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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

ST. JOHN'S BECKWITH MEMORIAL CHURCH

ST. JOHN'S BECKWITH MEMORIAL CHURCH

ST. JOHN'S BECKWITH MEMORIAL CHURCH was a Protestant mission to immigrant Italians founded in 1890 in LITTLE ITALY. In the summer of 1888, Louise Woodward and Florence Cozad, members of the EUCLID AVE. CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, started a Sunday school for Italian children and adults in an orchard near LAKE VIEW CEMETERY. A mission was established by Euclid Ave. Congregational with the assistance of the Congregational City Mission Society, which assumed sole responsibility in 1901. The mission was based at Lakeview Congregational Church until 1904 and then at a rented hall. In 1904 Rev. Pietro Monnet was called as the first pastor. Due to financial difficulties, in 1906 the Session of the Second Presbyterian Church assumed responsibility for the mission, with funds from the bequest of T. Sterling Beckwith. A building was dedicated on 27 Feb. 1907 at the corner of Murray Hill Rd. and Paul St. as St. John's Beckwith Memorial Church, which then had 36 members.

The church had an independent session until 1922, when, faced with internal and financial problems, the session was dissolved and the church placed in the charge of the Italian Mission Committee of the Church of the Covenant. The congregation grew to 125 members by the early 1960s. During the pastorate of Rev. Fiore D'Isidoro (195060), services continued in both English and Italian, and building renovations were completed (195354). In 1955 the Church of the Covenant severed its connection with St. John's Beckwith, and the mission was constituted as an independent church. In late 1961 or early 1962, however, the Presbytery of the Western Reserve officially dissolved the church; in 1963 the property was sold.


Rev. Fiore D'Isidoro Papers, WRHS.

See also RELIGION; PRESBYTERIANS.