1918 - present
ST. MARK'S STAFF & OFFICERS
The great migration of Negroes from the South to the North prior to World War I, created the need for more churches in Cleveland. During the period of 1914 to 1918, the need arose for larger churches and better programming for those who settled here, and who wished to maintain their denominational preference.
The Reverend Henry W. Cooper, a Presbyterian minister from Macon, GA, arrived in Cleveland in September 1917. He noted that a number of Negro Presbyterians in the city had no church to house them that was similar to the ones they left in the South. The issue was presented to the Presbytery of Cleveland and on September 16, 1917, a meeting was held at the Mt. Zion Congregational Church. Following Rev. Cooper’s report, stemming from that September meeting, the Presbytery ordered a 10-day study of the situation. As a result, the Reverend J. W. Lee, an Assistant Field Secretary for the Presbyterian Board of National Missions, came to Cleveland to further access the need.
Reverend Lee found an enthusiastic group of Christians, and was able to obtain permission from the Woodland Avenue Presbyterian Church, located at East 46th and Woodland Avenue, to hold services there until the Presbytery could formally organize a church. Minister William W. Todd, a student at Biddle University who was working in the city, became the leader of the group.
On October 18, 1918, St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church was officially organized, conducting its worship services in the chapel of the Woodland Avenue Presbyterian Church, and in a hall located at 2248 East 55th Street. It was not until 1920 that St. Mark's welcomed its first ordained minister, the Reverend Dr. C. Lee Jefferson.
OFFICERS - RULING ELDERS
Clerk of Session
Lon Brown, Sr.
OFFICERS - BOARD OF DEACONS