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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History


The FIRST HUNGARIAN REFORMED CHURCH OF CLEVELAND, OHIO, was organized by Rev. Gustav Juranyi and 60 charter members on 3 May 1891. In 1894 a wooden church was built on Madison Ave. (E. 79th St.). Five years later, a stone church was built at the same location by Rev. Alexander Csutoros. In 1925 the congregation purchased 1 acre of land at 2856 Martin Luther King (formerly East) Blvd., at Buckeye Rd. Bethelen Hall Education Center was built on this site in 1932. During the pastorate of Rev. Dr. Stephen Szabo (1947-83), a Romanesque Cathedral-style church with a 155' tower was built adjoining Bethelen Hall. The new church was dedicated on 4 Sept. 1949 with 4,000 people present, including Ohio governor Frank Lausche. The church has hosted conventions and conferences of local and national organizations of American HUNGARIANS. In 1957 the mortgage was retired. That year the congregation settled more than 250 refugees of the 1956 Hungarian Freedom Fight in Cleveland. In 1977 the church was designated as an architectural and historic Cleveland landmark.

In 1993 the church moved from its Buckeye Rd. site to 14530 Alexander Rd. in WALTON HILLS. In 1995 the church broke ground for a new sanctuary. With 435 members in 1995, the minister was Frank A. Endrei.

See also RELIGION.

Last Modified: 20 Jun 1997 10:27:41 AM

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