Church of the Redeemer UCC has a unique history. Started in 1954 as a “church plant” of First UCC, Lakewood, Ohio, the two congregations became one in 2006. Two images are important to the life of Church of the Redeemer UCC:
In addition to the Scripture reference, “I am the vine, you are the branches,” the Grapevine is particularly appropriate to Church of the Redeemer UCC because the land on which the building sits once was part of a large vineyard, remembered in the stained glass grapevine window in our Columbarium. Originally, the land was part of the Sperry farm — one of the early settlers of Dover Township (today the cities of Bay Village, North Olmsted, and Westlake). In the 1930s, Dover Vineyards and Winery encompassed 1,200 acres of land, including our property. At its height, Dover Winery was one of the largest in the state, storing some 180,000 gallons of wine. Its restaurant — the fondly remembered Dover Chalet — stored 100,000 gallons of wine in its cellar.
A few of the old vines still grow in the wooded area on the church’s property. Additionally, the grapevine to the east of our church building's front doors was likely part of that original vineyard. In the early days of Redeemer UCC, some of the grapes from the original vines were used for communion wine.
The grapevines are symbolic of the growth and vitality of Church of the Redeemer UCC’s members, and their ministry. We are the branches of Christ, the true vine.
The White Rose is a symbolic tradition brought to Redeemer when it merged with its parent church, First UCC in Lakewood, in 2006.
In 1883, a white rose bush was planted beside the original West 32nd Street church building in Cleveland. As new churches grew from that first church, shoots from the original rose bush were planted at each one. First UCC in Lakewood was a recipient of such a shoot, and it bloomed just outside the pastor’s study.
When First UCC merged with Redeemer, the white rose bush was planted near the entrance, and First’s stained glass white rose panel graces the Gathering Room of Church of Redeemer UCC with its light and beauty … a reminder of a proud tradition and the faithfulness of the congregants.
Learn more about our denomination, the United Church of Christ.