IMMANUEL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, located at 326 E. 156th St. in COLLINWOOD, began in Sept. 1903 as a mission Sunday school sponsored by the Home Mission Committee of the Cleveland Presbytery (later the Presbytery of the Western Reserve). Dr. Frank N. Riale conducted the first services in an empty store on Waterloo Rd. near E. 156th St. CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH assumed responsibility for the mission in 1903, and a constitution was written and bylaws adopted. The store also served as a chapel. In 1905 Alexander and Anna Hunter gave property at the corner of Park Ave. (E. 156th St.) and Maple (Macauley) Ave. to the mission for a chapel, dedicated 2 Dec. 1906. The Collinwood Mission incorporated as an independent church on 23 Sept. 1909, and was named Immanuel by Rev. Edward Wright. During the pastorate of Rev. George A. Mackintosh, church attendance grew. A new sanctuary of English Gothic design was erected at 326 E. 156th St., at a cost of $125,000, and dedicated on 20 Sept. 1925. The church struggled during the Depression. Rev. Leroy C. Hensel (1939-52), however, established many new programs and increased church attendance, eradicating the debt. During the pastorate of Rev. Guy H. Volpitto (1955-70), the newly remodeled chapel, with a stained-glass window designed by Rudolph Sandon, was dedicated on 17 Sept. 1961.

By 1993 Immanuel Presbyterian Church had dwindled to 40 members, most past retirement age; fewer than 20 attended regularly. Rather than close the church, however, the Presbytery of the Western Reserve allowed it to continue while using the facility for a new church development, tentatively called the North Collinwood Community Church. The arrangement called for the new church to eventually include the Immanuel congregation.

Presbytery of the Western Reserve, New Church Development Probe, Aug. 1993.


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