The JONES ROAD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, founded by Welsh immigrants living in the Broadway and Harvard Ave. section of Cleveland (originally NEWBURGH), developed out of a Sunday school and prayer group held in the home of William Jones on Harvard St. in 1857. The Welsh Congregational Society organized and built a small church on Wales St. in 1860. DAVID I. AND JOHN JONES were among the founders of what was called the Wales St. Congregational Church. The secretary of the congregation, George M. Jones, served as preacher until a minister was hired in 1864. In 1876 a brick Gothic building was built on Jones Rd. Dedicated on the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the church was known for a time as Centennial Welsh Congregational Church. A rear wing was added in 1913. The church, with 211 members by 1896, was a strong force in the Welsh community's religious and social life. While economic conditions brought change to the neighborhood and the Welsh dispersed, the Jones Rd. Congregational Church remained. Extensive renovations were made to the building from 1979-83. In 1995 membership stood at 80, and the church continued to offer weekly worship services, Sunday school, small prayer groups, a women's goup, youth programs, and a neighborhood hunger program that served free lunches the last Saturday of every month.
See also CONGREGATIONALISTS, RELIGION.