PILGRIM CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH began in 1854 as a Sunday school in the TREMONT neighborhood, which was then called Univ. Hts. The congregation was organized in 1859 as Univ. Hts. Congregational, and a brick church was built in 1865-70 W. 14th St. The church was later known as Heights Congregational (1870s) and Jennings Ave. Congregational (1880s). Pilgrim Church was noted for its social and community work. In 1873 the church began its outreach to the neighborhood with the establishment of recreation rooms for young men. A new church at 2592 West 14th in Tremont was begun in 1893 and dedicated in 1894. About this time the church aquired its present name. The architect was SIDNEY R. BADGLEY. The church is Romanesque in style and features an impressive interior. The cost of construction was about $150,000. It was said that this was the first institutional church and the first building on Cleveland's west side to have electricity. The old church was sold to the Catholic Diocese and became ST. AUGUSTINE'S CHURCH.

The social work of the church is reflected in the architecture of the building; two-thirds of the original structure was devoted to such space, which included a library, recreation rooms, and gymnasium. Because of its progressive design, plans of the church were sent to the Paris Exhibition of 1899. The church established a kindergarten in 1895 and over the years was a leader in participating in social programs. In recent years the church has taken part in the Head Start program, a Police Athletic League program, and a seniors' nutrition program.

Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

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Pilgrim Congregational Church Records, WRHS.


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