WESLEY METHODIST CHURCH, on Cleveland's near west side at Bridge Ave. and W. 44th, was organized and incorporated on 11 May 1947, a merger of 2 historic Methodist congregations: FRANKLIN BOULEVARD METHODIST CHURCH and St. Paul's German Methodist Episcopal Church. St. Paul's German Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1853 as the German Methodist Episcopal Mission as the result of Rev. John N. Baldhuf's organizing on behalf of the Methodist Conference. At that time, property was purchased for the mission at the corner of W. 26th (McLean) and Lorain Ave., and a brick church was built. As early as 1850 Methodist prayer meetings were being held in German homes in OHIO CITY. In 1880 the Bridge Ave. and W. 44th property was purchased. A new church was completed in 1882 and completely rebuilt in 1912. For over 60 years, services were conducted in German. Gradually, English was introduced and German discontinued. When a fire completely destroyed the Franklin Blvd. Methodist Church on 26 Mar. 1947, St. Paul's invited the congregation to worship with them. When the congregations merged later that year to form Wesley Methodist Church, Rev. Wilbur B. Meiser, pastor of the Franklin Church, became pastor of the united congregation, which worshipped at the site of St. Paul's. In 1973 the congregation merged with Hope United Methodist Church to form Hope-Wesley United Methodist Church. In 1985 Hope-Wesley merged with the Peoples United Methodist Church to form the PEOPLES - HOPE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.