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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH began before 1880 as a mission of FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (OLD STONE). Calvary Mission (also called Calvary Chapel) was established by Old Stone's pastor, HIRAM C. HAYDN. A Sunday school was begun in 1880, and an abandoned wood-frame chapel was purchased and moved from Ingleside Ave. (E. 75th St.) and EUCLID AVE. to Euclid and E. Madison (E. 79th) St. A stone Gothic chapel was later built adjoining this chapel. In the first 12 years of its existence, the mission was served by ministers from Old Stone. In 1892 the church was incorporated as Calvary Presbyterian Church with 311 charter members, and the following year it called its first full-time pastor. A larger Romanesque stone church, designed by CHARLES F. SCHWEINFURTH, was begun in 1888 and dedicated at E. 79th and Euclid in 1890. By 1900 the church had doubled its membership, built a gymnasium, and supported foreign missionaries. In 1903 Calvary sponsored a mission and Sunday school, which later became IMMANUEL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

In 1923 the Bolton Ave. Presbyterian Church was merged into Calvary Presbyterian Church. Its building on Bolton Ave. (E. 89th St.) at Cedar Ave. was later sold to ANTIOCH BAPTIST CHURCH. By the 1950s an increasing number of African American families attended the church; eventually the ratio reached half black and half white. In the wake of the 1968 HOUGH RIOTS, area churches, including Calvary Presbyterian and Liberty Hill Baptist, founded Neighbors Organized for Action in Housing (NOAH). The organization's main goal at its founding was to rebuild homes for low-income residents. In the 1990s, NOAH owns and/or manages several apartment complexes in Cleveland, mostly on the east side. In 1990 NOAH was one of the backers of the Midtown Square project to help develop the area between Euclid and Chester Aves. from E. 79th through E. 84th streets. Local delays, such as the pullout of an Ames store (the company went bankrupt), caused HUD to threaten cancellation of the project's $3.7 million development grant. Intervention by Rep. Louis Stokes helped to get an extension. In 1991 NOAH announced its particular part in this project: a 187-unit townhouse and condominium development called CHURCH SQUARE to be located at E. 79th and Euclid. NOAH's goal was to attract middle-class families from the suburbs to the area and encourage urban families not to move out. The name of the project was taken from Calvary Presbyterian and Liberty Hill Baptist, the 2 high-profile churches in the neighborhood.


Calvary Presbyterian Church, "25 Years 1892-1917" (1917).

See also RELIGION, PRESBYTERIANS.