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East Mount Zion Baptist Church - National Fund For Sacred Places
2022 Cohort

East Mount Zion Baptist Church

Cleveland, Ohio

East Mount Zion Baptist Church was the first Black church in Cleveland to break segregation barriers by relocating to Euclid Avenue, a grand residential avenue known as “Millionaires’ Row.”

East Mount Zion Baptist Church by Greg Frost

East Mount Zion Baptist Church by Greg Frost

2022 Cohort

East Mount Zion Baptist Church

CLeveland, Ohio

East Mount Zion Baptist Church was the first Black church in Cleveland to break segregation barriers by relocating to Euclid Avenue, a grand residential avenue known as “Millionaires’ Row.”

The church was founded in 1908 by the children of coalminers and sharecroppers who fled the South to escape Jim Crow laws and find economic opportunity. East Mount Zion’s move into the former Euclid Avenue Christian Church in 1955 signified the upward mobility of Black Clevelanders who had been subject to redlining and housing shortages. The Romanesque Revival-style church was designed in 1908 by prominent church architect George Kramer, known nationally as the primary promulgator of the Akron Plan Sunday School and Auditorium Plan worship space. This church, referred to as the “Green Stone Church” for the color of the exterior façade, is one of Ohio’s only serpentine stone buildings. From here, East Mount Zion served as the bedrock of the city’s Civil Rights movement and a haven for the Black community.

In recent years, East Mount Zion has combatted demolition threats to highlight “struggles overcome and a steadfast commitment to the community.” With new leadership and a staff committed to volunteerism, the congregation has identified potential partnerships with 25 nonprofits. Now located on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic as the Clinic has expanded over time, East Mount Zion also collaborates with the Clinic and Case Western University on health ministries. The Lifeline Ministry has provided clothing and resources to over 100,000 families in Greater Cleveland over the past 40 years.

East Mount Zion is working with the Cleveland Restoration Society to replace the leaky roof over the church building. The congregation will receive a National Fund grant of $225,000 with $450,000 in matching funds raised by the congregation towards this project.

East Mount Zion Baptist Church by Daniel DeGreve

East Mount Zion Baptist Church by Brandon Hatchette

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