Note: Until July 2014, South Euclid United Church of Christ was called Euclid Avenue Congregational Church and was located in the City of Cleveland.
The forerunner of Euclid Avenue Congregational Church which later became part of the United Church of Christ, grew out of a Sunday school. The congregation met in homes and barns until a two-story brick building was built in 1845 at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Doan (now East 105th Street).
The tie to the Presbyterian church was severed in 1852. For a decade, the congregation was known as the Independent Presbyterian Church, not adopting the Congregational style of church government until 1862. It was that year the church became the First Congregational Church of East Cleveland.
In 1867 at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Logan, now renamed East 96th Street, a large sandstone building was constructed. At a cost of $25,000, the building became home to a congregation which numbered 109. In 1872, the church changed its name to the Euclid Avenue Congregational Church.
That church gave birth to four other churches which were missions of the larger Euclid Avenue Congregational Church. One of them, Hough Avenue Congregational Church, merged with Euclid Avenue Congregational in 1934. During a period of a population shift in the late 1940s and the 1950s, the membership declined. However, church membership decided against relocating to the suburbs where many of the members had moved. Instead, Euclid Avenue kept its location at Euclid and East 96th Street.
It offered a variety of community outreach programs which included a daycare, the Hough House Service Center, and a program for chemically-dependent mothers. In the 1980s, Euclid Avenue Congregational Church was refurbished.
In March 2010, a bolt of lightning struck the church building. The lightning hit the top of the building. The fire which swept through was enormous. The fire claimed the building and everything that was inside. Within days, the congregation moved temporarily into the former First United Methodist Church building at Euclid Avenue and East 30th Street. For four years, the congregation worshipped at that location.
Rising from the Ashes
In July 2013, Euclid Avenue Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ purchased a 10-acre site in South Euclid, Ohio. The facility had been the property of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese. Renamed the South Euclid United Church of Christ, the members of the former Euclid Avenue Congregational Church moved in.
We held our first service July 6, 2014, realizing the congregation had truly risen from the ashes.