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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

NORTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

NORTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

NORTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, at E. 40th St. and Superior Ave. NE, began in 1859 as a Sunday school mission of FIRST PRESBYTERIAN (OLD STONE) CHURCH and is one of the oldest Presbyterian churches remaining in Cleveland. First located on the north side of St. Clair St. near Lyman (E. 41st) St., with Charles Noble as superintendent (1859-64), the Sunday school moved the following year to the south side of St. Clair. In the spring of 1867 it moved again, to a new building on Aaron (E. 36th) St. between Superior and St. Clair, a residential area where many members lived. The mission chapel, a project of the Young Ladies' Mission Society, was dedicated 10 Feb. 1867, and Rev. Aaron Peck began preaching regularly. Three years later, Dr. William H. Goodrich (assistant minister at Old Stone) and elders Reuben F. Smith and George H. Ely officially organized the Sunday school into North Presbyterian Church, named for the Old North Church, Boston, MA. Fifty-one former Old Stone members were among North's charter members; Rev. ANSON SMYTH, D.D., served as the first pastor (1870-72).

North Church started several Presbyterian churches (Madison Ave. in 1890 and Glenville in 1893) as Sunday schools. A new church building erected at Case Ave. (E. 40th St.) and Superior St. was dedicated 23 Oct. 1887. While SERENO P. FENN, a member of Old Stone, served as superintendent of the Sunday school from 1879-1906, it became one of the largest in Cleveland, with over 1,200 students in 1896. Many North Church parishioners followed Rev. Robt. J. MacAlpine when he accepted a call from Boulevard Presbyterian Church in 1909, leaving about 300 members.

During Dr. Harvey E. Holt's pastorate (1918-30), many community programs were initiated; they were continued by Rev. Arthur R. Kinsler, Jr. (1930-68). The church became a center for emergency food, clothing, child care and other activities, administered with the help of volunteers from other organizations. On 20 Sept. 1970, North Presbyterian Church celebrated its 100th anniversary. Under Rev. Dr. Johanna Marie Baillie (1981-91), North Presbyterian Church continued to serve its predominantly industrial neighborhood. In 1994 Rev. Suzanne Carter served as minister.


North Presbyterian Church--Celebrating 125 Years of Serving God and This Community (Commemorative Booklet, 23 Sept. 1984).

One Hundredth Anniversary Brochure (1870-1970) (Commemorative Booklet, 1970).

Ludlow, Rev. and Mrs. Arthur Clyde. History of Cleveland Presbyterianism (1896).

See also RELIGION, PRESBYTERIANS.