CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - St. John's Episcopal Church in Cleveland is the oldest consecrated church building in Cuyahoga County.
It was built in 1838 at 2600 Church Street.
Many believe the oldest church in Cleveland is the Old Stone Church on Public Square, but it was built 15 years after St. John's in 1853.
"It has been widely reported that St. John's was a stop on the Underground Railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War," according to Cleveland Historical. "According to these reports, slaves hid in the church's bell tower and watched for signals from the lake telling them that it was safe to embark on the final leg of their journey towards freedom."
In 1953, a tornado hit the church and caused severe damage to the building. In the 80s a $100,000 renovation project updated the building that was deteriorating since the tornado damage in the 50s.
The church is still owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio but services discontinued in 2007. Social justice events and guest speakers still happen at the building.