Growing Up With the Church

by Carolyn Scheel James


My connection with Church of the Redeemer began when I was probably 10 years old in 1946.

My father brought me to Sunday School at East Scarborough and Taylor Road.  The Sunday School class was held In the back building of the parsonage. My first Sunday School teacher was Mrs. Hubbard. Her husband was a police man and a the crossing guard at Taylor Road and the church. Their Daughter, Ginny Goodwin was a long time member of the church. I have attended Church of The Redeemer for most of my life. I was absent when I was away at Marietta College and employed at Children’s Hospital located at Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended Sunday School and church at Redeemer while the church went through a lot of changes, but it was always my church.

The original 1924 building had “a church” in the middle  and the Sunday school classes were located at the outer part of the building. Rev Lautenschlagar was the first minister I remember (1942-1949). Other ministers I remember from my childhood were Rev. Swisher (1949-1954) and Rev. Dietzel (1954-1958).

I also remember the Linsz family. They had three sons, the eldest died in service during World War II. The other two were twin sons. The family was notified on the Sunday morning of his death, so the whole church was able to grieve with the family. His name is engraved on the World War II Monument at Cumberland and Mayfield Roads.

I was involved with the youth camps at Sunday School.  Our Group joined a group from Church of the Savior and we participated in activities with other church groups from around the city. We would go for a weekend and stay in a building at Carnegie and East 55th Street. We had fellowship in the evenings and worked on one or two of the homes in the neighbourhood, usually doing cleaning. We even did some painting job inside and outside of homes. We enjoyed the fellowship with the group. On Sunday we attended one of the African American churches in the neighbourhood.  The city provided two chaperones, who were conscientious objectors (did not believe in war) and so to serve their country they had joined work camps in cities. This did not only allow us to get to know our neighbours, but we learned to help others.

At this time, the church (Evangelical Brethren) continued to expand and merge until it merged to form the United Methodist church.

I returned again in the 1960’s after living in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I finished most of my education. When I returned, I came back to my church. I had my first wedding at Church of the Redeemer. It was not to last.

After a hiatus of about 15 years I returned again to Church of the Redeemer to see what had happened to my church. I came back to a beautiful church. And met a congregation that was very accepting to all. At this time I had married the love of my life and the church was accepting of my mixed African American marriage. It had decided to welcome all couples. Even though the way we worship might differ, all are accepted.

Now I am located out of state, and still able to attend. Who thought ZOOM would be an intricate part of this church?

Thanks to all who have made their mark at Church of the Redeemer.

Cleveland Heights Mission in 1920s

The church in 1940s when Carolyn James started attending.

Church of the Redeemer in 1970s

Church of the Redeemer in fall 2021.

A Zoom worship from Church of the Redeemer in January 2022. By clicking on the photo, Carolyn James can be seen participating in the upper right corner of the computer screen.