had served as an Assistant at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Lakewood. He had served as chaplain at St. John’s Hospital of Cleveland, and as Pastor of St. Mary’s Church of Lorain for eleven years. While he resided in Lorain he had occupied the position of Dean of Lorain County.
Father Ahern purchased a site at Hilliard Road and Wagar Road in June, 1948, for the future location of St. Christopher’s new church, which as being contemplated. The twenty acres were purchased for $20,000, and it was the desire of the Ordinary of the Diocese, Most Reverend Edward P. Hoban, S.J.D., to change the site. The Bishop later on deemed it more advisable to stay at the original site on Detroit Road. The land on Hilliard Road was donated to the Sisters of the Holy Humility of Mary for a future High school, on December 20, 1954. The present beautiful Magnificat High School now stands on the property donated by the Parish of St. Christopher.
Ground was broken on June 21, 1953, for the new St. Christopher’s Church, which now stands on the ground west of the Parish house, The Parish Rectory was built in 1944. The cornerstone of the new St. Christopher’s church was dedicated by the Most Reverend Edward F. Hoban, S.J.D. on Sunday, Dec. 12, 1954. The church is an excellent example of Romanesque architecture. It is built of Indiana limestone of a variegated color and in a variegated field. It is an outstanding church in simplicity and elegance, with a rose window which gives it an excellence which is unsurpassed in any other church of a recent date.
The St. Christopher school was modernized and enlarged in 1955. It now boasts 12 large spacious classrooms, which will care for its needs for some time to come. St. Christopher’s Church enjoys a setting that few churches possess – it has a beautiful sweep of lawn to the east and west of the Church, making the Church stand out as a gem in a gorgeous setting.
SS. CYRIL & METHODIUS, 12608 Madison Avenue
Unspecified Source (probably Lakewood Post)
It happened in November, 1902, that a small group of Slovaks met in the home of one of the early Slovak settlers in the Southeastern section of Lakewood to discuss the feasibility of establishing a parish for themselves. Their decision to do so made them seek the approval of Bishop Ignatius Horstmann. He granted them the favor on November 13, 1902. A committee was elected for the purpose of purchasing a site for the new parish. The site selected was on the corner of Madison and Lakewood Avenues on which site was the first church in which the Rev. Charles J. Oiumet, the uncle of the famous golfer, said the first Mass on August 3, 1903. This parish was a mission attended by the pastor of St. Wendelins in Cleveland, the Rev. Oldrih Zlamal. As he could not give the people of SS. Cyril and Methodius complete service, various priests were called to come, at least on Sundays to conduct services.
The first combination church and school was completed in August, 1905. Lay teachers were first employed to conduct the school. They taught until September, 1908, when the Sisters of Notre Dame took over. These Sisters still teach in the school. Father Thomas Ballon was the first permanent pastor. He was succeeded in 1908 by the Rev. Augustine Tomasek, who, less than a year later, was transferred to St. Wendelin’s in Cleveland, to be succeeded by an American born priest, the Rev. Adalbert Masat. During his pastorate he built a two story school on Alameda Ave., to replace the old frame school and church. In as much as the parish grew rapidly in membership, it became necessary to use not only the new brick school, but also the old frame school. The new school was completed in 1915, together with a new rectory for the priest, and a remodeled building for the convent.
Due to illness the Rev. Adalbert Masat resigned in 1927, to be succeeded by the Rev. F.J. Dubosh, who is still the pastor of SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish. During his pastorate the present church was built at a cost of $228,000 in 1931. A new convent for the teaching Sisters was built in 1951 at a cost of $112,000. In 1956 and enlarged and remodeled school was complete at a cost of $300,000. During all these years the parish grew from about 60 families in 1902 to approximately 1200 families in 1945. Due to overcrowded conditions in the neighborhood, the number of families has dropped to approximately 1000. The young married couples are beginning to move to West Shore communities and are joining the parishes nearest to their homes.
During the early years of the parish, the priests ministered also to the Polish people and to the Oriental Rite Catholics. Now these people have their own parishes: St. Hedwig’s for the Poles, and St. Gregory’s for the Greek Rite Catholics.
The activities of Mrs. Dubosh have not been confined to the limits of his parish, but reached out in many directions. Indeed, his influence has been not only nationwide but has veritably gone through the Iron Curtain. He was Supreme Chaplain of the First Catholic Slovak Union from 1923 to 1937. He was also National President of the Catholic Slovak Federation of America from 1937 to 1939, and the Slovak League of American from 1943 to 1945. He has also been a Diocesan Consultor since 1938 and a member of the Cemetery Board. since 1937.
A testimonial banquet honoring Msgr. Dubosh upon his reaching the 40th milestone of his priestly life took place on June 3 of this year which date also marked dedication of the newly modernized school by Archbishop Edward F. Hoban.
ST. GREGORY’S CHURCH, 2039 Quail
LAKEWOOD POST -- September 27, 1956
St. Gregory’s Byzantine Catholic Church was organized in September 1905, and with the aid of the Most Rev. Ignatius P. Horstman, D.D., Bishop of Cleveland at that time, property was purchased on Quail and Thrush avenues, the site of the church building. Rev. Gabriel Chopey was the first pastor of St. Gregory’s, and the faithful worshipped God according to the discipline, rules and usages of the Catholic Church, acknowledging the Holy Father, the Pope of Rome, and were subject to the jurisdiction of the Catholic Bishop of Cleveland up to 1924, when the Holy Father appointed the first Bishop and ‘Ordinary for all Byzantine Catholics in the U.S. Since in early pioneer days St. Gregory’s was composed of only a few families, the parish was served by neighboring Byzantine Catholics priests of the Cleveland area. This was the arrangement till 1922.
In the year 1922, the present parish home adjoining the church was purchased, and the first resident pastor, Rev. Father Bail Volosin was appointed. Due to the increase of the families, organization was then possible. A plan was then drawn up by the pastor and his committee to erect a more substantial and larger church. In 1925, this plan became a reality, and the present brick building was completed. The new church building was blessed on August 8, 1926, by His Excellency, the late Bishop Basil Takach, D.D., who became the first ‘Ordinary’ for the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholics residing in the U.S. In 1927, Rev. Father George Hritz became pastor and had the church redecorated.
After serving for 20 years at St. Gregory’s, Father Hritz was succeeded by Rev. Father Michael A. Knapik whose stay here was some three years. Father Knapik’s excellent work in Religious Adult and Youth Instruction especially is appreciated by the parishioners. In 1950, Father Gregory Moneta came and was pastor for one year. In 1951, the Franciscan Fathers, Rev. Bernadyne Hvizdos, O.F.M., and Rev. Roland Maruscak, O.F.M., were appointed to St. Gregory’s, continuing their work for the salvation of souls as their predecessors had done. In July 1954, Rev. John S. Kocisko was appointed pastor, and he began and completed plans in the form of repairs, redecoration of the Church. After a year’s preparation for the Golden Jubilee Observance, Rev. Kocisko was replaced by the present pastor, Rev. Nicholas J. Pavlik, O.S.B., appointed in September 1955.
St. Gregory’s parishioners as peaceful, loyal and faithful citizens of Lakewood have and are contributing much to the heritage of our American way of life. Many of the faithful are professional and business people, interested in the community and living in harmony with their fellow-citizens. Much credit is due to the practical Catholic men who are members of the Church Committee, and who worked hard for the fitting observance of the Golden Jubilee of St. Gregory’s Church. This Committee consists of Frank Krejci, Mike Kasarda, Steve Bailey, John Kolesar, William Miczak, John Dursin, John Konig, Mike Morway, George Negrey, Edward Geletka, Walter Bakowich, George Kubas, Frank Hvest, John Pashel, Joseph Pauley and Frank Chontos.
The Spiritual life developed and fostered throughout the years by the various pastors resulted in establishment of a Rosary and Altar Society, and branches of the Greek Catholic Union, a fraternal organization known throughout the states promoting the spiritual and material well-being and security of its members.
The parish is not only concerned with its own spiritual and material welfare, but it also is providing vocations for future churches. There are two seminarians, now preparing for the Priesthood, who as they complete their studies will work as priests to the field where they will be assigned. Education of children at St. Gregory’s has been promoted since the administration of Rev. Hritz, who had obtained Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great, and who had taught during the summermonths. This was continued by other priests throughout the years. The congregation of St. Gregory’s consists of 245 families or nearly 1000 souls. Future plans of St. Gregory’s includes a daily parochial school in which coming generations of Byzantine Rite Catholics will be able to obtain greater opportunities than in the preceding generations. At the present time, St. Gregory’s is under the jurisdiction of the Most Rev. Nicholas T. Elko, D.D. Bishop of the Byzantine Rites for all Ruthenians in the U.S. Here in the Cleveland area, St. Gregory’s is one of the 11 churches belonging to the Cleveland Deanery whose Dean is the Very Rev. Msgr. Tomislav Firis, V.F.
ST. HEDWIG’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 12903 Madison
LAKEWOOD POST -– January 3, 1957
On the sixth day of August, 1914, the late Rev. Charles Ruszkowski dedicated St. Hedwig’s church in Lakewood. The building, a wooden structure, now used as a parish hall, is a symbol of the devotion and tenacity of the people of the parish. Witness the following brief history.
As early as 1892, Polish immigrants settled in what is now Lakewood. The community, composed mostly of Catholics, found need of a church. St. Rose’s where they attended, was too distant, so the most numberous group, the Slovaks, organized St. Cyril and Methodius church. Later, in 1905, when the polish group increased, they in turn organized St. Hedwig’s Parish. However until 1914 it remained a Mission Church, because it was too small to support a resident pastor. Priests from Cleveland conducted services.
While it remained a Mission, devotions were held in many places. The first quarters were in a small hall on Quail Street. Later the Mission moved to St. Cyril and Methodius church, then to St. Gregory’s Catholic church, to the basement of the home of Joseph Misiak on Halstead avenue, and finally to a converted theater at 11916 Madison.
Obviously the parish could not develop under such uncertain conditions. It lacked a permanent home, and it lacked continued administration. In consequence difficulties developed and a complete bread came in the fall of 1912. No services were held, and the people scattered to various other churches.
In the meantime, as more Polish families moved into Lakewood, a committee was organized to contact the late Msgr. M.J. Orzechowki, who helped the parish to start anew. Along with Rev. Charles Ruszkowski, he interceded with Bishop Farrelly to appoint a resident pastor. Rev. Thomas Czarkowski was appointed. The Parish then bought lots on Madison avenue extending from Halstead to Dowd. The wooden church was built and it was dedicated on August 6, 1914. The event marked the beginning of the continued existence of the parish.
Father Czarkowski left St. Hedwig’s in 1955. Succeeding pastors were Father J.T. Kasinski, 1915-1918; Father Joseph Zielinski, 1918-1919; Father Francis Kozlowski, 1919-1924; Father Michael Konwinski, 1924-1928, and Father Stanley Sobieniowski, 1928-1933. The present pastor, Father Joseph C. Rutkowski, was appointed in 1934.
In 1926, the present combination church-school building was erected. But the financial burden proved to be beyond the means of the parish. During the administration of Father Sobieniowski the depression came and debts mounted. The parish found itself in a hopeless financial condition. From this it was extricated by the tenacious and self-sacrificing efforts of priest and people, aided by fortuitious development of the same forces of depression which created the condition. The sympathetic understanding and encouragement of the late Archbishop of the late Archbishop Joseph Schrembs helped the parish weather the crisis.
Father Rutkowski was ordained a priest in St. John’s Cathedral on March 24, 1928 by the Most Rev. Archbishop Schrembs. He said his first mass the following day, Annunciation Day, in St. Casimir’s church. In 1953, on the 25th anniversary of his ordination and the 20th year of his pastorate at St. Hedwig’s, the Jubilarian was honored by his parishioners at an Anniversary Banquet. In October, 1955, the parish celebrated its Golden Jubilee with a parish Mission which was closed by the Most Rev. Archbishop Edward Hoban with benediction.
STS. PETER & PAUL RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, 12711 Madison
LAKEWOOD POST -– June 14, 1956
The Sts. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church of Lakewood date back to 1904 when the first Divine Liturgy was sung by the Very Rev. J. Kappanadze who is still pastor of St. Theodosius Cathedral at Starkweather at Seventh, in Cleveland. John Ripich, then teacher of Theodosius with the assistance of other Lakewoodites organized the St. Nicholas chapter of the Russian Orthodox Mutual aid society with a membership of 30.
It was not however, until July 1, 1917 that the Sts. Peter and Paul Parish was organized and located on Quail. On July 19, 1917 the church was incorporated. The first officers were Rev. Joseph Takach, pastor; William Racin, choir director; George Cifranic, president; Michael Busony, Sr., vice president; George Slavik, financial secretary; George Kozanko, recording secretary and Andrew Ferjo, treasurer. After a period the congregation abandoned the Quail avenue church and established its new church on Madison avenue in a finished basement. On October 29, 1922 the cornerstone was laid by His Eminence, the Metropolitan Platon. From 1922 until July 2, 1950 the congregation worship in the basement. Eight pastors had served the congregation during this era.
On September 1, 1947 Rev. Stephen Rusiniak was appointed as pastor. Under his leadership and the following officers: Alex Barany, 1593 Alameda, President; Michael Kovalchick, 2025 West 100, Vice President; Harry Poltorak, 2200 Richland, Secretary and Mrs. Sophie Ferencz, 13004 Madison, Treasurer; rose the Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox church of Byzantine architecture at a cost totaling $175,000. The construction of the new church began on June 24, 1948. The preliminary stages of construction seemingly moved slowly, because alterations and improvements which were offered, that previously could not be foreseen, caused some delay and on July 2, 1950, the completed church was dedicated.
The church has a seating capacity of 400 persons and a choir loft will accommodate an additional 100 persons. From a humble beginning the congregation now numbers 326 families. Affiliated with the church are the following groups: The Choir, of which Alex Barany, 1503 Alameda, is Director and Michael Kostak, 1650 Grace is Cantor. The first Sunday of every month the entire Divine Liturgy is sung in English. The St. Mary’s Altar Club of which Mrs. Barbara Hajduk, 2132 Waterbury is president for the past 16 years. The Lakewood Senior ‘R’ Club, Michael Lichko, 1630 Elbur, president. The Lakewood Junior ‘R’ Club, Angela Dramis, 12800 Madison, president. In 1949 Sunday School was established. At the present time 127 children are enrolled in the Sunday School. There are five Sunday School teachers: Miss Vera Kormes, Mrs. Betty Baratko, Mrs. Ann Sharkody, Mrs. Betty Pesnak with Matushka Rusiniak as the Superintendent. The wife of the pastor is know to the Russians as Matushka.
The Church’s oldest charter member is John Sutjak, 82, who resides at 2021 Carabel. The President of the congregation now is John D. Baratko, 2037 Waterbury. The screen of icons which adorns the church was built by Joseph Vokulich, 12401 Madison, a parishioner, at a cost of $12,000.
Father Rusiniak explained the grape motif on the vigil light Chandelier that drops from the ceiling: “It presents God’s vineyard, and the flame above the Altar burns perpetually.” Sunday services at Sts. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church begin at 10 o’clock in the morning, and Lakewood-West Shorties are invited to worship with the congregation.
A graduate of St. Tikhon theological seminary, South Canaan, Pa., Father Rusiniak was ordained a priest in November, 1943 at New York’s Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral. Prior to his coming here he was pastor for three years of Holy Ghost Parish, Detroit, Michigan.
PARKWOOD CONGREGATIONAL, Madison at Parkwood
LAKEWOOD POST -– February 21, 1957
The story of Parkwood Congregational Church began with the assignment of a comity area by the Cleveland Federation of Churches in 1919. The Federation’s comity assignment was made to the Congregational Union of Cleveland to organize a Congregational church “somewhere on Madison Avenue in Lakewood”. The Congregational Union, in June, 1919, purchased a site at 13714 Madison. Following a survey of the neighborhood, a Sunday School was organized and met in Franklin School from January, 1921 to April, 1924.
Early in 1921 the Rev. Charles Dole was appointed by the Congregational Union of Cleveland to supervise activities looking toward the establishment of a new Congregational church. In May, 1921, a church society was formed and temporary officers elected. On Dec. 25, 1921, the formal organization of Parkwood Church was completed, a constitution adopted, and officers elected. Rev. Mr. Dole was elected by the newly-formed church ton continue as pastor. Thirty-eight people were enrolled as charter members of the church, six are still active in the church’s program: the Misses Edna, Mable and Lillian Dell, Mrs. C.E. Bauer, Mrs. R.E. Laubscher, and Mrs. H. Salzer. William O. Maier was elected church treasurer at the beginning of the church and continues in that capacity today. The first service was held on Jan. 1, 1922.
During the summer of 1924 it became increasingly evident that a church building was needed by the young church. A campaign was conducted among members and friends for funds with which to build a suitable house of worship. With sufficient money in hand a contract was let for the building of the original Parkwood church at Madison and Parkwood. The first services held in the new church sanctuary was on Easter Sunday in 1924. On the following Sunday services of dedication were held. Successive pastors of Parkwood were Rev. Donald J. Taylor, Rev. Joseph A. Steen, and Rev. Gilbert E. Counts.
In March, 1935 Rev. Harry A. Frost became pastor. During his 15 year pastorate the membership and ministry of Parkwood church grew steadily. In May, 1948, due to failing health, Mr. Frost retired. His successor Rev. W. Roland Koch, was elected pastor as he was about to graduate from seminary and assumed active leadership of the parish in October, 1948.
Parkwood Church had been experiencing ‘growing pains’ for some time. The original frame structure among the tall oaks of Parkwood Road was becoming increasingly inadequate for the needs of the parish. Hence it was that plans were formulated for a new house of worship. Under the leadership of Pastor Koch, the present new nave and chancel (of “modified modern” design) were erected and dedicated on June 6, 1954. The north section of the original church was gradually re-modeled for use as a chapel and educational-recreational area.
In the spring of 1956 Rev. Mr. Koch resigned as pastor of Parkwood and moved to Chicago. The pastoral committee selected as his successor in the fall, the present minister, Rev. Mr. C.B. Howells.
During World War II Mr. Howells served as chaplain in Europe and was for many years University Pastor at the University of Nebraska. He holds degrees from both Bucknell and Yale. Mrs. Howells has earned degrees at Cornell and Yale University School of Nursing. There are three children in the Howells’ family-Ben, Lucy Ann and Bobby.
In the few months since Mr. Howells began his ministry at Parkwood Church, the membership has increased by 15 per cent. The present membership being 262; the church school enrollment is 184. The Church School meets in two sessions: the Jr.-Sr. High department-as well as the Adult department-meets at 9:30 every Sunday morning. Children of nursery age through the sixth grade meet concurrent with the public worship service at 10:45 on the Sabbath. Parkwood’s community outreach is reflected in the five women’s organizations, the men’s brotherhood, the Couple’s club, the Co-Weds, two youth groups and two choirs. The Rev. and Mr. Charles Heineman are Parkwood’s own missionaries in Tiruvadnai, South India.
CHURCH OF THE ASCENSION (Episcopal), 13216 Detroit
LAKEWOOD POST –- January 10, 1957
The Church of the Ascension started as a Mission of Trinity Cathedral in 1875. From 1875 until 1882 cottage meetings were held on Sunday afternoons in the homes of persons interested in establishing a parish. These first services were held under the pastoral charge of the Rev. Messrs. William E. McLaren, John Wd. Brown and the Rev. Mr. Backus.
In 1879 a frame church was consecrated and sometime later a new front was added to this original chapel. By arrangement with the Rev. John W. Brown, the Rev. Dr. Louis Burton accepted the pastoral charge of Ascension Chapel. His son, the Rev. Lewis W. Burton, who was later consecrated Bishop, was his assistant. When the Church of the Ascension was organized as a parish in 1882 the Rev. Lewis N. Burton received and accepted a call as rector. He realized that East Rockport (now Lakewood) would become a fine residential area of Greater Cleveland and that the population of that community would increase since the old stone viaduct over the Cuyahoga River had been built.
The Rev. Mr. Burton resigned as rector in 1884 and was succeeded by the Rev. Y. Peton Morgan. His successors were the Rev. Messrs. Edward Kemp, T.C. Rucker, Francis M. Hall, E.J. Craft, William S. Shepard, George Frederic Williams, William Ashton Thompson, Wallace M. Gordon, William G. Studwell, and the Rev. John R. Pattie. The present Rector is the Rev. Dr. Stuart G. Cole who came to the Church of the Ascension in May of 1949. The Rev. Theodore G.S. Whitney, B.O., became the Curate in August, 1956.
The first rectory was a frame structure built in 1898. This rectory was torn down in 1931 to make room for the present parish house, and the new rectory was built in 1925.
The old wooden structure which served as a church for many years became inadequate and the new church building was erected in 1916. The first service in the new church was not held until September of 1918, since the first World War had delayed construction of the building.
In recent years the entire front of the church has been rebuilt, many repairs and improvements have been made to both the undercroft of the church and the parish house, and a large and attractive hall was constructed over the gymnasium.
For 81 years the Church of the Ascension has had an active and important part in the life of the community. It has had an important place in the affectionate memories of many parishioners who were born and raised in this area. A Church that is 81 years old is no youngster. The church has grown to be a large and influential parish because of the combined forces of able and devoted clergy, and strong and loyal laymen and women whose idealism and zeal have made the parish what it is today.
ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, Detroit at Arthur
LAKEWOOD POST –- July 19, 1956
St. Paul Lutheran Church is enjoying the delightful afterglow of thrilling golden anniversary observances commemorating fifty years of God’s grace. As early as March 29, 1903, when the population of Lakewood was a slim 3500, five families of the Lutheran conviction, met for worship in a frame building at Detroit and Andrews. On June 26, 1904, they dedicated their new chapel on Lakeland Avenue, built for $3500, including two lots.
Almost two years after the first service the congregation was officially organized when thirteen members signed the constitution on February 23, 1905. Of the charter members four are still living and in active membership: F.G. Lange, Christ Reinker, Fred W. Walker, and Mrs. George Schwane. On April 22, 1917, the congregation-still small in membership, but vibrant with faith, courage and foresight-dedicated a beautiful new church on the corner of Detroit and Arthur.
St. Paul Lutheran Church has always been convinced of the need and importance of thorough Christian education for its children. To that end it has conducted a Christian Day School since the beginning of its history. In recent years it has joined with Pilgrim and Gethsemane Lutheran Churches to sponsor Lakewood Lutheran School. The school building on Lakeland Avenue was erected in 1926. Teachers in the school, provided by St. Paul, have been: W.G. Niemann (1907-10), G.W. Witte (1910-15), Paul H. Hoffmeyer (1916-40), Paul Engelmann (1926-56, just retired), and Edgar V. Tassler (1940-).
The congregation has been served by four ministers. The Rev. Fred R. Zucker was pastor from 1905 to 1910, and the Rev. Karl Hoffman from 1910 to 1913. There followed the long and outstanding pastorate of the Rev. John H. Meyer, D.D., under whose consecrated leadership the congregation grew and developed for forty years. Dr. Meyer retired in 1953 and is still pastor emeritus of the congregation.
Four full-time workers are on the church staff. The present pastor, the Rev. Armin C. Oldsen, served the congregation as assistant pastor from 1934 to 1940. From 1940 to 1949 he was pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Valparaiso, Indiana, and instructor at Valparaiso University. For the next two years he was associate professor and special counselor at Valparaiso University. After serving for two years as speaker on the International Lutheran Hour, “the world’s most widespread broadcast” heard over 1,250 stations in 56 countries, he became pastor of Saint Paul, being installed on September 20, 1953. He is author of a number of religious books, regularly contributes to religious magazines, and frequently lectures and preaches in Canada and throughout the States. He is listed in “Who’s Who in America.”
Edgar V. Tassler is principal of Lakewood Lutheran School and also organist and choir director of the congregation. Miss Arbeiter is employed as a deaconess and is secretary to the pastor and to the Lutheran Deaconess Association. Miss Marylin Mueller will begin teaching in the school in September.
The Golden Anniversary was fittingly observed in services of praise, culminating an extensive remodeling and enlarging program. The church now has a beautiful sanctuary seating over 600, a spacious fellowship hall, Sunday School rooms, three administrative offices, seven special purpose rooms, and a splendidly equipped kitchen. The anniversary project included acquisition of a parsonage on Lakewood Heights Boulevard, a Schlicker Organ, a parking and playground area. The entire program cost in excess of $350,000, the major portion of which has been covered by contributions to the Golden Anniversary Fund and by special memorial gifts.
The heroic figure of Christ in the large stained glass window over the front entrance extends to the community Christ’s welcome: “Come Unto Me.” The stained glass windows in the nave depict six scenes from the life of Christ and His eight Beautitudes.
On the membership list of the church are 600 communicants and 800 souls. They are a loyal and generous group. Average attendance at worship services is at least 75 per cent of the membership. Contributions for charitable, educational, and missionary purposes are usually more than the large budget for local expenses.
S.S. PETER AND PAUL EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 13028 Madison
LAKEWOOD POST -– October 11, 1956
Fifty-five years ago on March 21, 1901, twenty one men gathered to lay the foundation for what is now known as S.S. Peter and Paul Evangelical Lutheran church. Of the original charter members, two are living and are still with the congregation, John Olsavsky, Sr. and Andrew Rybarik, Sr. The first church building was erected at a cost of $1750 on the corner of Thrush and Quail avenues and was dedicated on March 23, 1902. Pastors who served the congregation in its infant years were Rev. L. Havel, Rev. Julius Cernecky and Rev. John Vojtko (1910-1913), father of the present pastor, Rev. George Vojtko.
From 1913 to 1947, Rev. Andrew Olsavsky, who passed away last January served the congregation. During his pastorate the present church building on Madison and Grace was erected in 1926 at a cost of $75,000. Dedication of the building took place on April 24, 1927. Succeeding years saw the following pastors serving the congregation: Rev. George Dolak (1940), Rev. Joseph Dinda (1942-1948) and Rev. Paul Stanko (1946-1948). Rev. George Vojtko assumed the pastorate in March 1949.
Total membership of the congregation is 1050, of whom 800 are adult members. John Olds is Director of Music and supervises three choirs, Senior, Junior Girls and the Children’s Choir. Among the organizations active in Christian service and fellowship are the Ladies Aid, the Mission Society, the Men’s Club, the Young People’s Society, the Altar Guild and the Boy Scouts. Each group conducts at least one meeting a month. The education program of the church is supplemented by the Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Bible Classes and Catechism Class. At the present time there are about 200 children enrolled in the Sunday School and 18 teachers on the staff. Adult Information Classes for non-Lutherans are conducted by the Pastor.
Under construction at the present time is an education unit adjoining the church. Estimated cost of the building and equipment is $250,000. Members of the Building Committee are Andrew Onder, Andrew Dzurik, Edward Valentik, John Olds, Michael Brezman and John Melis. Office secretary is Miss Jeanne Gribek. The Administrative bodies of the congregation are the Voters Assembly of which Andrew Dzurik is chairman, and the Vestry. Among the special annual church events observed by the congregation are a “State of the Parish Sunday,” Lenten vespers, Easter Sunrise service, Family Day Service, Outdoor Mission Festival, Reformation Festival and the traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.
Fully realizing that a community is no stronger than its homes and churches, our congregation is proud to have made a small contribution toward the moral strengthening of our city in the last 55 years and at the same time it pledges its support of every program and project which will make Lakewood a better and stronger community.
TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH, Detroit and Hall
LAKEWOOD POST –- January 30, 1958
Trinity Lutheran Church is a congregation of The Synod of Ohio of The United Lutheran Church in America. Its existence in Lakewood spans 45 years. In September, 1911 the Rev. Ralph J. White, synodical Missions superintendent, came to Lakewood to start a Lutheran Church in which English was to be used, because a religious census had located about 100 Lutheran families not members of local German or Slovak Lutheran churches. On Oct. 22, 1911 a Sunday School was started in the chapel of the Church of the Redeemer with 22 members enrolled. On the following Jan. 7 a congregation was organized with 25 charter members, of whom two remain in the present membership, Herman A. Kurth and Prudence Stimely Uher.
On Feb. 4, 1912 a site for a church was purchased at Detroit and Hall, with six families offering the security for the $5,400 needed. Here in April 1922 the Mission Board erected a portable chapel for regular services. In 1917 the First Lutheran Church of Mansfield, O., assumed this congregation as its Home Mission objective, supporting it liberally each year, beginning with $2,100 toward the building fund. In 1921 was erected at a cost of $55,000 the first unit of a three-unit edifice. In the 30’s the congregation came into such strained circumstances as were to delay the liquidation of the indebtedness incurred in this construction until Oct. 7, 1949.
In September, 1953 was dedicated at a cost of nearly $110,000 a parish house and a renovated church, including eight beautiful stained glass windows. The indebtedness incurred in doing this is now so nearly paid that the congregation is looking forward to completing its unfinished church structure.
A significant feature in the life of Trinity is that out of it have come five men for the ministry. In addition have been eight wives of pastors. Heartening, also, after early years of difficulty, is Trinity’s achievement of gaining and holding for 21 consecutive years a place on the Roll of Honor congregations of The Synod of Ohio for its benevolence offerings for the whole work of the whole church thus giving its support and of its strength to the world family of Lutherans comprising over 70,000,000 souls. Through The United Lutheran Church it supports the National Lutheran Council of Church of Christ in the U.S.A., and the World Council of Churches. Locally it participates in the Cleveland Church Federation, does Inner Mission work through the Lutheran Service Society of Northeastern Ohio, and has begun to take part in the Inner City Protestant Parish.
Pastors have been: H.M. Havice, 1913-1917; Charles H. Tilp, 1917-1920; Herman C. Getter, 1920-1927; T. Benton Perry, 1927-1930; J.B. Lambert, 1931-1937; John W. Rilling, 1937-1942, and the present pastor since 1942.
For whatever of worth there is in these years of ministering the ‘good news’ of God’s saving grace in Christ, we are grateful to God Who through the gospel has called us together and set us in this place of Christian worship and service.
MEMBERSHIP OF TWENTY LAID FOUNDATIONS OF LAKEWOOD METHODIST
LAKEWOOD POST –- unspecified date
Editor’s Note—-This is the tenth in a series of historical accounts of churches in Lakewood and the West Shore which will appear in The Post during coming weeks.
By Jeannette Glen Thorne
Three times a monument has been erected at the corner of Summit and Detroit. All have been a symbol of man’s faith and hope in God.
The first to be built was a small frame structure having an appearance very similar to our memories of the little old school house. This miniature church of worship, which later transformed itself into the large edifice of Lakewood Methodist church, was built on a lot 48 by 223 feet at the corner of Detroit and Summit. The property was purchased for $1,200 from Hiram Barrett and his wife. Twenty spirited members, the total membership of the church, financed the $3,805, building in the summer of 1876. Three of the members mortgaged their homes to aid in the financing, and Rev. R. McCaskey was the pastor who led these pioneers.
For twenty-six years the original building housed its small but loyal congregation. But the increased membership to 150 people became crowded in their small religious quarters, and plans were drawn up by Badgley and Nickolas, Cleveland architects, for a new church. The contractor and builder was A.C. Bartter who still resides at 1455 West Clifton. Again, the spirit of these church builders was shown by the fact that when this second church was to be built, ten men mortgaged their homes to aid in its financing.
The first subscription was submitted in January, 1902; the corner stone was laid in June two years later; and the church was dedicated on March 26th, 1905. Mr. A.C. Bartter, C.H. Bleil, and H.B. Morrison are among the men who are still active in the Lakewood church, and who were leaders in this second church.
The second church was built in front of the original, and had a porch entrance on Detroit. Any of the members, who become homesick for a sight of this church, may see it today if they visit Collinwood Methodist church at 152nd and St. Clair, where it was removed piece by piece when the third church was erected.
The organ in this second church was partially contributed by Andrew Carnegie. Rev. O. Badgley, the pastor at that time, wrote to Mr. Carnegie requesting the donation of an organ for the church. Mr. Carnegie agreed, if the church would purchase an organ costing $1,500, and pay one-half of the amount, he would cover the balance.
In September 1913 the third monument, the present Lakewood church, was completed. The date coincided with the twentieth wedding anniversary of the church’s pastor, Rev. John H. Blackburn, who still resides on Ethel avenue, and serves as minister of finance.
The church is a modified type of English gothic architecture. Its exterior walls, trimming and window frames are of dressed Bedford stone, and the roof is slate. The auditorium has a seating capacity of 1,000.
The Lakewood Methodist congregation has been served by twelve ministers, has erected three churches, each one larger and more beautiful than its predecessor, and has increased its membership from the original of 4,000. This church at the corner of Summit and Detroit is guided by its present pastor, Rev. Harold F. Carr, and today represents one of the largest in Methodism.
ROCKPORT METHODIST CHURCH, 3300 Wooster Road
Unspecified source and date (probably Lakewood Post)
In 1824 a group of hardy pioneers who were busy felling timbers to build their log cabins and clear the land for farming and fighting off the bears that were attacking their pigs, took time off to meet in the log cabin of William Jordan to form the Rockport Methodist fellowship, which has become today’s thriving Rockport Methodist church. This log cabin was located on Wooster Road not far from the present site of the white frame building that was built in 1847.
The preacher for this 132 year old congregation was one of the storied Circuit Riders with horse and saddle bags, serving in addition to Rockport, other stations between Cleveland and Toledo. The name of this tireless traveler who carried welcome sustenance to the spiritually hungry pioneers in unknown. His work lives on.
Then in 1846 the members who had been meeting the William Jordan log cabin, met to make plans for building a new church. 1847 saw the completion of this lovely white frame building that was built by their own hands and labor. The Indians and the bears have moved on but the little white church remains and gives evidence that it could stand for another 109 years.
In 1947 to meet the growing problem on the South side of Rocky River, the present colonial brick sanctuary was dedicated.
In July of 1954 three and a half acres was bought on the east of Wooster Road to make possible the building of a new Sunday School building and sanctuary and parking area.
In 1955 a new parsonage at 2710 Westmoor Road was purchased for the minister in order to provide extra Sunday School space in the old parsonage for a rapidly growing Sunday School. Rockport Church had begun to meet the growing community by establishing two services of worship and two Sunday Schools back in 1952. At the present moment there is the need for three Sunday Schools and by fall a third service of worship must be started.
Already the architects are at work on the master plan for the new Rockport Church on the east side of Wooster Road. On this beautiful location that backs up the Metropolitan Valley will rise the new church, and the first unit will be ready for use in 1958.
In 1940 the membership of Rockport was under a hundred members. Today the membership nears the 700 marks. The largest growth has taken place under the leadership of the present minister, Wilbur E. Goist who became pastor in July of 1949 when membership was approximately 250.
Identification of Rev. Goist with Rockport Methodist brought together a church with a pioneering tradition, a community on the edge of its greatest period of growth and a leader who glories in challenge which calls for initiative. Throughout his ministerial career, Rev. Goist has accepted manifold opportunities for aggressive Christian service beyond bounds of sectarianism or tradition. As associate minister of the Lakewood Methodist Church, some years ago, his work was largely with young people. He had a large part in laying the solid foundation of that Church’s ever expanding structure dedicated to youth service which is as comprehensive and as progressive as can be found anywhere.
Throughout his ministerial career, Rev. Goist has rendered a vast aggregate of social service independent of assignment beyond written record. He has consistently made an avocation of bringing the strength of religion within reach of the unfortunate, the handicapped and the weak.
Optimistic, smiling, always energetic, Rev. Goist perfectly reflects the surge of progress so evident at Rockport Methodist in recent years, the assured future of increasing usefulness so assuredly ahead.
CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE, 14050 Madison
LAKEWOOD POST -– May 30, 1957
Twenty-five years in the life of a church holds many milestones of trial, change and progress. The story of the Church of the Nazarene in Lakewood is no exception. The church, which today occupies a sanctuary on a site next to the athletic field of Lakewood High School, had its start in a series of Gospel meetings in a large brown tent, erected on Madison Avenue near Hilliard Road by two zealous young preachers in August 1932. When a good interest was maintained, services were moved indoors to the YMCA, as colder weather came. Worship and evangelistic services were conducted each Sunday afternoon and evening.
Official organization of the church took place in the YMCA auditorium on Nov. 6 1932. Twenty-six charter members were received on that date. Among them was Dr. H.R. Brownlee, a physician and surgeon, who had worked toward the founding of the Nazarene Church in Lakewood by having services in his home and at his office clinic, several years prior to the tent meeting. The group moved to a store front room at 13412 Madison. After a few years it became necessary to secure larger quarters and the Seventh Day Adventist church was rented. In April, 1939, with the opening of the new YMCA, the Nazarenes returned to that auditorium. The site at 14050 Madison was purchased before World War II.
The present sanctuary was dedicated on July 16, 1944 and is a monument to the sacrifice and hard work of the congregation. War-caused priorities on building materials and shortage of skilled labor challenged the ingenuity of pastor and members. Rev. Charles T. Moore, the pastor, drew plans for the building and served as contractor. All but five days of hired labor was done by members of the congregation. The structure, of concrete block, was placed on the rear of the lot, looking toward an eventual larger house of worship.
The time for construction of the new and final building to cost $65,000 is near at hand. Rev. Daniel S. McNutt of Louisville, Ky., now in his second year as pastor, has had plans for the new church drawn and approved by the church board and the Lakewood Building Commission. These plans call for an edifice to be constructed along modern architectural lines, with high laminated wood arches and redwood decking for ceiling. The church has advertised for bids on this structure.
The Lakewood Church has grown steadily since it was organized. Membership is restricted to those who enter on profession of faith by letter of transfer. Membership now is 80 and Sunday School enrollment totals about 100. Sunday Services open with the church school at 9:45, followed by worhip at 10:50 o’clock. Young People’s Service and Junior Church are conducted at 6:45 and evening evangelistic service at 7:30. Classes for all ages feature Sunday School. Mid-week prayer service is held each Wednesday at 7:30 P.M. All services are open to the public.
Rev. McNutt, the present pastor, served three years in the Philippines and in Japan in World War II. He is a graduate of Trevecca College Nashville, Tenn. with a bachelor of arts degree. His first pastorate was at Coal Grove, O. where he remained for five years. Mrs. McNutt, the former Miss Gilliam is a native of Nashville, where she formerly taught in the public school system. She is a graduate of Trevecca College and Peabody Teachers’ College, Nashville. The McNutts have two children, Margaret Della, 6 and Donna Dean, 4.
Other pastors of the Lakewood church and their years of service are: Rev. James L. Honaked, 1950-55; Rev. Chester A. Newcome 1949-50; Rev. Glenn Flannery, 1944-49; Rev. C.T. Moore, 1942-44; Rev. J. Carey Campbell, 1936-41; Rev. Guy Nelson, 1934-36; and Rev. Hugh W. Glenn, 1932-23.
LAKEWOOD UNITED PRESBYTERIAN, Detroit and Lakewood
LAKEWOOD POST -– October 25, 1956
At the turn of the century Lakewood was a small community of orchards and vineyards. Land was being allotted and homesites sold. Among those purchasing was the Daniel Martin family, which moved here around 1902. And Mr. Martin was a man of vision. The family were members of the First U.P. Church, under Dr. T.H. McMichael. This pastor was then leaving Cleveland and the Martins gave him a farewell dinner at which Mr. Martin proposed the founding of a Mission Church in Lakewood.
Following Dr. Michael, came the Rev. J.R.J. Milligan, a cousin of the present pastor, and he, backed by adequate cooperation and encouragement, under Presbyterial care, saw the coming of Lakewood’s First United Presbyterian pastor, Rev. Orlin A. Keach, who established this Mission Church. Dr. Keach, walking the streets and hunting out possible members, laid a solid foundation.
First meetings were held in a two-room wing of a private home at the corner of Cohassett and Detroit Avenues. Rev. Mr. Keach, a man of vision and ingenuity, was commissioned to visit Pittsburgh, where an owner of a stone quarry was found, who donated the necessary stone for building a church. When the material arrived the pastor borrowed trucks and with a minimum of paid help saw to the unloading of it himself.
The meeting of the first provisional Session was held April 6, 1905, and the following twenty persons became Charter members of the Church: Mrs. Clara M. Keach; Mr. H.A. Cochran; Mrs. Neal; Mrs. Clara E. Neal; Mrs. Helen Shivley; Simon S. Robinson; Mary C. Robinson; Sarah Bayne; Mrs. Chas. P. Gerdum; Daniel Martin; Mrs. Sarah A. Martin; Mrs. Florence Martin Smith; C.J. Neal; Mrs. Cara E. Neal; Mrs. Helen Shively; Simon S. Robinson; Mrs. William Forsythe. The Mission Church thrived under these faithful few. Plans were made for a permanent building, and by these pioneers, the cornerstone of the present structure was laid at the West side of the Front entrance, with its inscription, ‘United Presbyterian Church – 1905.’ Much sacrificial labor, many gifts and enduring faith contributed to the vital growth, and adequate furnishings of this Church. Space forbids the detailing of these growing pains, and struggling years.
A total of nine Pastors, each contributing his due share of loyalty, faithfulness and sacrificial labor, cared for the needs of this Church, and its devoted members. Their names follow: O.R. Keach, D.D., 1905-1909; Rev. Ainsworth Hope, 1910-1914; A.W. Caldwell, D.D., 1914-1916; Johnston Calhoun, D.D., 1916-1917; T.N. McQuoid, D.D., 1917-1919; William A. Pollock, D.D., 1919-1927; Earl D. Miller, D.D., 1928-1942; Rev. David W. Dodds, 1943-1952; and Rev. J.C.K. Milligan, 1952 to the present.
Due to growth in both membership and Sabbath school, the Church had to be enlarged, and at considerable cost, and in due time this new portion was dedicated, January 3rd, 1926, with Dr. J.C. Kistler, as the speaker.
While never a large Church, Lakewood United Presbyterian had endured for a full half century, contributing its fair share of guidance and encouragement to its people, and sending forth from its midst, those who have honored the Lord with their lives, and services. And, as people, we can truly testify to the blessings had, and the progress gained over the years. Our current evidences of growth have challenged us anew with the need of enlarging our borders, and increasing our means of handling this recognized increase. What the future holds for us can only be known of our Lord, but certainly we have a present Flock who are enthusiastically proving their zeal for the House of their Lord, and for the progress and advancement of this portion of his vineyard.
LAKEWOOD SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH, 1382 Arthur
LAKEWOOD POST –- February 14, 1957
In the early 1920’s the need was apparent for a Seventh-day Adventist church on the west side. Evangelist Miles R. Coon held meetings in the First church on Hough ave. (now moved to 8601 Euclid) and in the Lakewood Masonic Temple in 1923. On June 14 of that year 43 persons were baptized at Perkins Beach in Edgewater Park. More were baptized in July and August and a Sabbath school and church service were conducted weekly at the Masonic Temple. Mrs. Edna Schenck, 1487 Lakeland, was the first Sabbath school superintendent.
In late 1923 Elder William Schwartz took over the work in Cleveland replacing M.R. Coon. Under his direction the Lakewood Seventh-day Adventist church was organized Jan. 2, 1924 with nearly 100 members. About 25 of these transferred from the Cleveland First Church. Elder Ned Ashton, the Ohio conference president and Elder William Robbins, president of the Columbia Union, took part in the organization.
Only a few of the original charter members are still part of the congregation. They are Mrs. Edna Schenck, her sisters, Mrs. Goldie Peake, 22560 Lorain, and Mrs. Maude Snyder, 1487 Lakeland, Mrs. Snyder’s daughter, Mrs. Karl Kubach, 29065 Detroit, Westlake, Mrs. Amanda Hoose, 1361 Lakeland, Mrs. Nina Bean, 149 Mull, Avon Lake, Mrs. William Finke, 1209 Brockley, and her daughter Mrs. Warren Fairchild, 1374 Cranford, Mrs. Dorothy Kraft, 4300 Memphis, Mrs. J.C. Curry, 14901 Lorain, Mrs. Mildred Phillips, and Mrs. Elizabeth Opincar, 13200 Wilton.
It was in 1931 under the leadership of Elder G.M. Hosford that the present building at 1382 Arthur was purchased from the Community Holding Co. Other ground was later purchased on the north side of the building for a parking lot and school playground. The building has been used for both a school and a church.
For a number of years the Lakewood church was cared for by the pastors of the First church and the services were in the afternoon. It was not until 1945 that the debt was paid and the mortgage burned. The dedication service was held on Sabbath May 12, 1945. Elders Norton and Glenmore Carter had served as pastors during the interval. At the dedication Elder T.A. McCoy was the pastor and gave the history. Elder Longacre from the General Conference gave the sermon and Elder Glenmore Carter, the former pastor offered the prayer.
Elder Kenneth Wood was the next pastor to care for the church. Then with a growing membership in the Cleveland area the work was divided and Lakewood was given a pastor of its own. Elder D.S. Thurston took over the work and the meetings were changed to Sabbath morning. Elder C.A. Paden was the next pastor followed in 1948 by Elder Erwin H. Lehnhoff who spent six years in the Lakewood district. Most of the former pastors are still living and have gone on to larger churches and heavier responsibilities. Two have died: Elder Schwartz, whose widow still lives at 2097 Lewis, and Elder McCoy who was killed in an accident at Mt. Vernon.
The present pastor, Elder Leonard C. Lee who lives at 2211 Eldred, came from New Orleans in July 1954. Mr. Lee was born in North Dakota and was educated at Emmanuel Missionary College in Michigan. He is a well-known writer in the denomination and the author of several books including two volumes of poetry. He served pastorates in Michigan, Iowa and Louisiana before coming to Ohio.
The Lakewood church is part of a world movement with more than a million members and has a vital interest in the human welfare as well as the final salvation of the whole human race. Besides raising more than $10,000 for local expenses including church school and building repair and maintenance, $36,773 was sent on to the Ohio conference. $29,906 of this was tithe paid by members. The rest was for various mission, educational and Uplift projects. All Adventist ministers are paid by the conference from the tithe and the pay is the same except for beginners. The membership is now 175.
The building is undergoing complete remodeling and repairing. The new front doors open into a mahogany paneled foyer with vinyl floor and carpeted entryway. The classrooms have been transformed. The basement, dining and recreation room is being completely redone. The sanctuary will be next with redecorating, paneling and new pews. A homecoming and rededication service is being planned just preceding the Adventist world conference which will meet in Cleveland in June 1958.
One of the present lay leaders of the church, J. Roger Stiles, is the son of the first church leader at its organization. The church now has three local elders. Mr. Stiles, Eugene Sheneman, and Allen Smith. Other leading officers are Frank Parrish, head Deacon; Mrs. Pauline Drake, head Deaconess; Mrs. Lowell Pember, Treasurer; Miss Mae Wood, Clerk; Leonard Schmidt, Missionary Leader.
GETHSEMANE LUTHERAN CHURCH, 14560 Madison
LAKEWOOD POST –- August 8, 1957
Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran church is affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Gethsemane was founded on Dec. 8, 1948 when 58 people (representing some 300 individuals) met at the home of Joseph Olsavsky on West 117 St. Painful circumstances had led them to separate themselves from their previous affiliation and found a new congregation. They resolved at that original meeting to call the Rev. Joseph Dinda and the Rev. Paul William Stanko as pastors. The Rev. Joseph Dinda served the congregation only a very short time, being called to eternal rest on April 4, 1949. Rev. Stanko continues to serve the congregation to the present time.
Gethsemane Congregation held its first church service on Dec. 15, 1948 in Harrison School auditorium and continued to hold services and Sunday School sessions there until Thanksgiving Day, 1950. During that time every effort was being made to build a church so that a full complement of church activities could be carried on. In January, 1949 lots were purchased on the corner of Madison and St. Charles and a Building Committee elected. In April preliminary plans for a stone church in the neo-Gothic style were approved, and ground was broken for the new building in a special service on Oct. 16. On Apr. 16, 1950 the corner stone was laid and on Thanksgiving Day of that year the congregation was able to use the basement auditorium for services. The church was dedicated on June 3, 1951. The church and furnishings have a value of $340,000. The financing of the church was accomplished by floating a first mortgage bond issue. The spirit of the people of Gethsemane showed itself at its finest when a number of people were willing to mortgage their homes in order to help finance the building of their church. Though Gethsemane still has a large indebtedness on its church, it is fortunate that practically all of the mortgage bonds are held by members of the church.
Various societies have been active within the church during the past eight years of this existence. The largest of these has always been the Ladies Aid Society. Smaller, but nevertheless active and zealous, have been the Men’s Club, and the Senior and Junior Young Peoples Societies.
Following in the Lutheran tradition Gethsemane Congregation has placed heavy emphasis on Christian education. A number of agencies are used in the accomplishment of this purpose. Sunday School sessions are held every Sunday throughout the year and teachers, who are invited to serve on the staff by the Pastor, meet each week not only to prepare for the coming Sunday’s lesson but also for teacher training courses. From September until June the Bible School is in operation. Sessions are held for one hour on Tuesdays and also on Saturdays from 9:15 a.m. until noon. The Bible School curriculum is based on the Lutheran Catechism and is designed to prepare the children for confirmation and communicant membership in the church. Each summer a two-week Vacation Bible School is conducted. In 1954 Gethsemane became the third partner of St. Paul-Pilgrim Christian Day School. At present, departments of the school are conducted at three different churches, but members of all three churches are envisioning the day when one central school can be built.
The Lutheran Church has been know as the singing church so it is quite natural that choir work both on the adult and children’s levels has been emphasized. The Adult choir sings under the direction of Arnold O. Lehmann and the Children’s choir of 50 voices is under the direction of the Pastor. Rarely is there a Sunday, midweek, or special holiday service between September and June at which there is no choir music. During the past eight years Gethsemane has grown from a membership of 300 to approximately 650 at the present time.
The confessional stand of Gethsemane Lutheran Church might be stated thus: We believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God and the only source of doctrine and rule of life. We believe in the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, the only Savior from sin and the only hope for salvation. We believe that all men are sinners and cannot by their own works or merits gain eternal life. We believe that Jesus Christ died to save all men from sin, and whoever puts his faith and trust in Christ as his personal Savior has the forgiveness of sins, eternal life and salvation. We believe that a Christian’s daily life must be consistent with his confession of faith, and therefore, a Christian will not enter into associations or practice which would compromise or deny his faith in Christ as his Savior.
FIRST EVANGELICAL AND REFORMED CHURCH
E. GEORGE LINDSTROM’S UNPUBLISHED MATERIAL
Most churches have modest beginnings, but not many have the distinction of being started in a factory. In the Cuyahoga Foundry a foreman, Friedrich Kaufholz, began missionary work among the men employed there. After winning the love and confidence of many, he invited them to his home for Prayer Meetings. Later, he built a small church at his own expense on a portion of his own land. This chapel on Tracy St., Cleveland, was dedicated September 17, 1848.
“Father” Kaufholz was never a regularly ordained minister, yet he performed the duties of a pastor as a Leader—“the soul of the whole.” As the congregation had been organized independently of any denomination, they called themselves “The Congregation of Brethren.”
After ten years the congregation decided to acquire its own property. They bought the ground and chapel from Brother Kaufholz for $800. Their beloved founder and teacher, however, was able to serve them less than a year after that. He died November 11, 859, at the early age of fifty-four. His work here was done, but the work of his congregation had just begun.
Rev. H.J. Ruetenick, D.D., LL.D., a traveling missionary of the Reformed Denomination, preached in the chapel during the following Easter season, as the congregation was still without a pastor. He finally accepted a call to become their minister, and they decided to unite with the Reformed Church. The name was changed to the “Evangelical Brethren Congregation of the Reformed Church.” The great objective for the congregation as declared by the founders, is contained in the early by-laws, stating: “This congregation shall be steadfast as a Missionary congregation, and, through special gifts, contribute to the spreading of God’s Kingdom.”
In 1862 the congregation bought a lot on the corner of what was then Penn and Carroll streets, for the sum of $600. The Chapel was moved to this spot and a twenty foot addition built. A year later the new church was built.
It was during this period that the second church on the East Side was organized, due partly to Rev. Ruetenick’s activities and the help of many of the members. It also marks the beginning of Central Publishing House and Calvin College.
In 1870 Rev. Ruetenick resigned to become a professor in the “Mission House.”
In November, 1870, Rev. Frederic Forwick was installed as pastor. He was a lover of good music in the church service and was active in building up a choir composed of the young people of the church. Later a pipe organ was bought with funds raised by members of the choir.
As many of the members were living in what was at the time known as the South Side of the city, it was decided to start a new church there; in 1873, about forty members were dismissed to form the nucleus of the present Fourth Church. Three years later the Fifth Church was organized, largely through the efforts of the pastor and members of the First Church. After twelve years of service in this church, the pastor resigned to accept a call to the Reformed Church in Vermilion.
Early in 1883, Rev. J.H.C. Roentgen, D.D., became the next shepherd of this flock. The peaceful period of his predecessor was followed by years of unrest; of leaving old ways for new; of changes in the outward as well as in the inward conditions of the church and its members.
A new parsonage was built in 1894, on the lot next to the old parsonage on Fulton Street. These two buildings stood near the entrance of the present Carnegie Library. During the latter years of Rev. Roentgen’s pastorate there was a movement among Reformed Church people to found a hospital. Rev. Roentgen became its first superintendent. In 1901, he ended his pastorate, to devote his full time to this work.
Rev. F.W. Leich, D.D., the next pastor, began his work in July, 1910. Under his leadership there began for the congregation years of renewed activities in all its branches. In August, 1901, the English language was substituted for German at the evening services. In 1906, the property on Fulton Road was sold to the city. A new parsonage was built on the church lot, but before it was completed Rev. Leich accepted a call to Akron.
Rev. John W. Belser assumed the pastorate here in September, 1907. The congregation welcomed the new pastor and family with a reception in the new parsonage. Many changes took place during Rev. Belser’s administration. Many improvements were made in the church building and its equipment. After November, 1913, the morning church services were conducted alternately in German and English. Due to changes in the immediate neighborhood of the church, many members moved to outlying sections of the city. Their places in the community were not filled as in former years by people who would take their place in the membership of the church. After serving this church seven years, Rev. Belser resigned in 1914.
Rev. Conrad Hoffman, the next pastor, was confronted with the same membership problem with which Rev. Belser had battled so heroically. The congregation decided to make the old church more attractive by covering it with artificial stone. The whole interior was also refinished and redecorated. Rev. Hoffman resigned in July, 1920, having accepted a call to Sugar Creek, Ohio.
Rev. John Sommerlatte challenged the congregation to a difficult task when he accepted the pastorate in 1920. A “Lakewood Committee” was appointed in January, 1921, to make plans for moving the activity of the congregation to the western suburb of Cleveland.
A lot was purchased at the corner of Warren and Alger Roads. A portable chapel was bought by Erie Classis and loaned to our church. Volunteers dismantled the chapel, and Mr. Wm. J. Becker moved the sections, in his trucks, from Detroit and Hall Avenues. The same volunteers rebuilt the chapel at the present site of the church.
Enabled by funds received from the Woman’s Missionary Society of General Synod, our denominational Sunday School Board donated the services of Miss Anne Krug for more than a year, as assistant to the pastor.
The West Side Magyar Reformed Church purchased the Cleveland property for $30,900. In 1924, the new church as built. Due to the merging of the two denominations, Evangelical and Reformed in the United States, in 1934, it was necessary to change the name of our church to the First Evangelical and Reformed Church of Lakewood.
GEORGIAN STYLE IN LAKEWOOD
PLAIN DEALER -– January 29, 1966
Clear-cut Georgian architecture identifies the second largest Congregational church in Greater Cleveland. Lakewood Congregational Church was built on the northeast corner of Detroit Avenue and W. Clifton Boulevard in 1916 and has a seating capacity of 600, the Rev. Dr. George E. Drew, senior minister, said. An educational wing and extension to the chapel was added in 1954. A full-sized gymnasium was converted into a social hall and two bowling alleys also occupy the lower level of the church. Membership in the church is 1,530. Assisting Dr. Drew is the Rev. Robert S. Winegarner, associate minister, and Mrs. Howard Haynes, director of Christian Education.
AFTER 123 YEARS, LAKEWOOD’S FIRST CHURCH WILL COME DOWN
PLAIN DEALER -– August 17, 1971
By Pauline Thoma
The first church built in Lakewood, a little stone and wood structure that has withstood 123 years of wear and weather, will succumb this week to progress.
It has been tucked behind the 65-year-old United Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church at Detroit and Andrews avenues. It is to be removed, beginning today, to make way for expansion of the larger church that faces Detroit.
The Lakewood landmark, bearing a metal plaque of the Lakewood Historical Society on its clapboard façade, once was called the Church of the Redeemer and owned by the Swedenborgian sect. When church membership dwindled to only 15 eight years ago, the Swedenborgians sold it and the larger church to the Latvian congregation.
Many of the 700 adults members of the Latvian church have been dismantling the interior of the old building in hopes of preserving some of the pieces placed there when the church was erected in 1848.
They were particularly careful with bark-covered logs which served as beams for the sanctuary floor. Many of the members want parts of them as mementoes. Several of the logs will be formed into a cross to be incorporated into the building that will replace the old church.
The new two-story, $160,000 building will house a church hall and a Sunday school for 200 children. The pastor, the Rev. Ivors Gaide, said events of the Latvian community such as art shows, dinners and meetings will be held in the hall.
Church members have been helping plan the addition for about two years. Senior member of the staff is Rudolfs Abolins, who redesigned the interior of the church and prepared the architect’s rendering for the addition.
Chief architect for the addition is Herberts Robeznieks of Rocky River. Others involved in the planning are Janis Rozkalns, Andrejs Smiltars, Janis Sinka, Maris Salem, Janis Krumins, Kalvis Kampe, Uldis Krisis and Janis Zikmanis.
A stone from the little church will be used as the cornerstone of the new building. The cornerstone-laying and dedication ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 12.
PHOTO 17:99, CAPTION: Saving the Past -– Seen between the rough logs that hold the sanctuary floor of Lakewood’s oldest church, Rev. Ivors Gaide, left, and architect Herbert Robeznieks, remove the stained glass windows. The windows will be saved as replacements for any that are broken in the larger and newer United Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church at 15120 Detroit Avenue.
NEW WOMAN CLERIC IN LAKEWOOD
It Makes Six in the West Suburbs Here
CLEVELAND PRESS -– November 15, 1980
Rev. Gay Clark Jennings has been named assistant rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lakewood. She will assume her new duties on Dec. 14.
A graduate of Colgate University and the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., Mrs. Jennings served as priest associate at the Church Children’s Hospital, National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
Her husband, Rev. Albert Jennings, has accepted a call to be rector at Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal) in Lorain.
Mrs. Jennings will become the second woman priest to currently serve in a parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio. The other is Rev. Jane McDermott who is priest-in-charge at St. Timothy’s Church in Northfield.
Mrs. Jennings will also become the sixth woman minister to serve in a Protestant church in the West suburbs.
The others are:
Rev. Laurinda Haffner, associate minister at Lakewood Congregational Church;
Rev. Amy Shaw, associate pastor at Rockport United Methodist Church, Rocky River;
Rev. Allison Brown, assistant pastor at Bay Presbyterian Church;
Rev. Janet Stengel, associate pastor at Bay United Methodist Church;
Jan Mahle, associate pastor at Lakewood Christian Church. She is a full-time student (Mondays through Thursdays) at the Methodist seminary in Delaware, O., and plans to be ordained in 1982.
The only one of these women ministers who is married, besides Mrs. Jennings, is Mrs. Mahle. Her husband Marvyn is a writer with Beckwith Associates. He writes instructional manuals for industry.
The seventh woman minister in the West suburbs will be ordained on Sunday, Nov. 23, at West Shore Unitarian Church at 7 p.m. Mrs. Marjorie C. Skwire, currently the church’s director of religious education, will be ordained to the Ministry of Religious Education, a new category of ministry established by the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1979.
Mrs. Skwire lives in Rocky River with her husband David, professor of English at Cuyahoga Community College. She holds degrees from Wellesley College and the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
CHURCH TO HAVE WOMAN ASSISTANT RECTOR
LAKEWOOD SUN POST -– November 20, 1980
The Rev. Richard Morris, rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, has appointed the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings as assistant rector at the church, 18001 Detroit Ave., Lakewood. She will assume her new duties here on Sunday, Dec. 14.
Rev. Jennings is a graduate of Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., with a B.A. degree. She received her Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., in 1977, and was ordained deacon and priest in the Diocese of Central New York.
Since her ordination, Rev. Jennings has served as priest associate in the Church of St. Clement, Alexandria, Va., and as staff chaplain at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
At the Children’s Hospital, she worked in the intensive care unit, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery units. In addition she was responsible for pastoral care to children and their families and did in-service training with staff in separation and loss.
Rev. Jennings also served as counselor at the St. Francis Center in Washington, D.C., specializing in bereavement counseling.
The new assistant rector’s husband has accepted a call to become rector of the Church of the Redeemer in Lorain, Ohio. The couple will take up residence in Lorain until such time as they purchase a home between Lakewood and Lorain.
Commenting upon his new appointment, Rev. Morris said: “Rev. Jennings comes to us with the title of assistant rector which more nearly reflects her three years of experience in the ministry of the church. I am excited about this new association.”
Italian-inspired Church Is Priest's Legacy
LAKEWOOD SUN POST -– February 24, 1983
By Jesse Borocz
There is a street corner in Lakewood that, come upon unexpectedly, gives one for a fleeting instant the impression of being in Italy.
It’s the corner at Detroit and Granger Avenues where as majestic and richly ornamental a church as ever was conceived and built by man to worship and glorify his God rises stone upon stone, tier upon tier, to the arcing skies above.
Dwarfing all other buildings around it by sheer size, the twin-towered, rose-windowed St. James Catholic Church, this year celebrating its 75th anniversary, has for five decades pleasured the esthetic senses of not only its large congregation, but the wider community of believers and non-believers alike.
If, as has been said, architecture is frozen music, St. James Church is that. If it’s poetry in stone –- and it surely is -– the church is a sonnet, an epic, an ode.
It’s also a tribute to the unflagging effort and dedication over many years of a stubborn, uncompromising Irish clergyman with a vision of building as stately a house of worship to the Lord as lay in his power to inspire.
The clergyman was the Monsignor Michael D. Leahy who died in 1941 -– a legend in his own time.
Lakewood was just a small, sparsely-settled town when 60 Catholic families came together July 1, 1908, to establish a new parish under the leadership of Msgr. Leahy. Early services were held in Miller Hall near Warren Road.
Because land was abundant and cheap in those days, the present church site was purchased in 1912 for a mere $22,000. Today, the site is occupied by four buildings: the church, school and hall, rectory and sisters’ convent.
The decision on the style of church to build still lay ahead.
A fortuitous trip to Italy made in 1924 with famous church architect Edward T.P. Graham of Boston, inspired Father Leahy to pattern the church building after the medieval monastic Cathedral of Monreale which he discovered high on a hill overlooking the ancient city of Palermo in Sicily.
One look at the cathedral built in the year 1167 by true believers, and Father Leahy’s initial admiration for its pristine Sicilian Romanesque beauty, soon turned into love. Then, magnificent obsession. His search had ended. He would not rest until a counterpart could be produced in America – in his beloved Lakewood.
Slowly at first, then with gathering momentum, blueprints and drawings were acquired, construction contractors engaged, ground broken, and finally work on the foundation for a lower church started in April, 1925.
For months that grew into years, the work proceeded apace, a veritable beehive of activity. Huge blocks of Indiana limestone were fitted into place for the church exterior walls; delicate, filigreed latticework was added; the large center rose window was lifted into place by cranes; mosaics and statuary, pillars and balconies, flying buttresses and window casements, were made secure.
And taking the lead in all the bustling activity was Father Leahy himself. Stories abound of the way he conducted himself throughout the construction progress.
One veteran parishioner recalled, chuckling: “Father Leahy was adamant about what he wanted done and scrutinized the work every step of the way. He would climb up on the scaffolding clear to the rafters to check and see if the masons, painters and artists were doing their work right. Heaven help them if they weren’t. He was a purist who would brook no compromise.”
Said another old timer: “Father Leahy absolutely refused to have any stencil work done on the interior church decorations. He insisted on all artistic work being done by hand.”
The 16 huge 30-foot tall by 3-foot thick interior marble pillars that carry the awesome weight of the church were hewn from the same mountain region in north Italy (Carrara) that served the needs of Italy’s greatest sculptor, Michelangelo. The marble for his famous statues of David, Moses, and the legendary Pieta which shows Mary grieving over the dead body of her son, Jesus, removed from the Cross, were all quarried there.
The pillars, of varied hues, the impressive marble altar and other marble for interior decorations, were shipped from Italy on ocean freighters to east coast ports and then by rail to Lakewood. Because of their great bulk, the job of handling and fitting them into place in the era of the early 1930s boggles the mind.
But what really comes as a surprise in today’s inflation-rife world, is the total, bottom-of-the-line cost for the materials and labor entailed in the construction of St. James Church. Parish records reveal that when final work on it was completed in 1935, the full building cost, labor included, came to just $569,000.
According to one insurance company’s estimate, the replacement cost of the church today would exceed $9,303,500 – or about 17 times the original cost.
“Even so,” said the company official, “You wouldn’t have the same church. It would be impossible to replace some of the materials used in the building. Nor would the skill and workmanship be anywhere near as good.”
Thomas C. Lyon, an early parishioner, recalled that the $569,000 building cost was financed, in part, by men of the fledgling congregation each pledging $50 toward the project.
By the year 1922, Lakewood’s Catholic population had outgrown St. James and a division of the parish resulted in the formation of three new congregations: St. Clement’s and St. Luke’s in Lakewood, and St. Christopher’s in Rocky River.
Msgr. Leahy’s successor as pastor after 1941 was Msgr. Deniel T. Gallagher, another spirited Irishman, who completed decoration of the sanctuary and, in 1953, oversaw construction of the church administration building.
Reminisced on parishioner: “Father Gallagher delighted in taking his altar boys on tours up a narrow stairway, high into the bell tower, where they could look out over Lakewood, and where he entertained them with stories of St. James and its bells.”
Following Msgr. Gallagher’s death in 1969, the Rev. Edward J. Murphy served the church as pastor until 1971.
Current pastor of the 1,850-family church is the Rev. William L. Andrews. Under Father Andrews’ direction, the area between the church building and the school has been beautifully landscaped and is used in pleasant weather for meetings and social events.
Recently a ramp was completed at the Detroit Avenue entrance of the church giving handicapped and wheelchair-bound parishioners easy access to Sunday Masses and the many special liturgies celebrated throughout the year.
Assisting Father Andrews as associate pastors are Father Kevin M. Liebhardt and Father Joseph T. Hilinski. Father Joseph V. Butler is In Residence.
A temporary parish school was opened in September, 1912, with a student enrollment of 104 and staffed by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary. The school enrollment for the 1982-83 school year is 450 with a teaching staff of 18. Sister Barbara Herrmann is principal.
For many years, the church’s Men’s and Boys’ Choir, led by the late Raymond M. Schneider, was widely known in Greater Cleveland for its outstanding Christmas and Easter programs. The present music director is Kim McMaster.
To mark its 75th Jubilee Year, the church is planning a year-long series of spiritual and secular events involving all parish organizations and bringing together members and friends of the St. James community.
The first of these events occurred Jan. 16 when the Holy Name Society hosted an Ecumenical program called Ventures in Faith, in observance of Church Unity Sunday.
A major event will come on Sunday, June 12, at noon when the Most Rev. Anthony Pilla, Bishop of Cleveland, will visit the church and celebrate the 75th Jubilee Mass of Thanksgiving. The anniversary dinner for parishoners will follow in the school hall.
Other activities planned include: reunions of former associate pastors, religious and teachers; reunions of past Holy Name Society and Ladies’ Guild members; a parish festival and ice cream social; compilation of a picture history of the church; programs hosted by the 50-Plus Club, the CYO and other parish groups.
PHOTO 17:102, CAPTION: A silent, narrow stairway high in the bell tower leads to an outdoor balcony.
PHOTO 17:103a, CAPTION: Proving that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever” (Keats) is this intricately-designed leaded stained-glass rose window high above the front entrance of the church.
PHOTO 17:103b, CAPTION: One of the tenants of the church’s bell towers rests on a weatherbeaten, exterior stone carving of an angel.
PHOTO 17:104, CAPTION: One of the tenants of the church’s bell towers rests on a weatherbeaten, exterior stone carving of an angel.
PHOTO 17:105, CAPTION: This was the bustling scene May 16, 1955, outside St. James Church where a crowd collected to watch a crane with an outsize boom lift four new bells into place in the steep bell tower. The hand-cast replacement bells were shipped here from Holland by the manufacturer, Petit & Fritsen Co., a firm founded in 1660.