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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