Filed Under Religion

University Circle United Methodist Church

"The Holy Oil Can"

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"
The "Holy Oil Can" Epworth-Euclid United Methodist was humorously dubbed "the holy oil can." This image shows the view that inspired the nickname. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Creator: Kathleen Shamp | Colourpicture Publishers, Inc. Date: ca. 1960
Central Methodist Church
Central Methodist Church One of the original congregations that became Epworth-Euclid United Methodist was Central Methodist Episcopal Church, located at Prospect Avenue and East 55th Street. Source: Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: ca. 1900
Church Viewed from Fine Arts Garden
Church Viewed from Fine Arts Garden In this midcentury view, the church rises beyond the Fine Arts Garden and Wade Lagoon. Source: Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: ca. 1950
Steeple Reconstruction
Steeple Reconstruction Source: Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: 1958
View from Wade Lagoon
View from Wade Lagoon Source: Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: ca. 1960
Rose Window Above Altar in Sanctuary
Rose Window Above Altar in Sanctuary Source: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0 Creator: Kevin Payravi Date: September 17, 2016

Location

1919 E 107th St, Cleveland, OH 44106

Metadata

CSU Center for Public History and Digital Humanities, “University Circle United Methodist Church,” Cleveland Historical, accessed April 18, 2024, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/42.