BETHANY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 6415 W. Clinton Ave., originated from a mission Sunday school of the FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (OLD STONE) in Jan. 1888 and formally organized on 2 July 1889. Charles Fay and Rev. Wilton Merle Smith, assoc. pastor of Old Stone, at the request of some PRESBYTERIANS on the west side of Cleveland organized a group of about 40 children who met in the Ohio Business Univ. building at Pearl (W. 25th) St. near Franklin Ave. Membership soon grew to over 400. With the PRESBYTERIAN UNION's endorsement, the request to establish a new church was granted and Bethany Presbyterian Church was organized with 61 charter members. On 1 Aug. 1889, Rev. Giles H. Dunning, who had served the Sunday school from the beginning, became the first pastor. In Feb. 1890 the church moved to the Wieber Block at the corner of W. 25th St. and Jay Ave. On 1 Apr. 1894, the congregation purchased a lot at the corner of W. 65th St. and Clinton Ave. With the Presbyterian Union's financial assistance, construction began on a chapel on 29 Sept. 1894; it was dedicated on 2 June 1895. The membership grew, and Bethany has continued to offer programs that meet the needs of its changing neighborhood.
In 1989 Ogden W. White became the church's pastor. The church provides free meals frequently during the year, and in 1990 started a Hispanic Outreach Program to help the hispanic community gain access to social services and began some services and programming in Spanish. Bethany House, started by the church in 1991, rents rooms to severely mentally disabled men.
See also RELIGION.