FRANKLIN CIRCLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST)

The FRANKLIN CIRCLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST), organized in OHIO CITY in Feb. 1842, was one of the earliest west side Protestant congregations. The church grew out of a meeting at the Apollo Hall, called by Disciples preacher John Henry. Initially, the congregation worshipped in a building on Vermont Ave., near W. 28th St., and between 1843-46 services were held in rented rooms across the river in Cleveland. The congregation returned to Ohio City in 1846 and in 1848 erected a large frame building, known as "God's Barn." At one time 7 captains of Lake Erie vessels were listed on the rolls. JAMES A. GARFIELD served as pastor in 1857. A building with Gothic influences, designed by Cudell & Richardson, was begun on a neighboring lot to the south of the "barn" (at 1688 Fulton Ave.) in 1874 and completed in 1883. A Sunday school wing was added in 1916. Members moved out of the neighborhood but the church remained, supported by a congregation composed mostly of commuters. The church has dedicated itself to its inner-city neighborhood, offering a Chinese Sunday school that at one time served over 600 students, a preschool, and youth, senior-citizen and low-income meal programs. Franklin Circle was the parent church of the EUCLID AVE. CHRISTIAN CHURCH (1843) and 5 other DISCIPLES OF CHRIST congregations on the west side: Lakewood (1878), West Blvd. (1888), Highland (1897), Parma (1957), and Westlake (1956) Christian churches. By 1995 church membership was around 350-400. The church continued to operate a low-income meal program and an after school program, and provided space for the Covenant, a drug and alcohol abuse program.


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See also RELIGION.


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