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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HEIGHTS UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

HEIGHTS UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

HEIGHTS UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, also known as Cleveland Hts. United Presbyterian Church, was founded as a Bible school in Fairfax School, Cleveland Hts., in Sept. 1921. A frame church at Washington Blvd. and Lee Rd. was dedicated on 5 March 1922, and the congregation was formally organized with the name of Cleveland Hts. United Presbyterian Church on 7 Jan. 1923. The first pastor was Rev. J. M. Blackwood, who served from 1924 to 1941.

In 1928 it merged with Fourth United Presbyterian Church (established in 1907) which had been located on E. 105th St. in Cleveland. The resulting church was called the Washington Blvd. United Presbyterian Church, due to its location. In 1943 the congregation merged with First United Presbyterian Church (est. 1843), giving the congregation a history back to the early years of Cleveland. First United's original location had been near the site of the Terminal Tower; its third, from 1891 to 1943, at Carnegie and E. 71st streets. The resulting church continued under the First United name but utilized the Washington Blvd. structure. A new church, also at Washington Blvd. and Lee, was begun in 1947 and dedicated in 1949. An education wing was built and dedicated in 1959. In 1961 the church acquired its present name. Over the years the church has evolved from a strictly Scottish parish to a multicultural one; the first African American members, for example, joined in the 1960s. Rev. David B. Bowie has led the church since 1988. In 1995, membership was around 125, and the church was increasing its efforts at community outreach through its relationship with the Isaac Interfaith Suburban Action Coalition.