The INNER CITY RENEWAL SOCIETY (ICRS), Extended Arm of the Church, is an ecumenically based organization which seeks to establish and administer an interracial ministry with Cleveland's inner city neighborhoods. The ICRS propagates the Christian faith through programs directed toward youth, seniors, clergy, and laity in education, community development, and race relations. The ICRS strives to develop partnerships between the churches, inner city neighborhoods, and other community resources and to build bridges of communication and understanding between urban and suburban churches.
Located at 2230 Euclid Ave., the ICRS began in 1954 as the INNER CITY PROTESTANT PARISH (ICPP), an ecumenical agency which brought traditional religion to impoverished neighborhoods. In 1978, during the tenure of the Rev. Milan C. Brenkus, executive director, a policy change enacted by the Board of Trustees resulted in withdrawal of financial support for Protestant religious activities. Instead, the ICPP concentrated on encouraging and assisting inner city churches of all denominations to witness the Christian teachings by helping the needy through resources and services provided to inner city churches to help strengthen the ministry in their neighborhoods. In 1980 the ICPP changed its name to the Inner City Renewal Society.
ICRS programs have included: Friendly Town; Urban Ministries Training and Community Development Center; Ministerial Outreach on Alcohol & Other Drugs; Project Chore; Scholarship Program; Burial Aid; and ROCK (Reach Out Cleveland Kindly). Funding has been provided by the government, foundations, churches & denominations, individuals, and other agencies and investments. During 1993 ICRS income totaled $206,248; expenses totaled $234,385. The executive director in 1994 was Myrtle Mitchell.
Inner City Protestant Parish Records, WRHS.