The Old Stone Church can trace its roots back to 1820 when the congregation formed and originally was called First Presbyterian Church. They would construct a building on Public Square (on the site of the current church) in 1834. Because of the grey sandstone used it was called the “Stone Church”. As it weathered, it became known as the Old Stone Church. But the congregation quickly outgrew their building and the current church was constructed on that same site and opened in August, 1855.
The church did suffer to major fires, one in 1857 and another in 1884 but was reconstructed each time. After the fire in 1884, Charles Schweinfurth was brought in to redesign the interior of the church. For the most part, his work is what you see today inside the sanctuary. There is a barrel vaulted ceiling, oak and mahogany woods are used throughout and the sanctuary has ten incredible stained glass windows, four of which are done by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
The Tiffany windows were done between 1885 and 1930. That is 45 years between the first and last of his windows in the church. Two of the Tiffany windows have his signature in them. The three windows on the front of the church are done by John LaFarge and are in memory of Clevelander Amasa Stone, who was member of the church.
Other windows were installed in the 1960’s and 1970’s including the Ecumenical Window. This window features a vignette at the bottom honoring the meeting between Rev. Lewis Raymond of the Old Stone Church and Pope Paul VI back in 1968.
Outside the Church
Outside of the church sits a bell that was removed from the belfry in 1982 and donated to the city in 1989. It was cast and raised in 1885 and rang during the Thanksgiving service at the end of the American Civil War. Also out front is sculpture by Canadian artist, Timothy Schmalz called “When I Was Hungry and Thirsty”, one of the six by Schmalz based off Matthew 25 here in Cleveland.
The Old Stone Church has only had 13 senior pastors in its 200 years. It still remains an active Presbyterian congregation serving downtown Cleveland and the city as a whole. See below for their contact information.
What We Do
Tours of Cleveland, LLC offers year round, exciting and educational walking tours of beautiful and historic downtown Cleveland. Our Downtown Highlights tour does talk about the history of the Old Stone Church and our Cleveland From the Inside tour (returning in the spring 2023) includes a visit inside the beautiful sanctuary. Learn more about our tours, see our schedule and book your tour at www.toursofcleveland.com.
Contact Information for the Church
The Church is located at 91 Public Square, Cleveland, OH.
The phone number of the church is (216) 241-6145.
The Pastor is Rev. Stephen C. Blonder Adams.
Weekly service is on Sundays at 10:00 am in person or online.
Their website is www.oldstonechurch.org