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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GRACE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

GRACE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

GRACE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH (1867-1980) originated in 1867 as a Methodist-Congregational Union Sabbath school near the corner of Ridge Rd. and Denison Ave., organized by First Congregational & Methodist Church. In 1870 the First Congregational accepted responsibility for the school, and in 1874 it moved to Union Chapel (built by First Congregational) at 73rd St. and Brimsmade Ave. In 1875 Rev. Elisha A. Hoffman was put in charge of the Union Sabbath School, and in 1878 it moved to Harbor St. Congregational Chapel, a mission chapel also established by First Congregational. When the New York Central & St. Louis Railway Co. wanted the Harbor St. property for its right-of-way, First Congregational sold the property and gave the proceeds to Union Sabbath School. Nineteen members of this Sabbath school voted on 7 Dec. 1881 to form Grace Congregational Church, with Rev. Hoffman as their pastor. On 9 July 1882 Grace Congregational dedicated their new "gothic edifice with stained glass windows" on Train St. near Clark St. The congregation grew, but because of the changing neighborhood, the property was transferred to the Cleveland Bohemian Mission Board in 1884. (It ultimately became Cyril Church, used by Rev. Henry A. Schauffler for his work with CZECHS.) Grace Congregational Church built a new sanctuary at Gordon and Colgate Ave., dedicated on 28 June 1885, and moved the old Union Chapel to the property. Rev. Hoffman resigned 1 Apr. 1886 and was succeeded by Rev. John H. Hull. The church helped start several missions, including one on Lorain Ave. that later became West Park Church. In 1953 First Congregational Church merged with Grace Congregational. Grace voted in 1979 to merge with Faith Community Church (organized in 1958 in NORTH ROYALTON). The merger was consummated on 20 Jan. 1980, and the new church at 10383 Albion Rd., North Royalton, was again named the First Congregational Church. Rev. Garred W. Johnstone served as the first pastor.


See also RELIGION, CONGREGATIONALISTS.