ST. ELIAS CHURCH was established in 1905 in Cleveland to serve Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian immigrants who were Catholics of the Melkite Rite, one of the eastern rites of Catholicism. It was the first Melkite parish outside of New York and the third in America. In 1901 a Basilian Salvatorian priest, Fr. Basil Marsha, came to Cleveland, and the first liturgy for the immigrants was held at St. Joseph's Church on E. 23rd St. on Christmas Day 1901. They worshipped there and later at ST. JOHN CATHEDRAL. By 1906 the congregants had remodeled a building at 2231 E. 9th for a church but needed larger quarters by Nov. 1907. Two homes, at 1225 and 1227 Webster Ave., were purchased and remodeled for a church and rectory. Bp. JOHN P. FARRELLY officially dedicated the church in Apr. 1908, and the church was officially placed under the patronage of St. Elias.
The growing congregation dispersed throughout the city. The parish purchased the building of the SOUTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH on Scranton Rd. and Prame Ave. in June 1937. The church was remodeled and dedicated on 27 Feb. 1938. In June 1961 the congregation bought property at 8023 Memphis Ave. in BROOKLYN. The present (1995) church was completed in Nov. 1964 and dedicated on 2 May 1965. Beginning around 1970, St. Elias has hosted an annual Labor Day Weekend Middle Eastern Festival. In 1995 Rev. Ibrahim Ibrahim served as pastor to the 360 families of the congregation.
Archives, Diocese of Cleveland.
See also RELIGION.