University Circle UMC - Tours of Cleveland, LLC

University Circle UMC

The Holy Oil Can, Cleveland

Cleveland is home to so many amazing churches and cathedrals. Unfortunately some of them are no longer active, but that is not the case of University Circle UMC (United Methodist Church). It is often referred to as the “Holy Oil Can” because of its large copper spire.


University Circle UMC is the merger of several churches throughout time. Back in 1919, Euclid Ave Methodist Episcopal (located at Euclid Ave. and E. 93rd St) would merge with Epworth Memorial Church (home of the Epworth League, an international Christian youth movement) to form Epworth-Euclid UMC. Epworth-Euclid UMC would build a new building at E. 107th St. and Chester Ave.

In 2010 Epworth-Euclid would merge with First UMC (located at Euclid Ave and E. 30th) to form what is now University Circle UMC.


Bertram Goodhue was commissioned to draw up the plans for the new building, modeled after Mont Saint MichelĀ in Normandy, France. But Goodhue passed in 1924 and the project was passed to and completed by Walker & Weeks. The church building opened in 1928. It is built in the Modified French Gothic style.

The exterior of the building is covered in Plymouth granite. There are 48 sculptured figures on the outside of the building done by Leo Friedlander. The interior is supported by four large arches. Figures are also carved into the stone. The sanctuary is filled with stained glasses windows, most of which are done by T. Owen Bonawit and Howard G. Wilbert. The sanctuary with it’s balcony can seat just under 600 people. The church also contains a small chapel (seating 80 people) and a large social hall.

What We Do

Tours of Cleveland, LLC (the author of this blog post) offers year round, exciting and educational walking tours of beautiful and historic downtown Cleveland. Want to learn more about the history of Cleveland? Come explore the city with us on a walking tour. Learn more, see our schedule and book your tour at

Photos of the Church

Inside the sanctuary of University Circle UMC (looking forward)
Front of the Sanctuary
Inside the sanctuary of University Circle UMC (looking back)
Back of the Sanctuary
Inside the sanctuary of the church
Carvings inside the sanctuary on the columns
Stained Glass window in balcony
The Apocalypse window in the balcony
Chapel inside University Circle UMC in Cleveland
The Chapel inside the church
Stained glass in the Chapel
Stained glass in the Chapel featuring the minor Prophets, Habakkuk & Nahum
Sculptures on the outside of the building
Some of the 48 carvings on the outside of the church

Contact the Church

The Church is located at 1919 East 107th Street, Cleveland, OH 44106.

The phone number of the church is (216) 421-1200.

The Pastor is Reverend Dr. Steven Bailey.

Weekly service is on Sundays at 11:00 am in person or online.

Their website is