Filed Under Religion

University Circle United Methodist Church

University Circle United Methodist Church traces its history back to 1831, when the earliest Methodist gatherings in Cleveland were held at Doan's Corners. The church was christened Epworth-Euclid Methodist Church in 1919 with the merger between two historic congregations – Euclid Avenue Methodist Episcopal and Epworth Memorial Church. The latter congregation was the birthplace of the Epworth League, an international Christian youth movement. In 2010, the members of Epworth-Euclid United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church of Cleveland voted to combine congregations to form University Circle United Methodist Church.

The present building was designed by noted architect Bertram Goodhue shortly before his death in 1924. The Cleveland-based Walker & Weeks firm saw the project to completion four years later. Goodhue's towering steeple, modeled after Mont Saint Michel in France, was dubbed the "Holy Oil Can" by students on the Western Reserve campus – a nickname still used today.

Audio

An Architect's Vision John Wheeler of Epworth-Euclid United Methodist describes how Cleveland architect Bertram Goodhue formulated the design of the building Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection
The Epworth League John Wheeler of Epworth-Euclid United Methodist discusses the Epworth League, a pioneering christian youth group organization Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection
The Holy Oil Can John Wheeler of Epworth-Euclid United Methodist discusses the building's humorous nickname Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection

Images

"The Holy Oil Can" Epworth-Euclid United Methodist was humorously dubbed "the holy oil can." This image shows the view that inspired the nickname. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
Stained Glass Window Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
Exterior, ca. 1950 The church as viewed from the Cleveland Museum of Art, ca. 1950. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
View From Wade Lagoon, ca. 1960 Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
Illuminated Steeple, ca. 1950 Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
Central Methodist, ca. 1900 One of the original congregations that became Epworrth-Euclid United Methodist was Central Methodist Episcopal Church, located at Prospect Avenue and East 55th Street. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
Steeple Reconstruction, 1958 Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections

Location

1919 E 107th St, Cleveland, OH 44106

Metadata

“University Circle United Methodist Church,” Cleveland Historical, accessed January 16, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/42.