St. James History

Abridged History of St. James AME Church

From the East End Prayer Meeting, which was organized by 5 persons, St. James A.M.E. Church was born in March 1894 when the Rev. Raverdy Cassius Random, pastor of St. John A.M.E. Church, was invited to come and conduct the formal organization of a church. The membership was 16. It held its first public worship at a place on Cedar Avenue near 100th Street known as the “Wigwam”. The New Mission moved from the “Wigwam” and relocated on Hudson Street.

From 1894 forward, all the ministers were able and spiritual men. It was under the pastorate of. Rev. Joseph M. Evans, whose outstanding leadership was the signal for the forward movement that led the congregation in 1925 to the present Cedar Avenue location. The edifice was purchased for $57,500.00. A tremendous burst of church and Sunday School growth occurred during this period.

We are blessed to have Rev. Dr. Eric L. Brown as our current pastor. Some of his accomplishments are:  hosted a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, added electricity to the commercial garage, added a new mailer offering envelope system, enhanced the technology network and media hardware for the church, dedicated the Rebecca McClintock Nursery, engaged the Cleveland Historical Society in dialogue to secure funds for restoration of St. James, organized the Pipe Organ restoration fund, initiated weekly staff meeting with food, initiated the weekly Praise and Praise on Thursdays at 12 Noon, acquired new office furniture for the administrative office at no cost to St James, joined the greater Cleveland Adopt a school initiative, initiated a monthly youth fellowship with the pastor, led in clearing unsightly vegetation from the east and west parking lots and initiated the Inaugural Richard Allen Founder’s Day Luncheon in 2022.

There are many more accomplishments by our Pastor that are too numerous to list, but we anticipate that under his innovative and dynamic leadership, our future will be bright and blessed with great opportunities.

We at St. James A.M.E. Church have spent 128 years “Celebrating a Legacy of Christian Service to God, Church and Community” and will continue to do so with the Lord’s help.