PEOPLES-HOPE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 1880 W. 65th St., officially formed in 1985 out of mergers with several other historic congregations. It originated in 1845 as the German Mission Society, composed of 13 congregants. The society met in homes until 1848, when it built a church for $2,000 on Prospect between Erie and Ontario streets. In 1860 the Erie St., or German Methodist Episcopal Church, as it was called, sold its building and constructed a new church at Erie and Prospect. To distinguish itself from the German Methodist Episcopal Church that it founded in 1853 at Lorain and McLean streets (W. 26th) on the west side, the church changed its name to First Methodist Episcopal (GERMAN) in 1870. In 1878 it moved to Scovill and Sterling (E. 30th), and then to E. 71st and Cedar in 1906. The First ME Church (German) merged with St. Paul's at Bridge and Harbor streets in 1922, taking the name St. Paul's ME Church.

St. Paul's had begun as German ME's former west side mission founded in 1855. Within 5 years the congregation separated to become the German ME Church, its name until 1881, when it became St. Paul's ME Church (German). The German Methodist Conference dissolved in 1933 and became part of the Northeast Ohio Conference, affecting 5 area congregations, including St. Paul's.

As its neighborhood changed and congregants moved away, St. Paul's merged with the Franklin Blvd. Methodist Church to become WESLEY METHODIST CHURCH in 1947. Wesley merged in 1973 with the Hope United Methodist Church, an amalgam of the First United Brethren Church (founded 1854) and Emanuel Evangelical Church (founded 1865). Hope, at W. 42nd and Orchard, was noted for its work with Puerto Ricans and UKRAINIANS. The church provided facilities for a Puerto Rican congregation under Rev. Daniel Rodriguez. When he subsequently became the assistant pastor at Wesley, that church became the center of social services and worship for the Methodist Episcopal HISPANIC COMMUNITY. In 1985 Hope-Wesley United Methodist Church merged with the Peoples United Methodist Church (est. 1894 as the Gordon Ave. Methodist Church).

Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

View image in Digital Cleveland Starts Here®

Hope-Wesley United Methodist Church Records, WRHS.


Article Categories