A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
A Visual History Of Township 6, Range 14
CHURCHES - Page 9
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German Lutheran Church
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St. Adelberts Church - 1908
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St. Pauls Evangelical Lutheran Church
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1910 - English ME Church
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The News-Sun - July, 2008
Members of the First Congregational United Church of Christ have granted their leadership permission to pursue and finalize the sale of the church to Baldwin-Wallace College. The church, 33 Seminary St., and B-W have been negotiating since late last year. The college has stressed the need to expand its conservatory's crowded Merner-Pfeiffer Hall, located next to the church. B-W currently rents out a third of the church's space for music outreach and therapy.
The News Sun - April 11,2009 - Jaime Anton
First Congregational United Church of Christ in Berea sees its closing as a spiritual renewal.
"From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery, unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see." Church leaders Shirley Duncan, Dennis Stocker, Bill Luff and Pastor Martha Chenault are guiding the flock through a rebirth of sorts at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Berea. The Rev. Martha Chenault, pastor of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, said this hymn "In the Bulb There is a Flower" captures the rebirth this church is under going. The church has formed a strong presence in Berea and is well known, perhaps, not because of its weekly services but because of its community outreach through programs such as Church Street Ministries, its childcare program, and the Second Mile thrift store.
But it's future is now a mystery.
For the past two years, the congregation has hosted numerous meetings with Baldwin-Wallace College, which has been interested in purchasing this adjacent building for expansion. The purchase was finalized several weeks ago, and so the church will leave the past behind -- its historic home at 33 Seminary St. -- and embrace the unknown.
Chenault likens the situation to a seed in winter. "You think there is no life, but new life is actively forming under the ground during the seemingly dormant time. With a little warm air and sun, the flowers will bloom. Sometimes they're where you expect, and sometimes they're where you don't," she said.
In June, the church will begin worshiping at B-W's Lindsay-Crossman Chapel, where the college has granted the church usage for at least three years. B-W also offered vacant lots on Front Street for a new church, however, a future site has not been decided.
The church formed in 1855 and was constructed in 1872. The congregation's roots are planted in a rich soil tilled by the abolitionists who founded the church. Dennis Stocker, president of the congregation, said even in the '60s, church members were advocating civil rights and reaching out.
The congregation is inviting the community to rally with it to celebrate its ministry at a farewell service at 3 p.m. May 3. A musical program will precede the service at 2:30 p.m. Individuals in the community, previous pastors, and other community churches have also been invited.
The Rev. Tom Dipko, a former church member, will deliver the message and a combined church choir will sing.
And May 31 -- Pentecost Sunday -- the congregation will worship together for the last time at 33 Seminary before moving to the B-W Chapel.
"We'll celebrate that day, Pentecost, which is the birthday of the church, and confirmation, which is the transition from childhood to adulthood. And we'll transition from this place to our new temporary place of worship," Chenault said.
The church welcomes its new life. "In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity; in our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity."
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Congreational Church, Strongsville
Metodist Church, Strongsville
United Church Of Christ, Strongsville