ST. ANDREW'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH was the elite black church in Cleveland at its founding in 1890. Formerly a mission that grew out of Trinity and Grace Episcopal churches, St. Andrew's was accepted as a parish by the Diocesan Convention of EPISCOPALIANS in 1892 (formally inc. 25 June 1926). After meeting in homes and then in the chapel of Trinity Church (later TRINITY CATHEDRAL) at Superior and E. 6th St., the congregation bought an old church, formerly Swedish, at E. 24th and Central. It occupied this building until 1915, when ST. VINCENT CHARITY HOSPITAL's expansion forced its move. In 1916 the church erected a brick building at 2171 E. 49th, at Cedar Rd., designed by Charles Schneider in the Gothic Revival style. The parish house was rebuilt in 1953 and named the Tucker House after Bp. Beverly Tucker.
Early parishioners at St. Andrew's generally did not represent the working class. Prominent among the founders were JOHN P. GREEN (state representative and lawyer), JACOB REED (seafood merchant), and Richard A. Jones (editor of the Negro Globe). The 31st National Convention of Colored Workers of the Episcopal Church met at St. Andrew's in Oct. 1919, strengthening its commitment to the struggle for civil rights.
In 1986 St. Andrew's operated a neighborhood ministry next to the church. In 1991 St. Andrew's pastor, Fr. Austin R. Cooper, authored legislation establishing the Episcopalian Legacy Fund, a national scholarship program for minority students designed to address the issue of racism within the Episcopal church. The church also launched a $.25 million endowment campaign on 15 June 1983; the goal was realized in 1995. In 1995 Fr. Austin R. Cooper was pastor of St. Andrew's and the church had a membership of 250.
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See also AFRICAN AMERICANS; RELIGION.