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BREED, WALTER

BREED, WALTER (1867-9 Mar. 1939), was the rector of ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH for over 30 years, leading the church's move from E. 40th and Euclid to Fairmount and Coventry in CLEVELAND HTS., and guiding 2 generations of parishioners with his intellectual spirituality compressed into his hallmark 18-minute sermons. A descendant of the rector of Old North Church in Boston, Breed was born in Lynn, Mass. to Joseph and Frances (Burrall) Breed. With an evangelical liberal point of view, he was ordained in May 1891 at Tarrytown, N.Y., after graduating from Wesleyan Union in Connecticut and Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Mass. He received his D.D. at Harvard. In 1907, after serving parishes in New England, he was assigned to St. Paul's, the fashionable Episcopal church in Cleveland's social center of Euclid Ave.. St. Paul's congregants included the Devereuxs, Mathers, Boltons, Seymours, and Scovills. Breed won their loyalty with enlightened sermons grounded in the humanities and with his fresh readings of familiar prayers. As downtown became less residential, Breed negotiated a merger with St. Martin's Episcopal Church and arranged the move to Cleveland Hts. At the suburban church, Breed developed a church school. Particularly interested children's religious education, he frequently taught classes, talking to children as young adults. Breed's philosophy for keeping perspective in his many duties was "Take long vacations and keep sermons short." Breed married Ellen Brodrick Zehner on 4 June 1895. He died of pneumonia, leaving his wife and son, William Zehner.