Cleveland December 29, 2018
The Oldest Church In Cleveland Dates Back To The 1800s And You Need To See It
Cleveland has a long-spanning history, and some of our most intriguing and mundane moments alike are captured in the story told by the local architecture. Some of the oldest buildings throughout the city date back nearly 200 years, and even older structures are preserved in our landscape. Perhaps one of the most striking structures is also one of the oldest churches in the state, and it’s hiding in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.
When you step inside the gorgeous St. John's Episcopal Church, you're stepping back in time.
This heavenly structure is actually the oldest consecrated church in not just Cleveland, but in the entire county.
Built between 1836 and 1838, this charming gothic revival structure was home to a parish that actually dates back to 1816.
Trinity Parish first formally organized in the log cabin home of Phineas Shepard on November 9, 1816.
Its lofty steeple, which has always been a local landmark, is said to have hidden runaway slaves as they traversed the Underground Railroad.
Though the Episcopal Church did not officially take sides with either the North or South during the Civil War, this local church opened its doors to people in need. The runaway slaves would watch the lake for a signal that alerted them to safe passage to freedom. No wonder it was code-named "Station Hope" during this era!
Its gorgeous structure survived a fire in the 1880s and a tornado in the 1950s, despite damages during both incidents.
Though the church maintains much of its original charms, certain elements have been lost over the years. The church pinnacles, for example, have been damaged and removed, making the gothic structure slightly less elaborate, though no less beautiful.
The church itself no longer offers Sunday services, but it does host a weekly community service event.
Members of the community gather in this lovely church each Thursday at 6:30 p.m. for an event unlike any other. They work together to serve their neighbors, and in doing so, celebrate the structure’s legacy in a unique way. And, of course, no gathering is without song and prayer.
Frequent community events also take place on the grounds, offering a unique opportunity to see the church in a celebratory atmosphere.
Station Hope, a nod to the church's former code name, will be celebrating Cleveland's social justice history on the grounds on May 4, 2019.
For the oldest consecrated church in Cleveland, this structure is still infused with endless vitality.
Pieces of local history are woven into every inch of this structure, and you may be surprised by what you'll discover within.
Adventure awaits behind these elaborate doors!
This gorgeous church is full of life and history alike, and local stories are hidden in its striking architecture. Have you ever paid this lovely structure a visit? Share your experience with us in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this virtual visit, you’ll adore
exploring this stunning Cleveland cathedral.