Mount Olive Baptist Church

Mount Olive Baptist Missionary Church has enthusiastically been serving the spiritual needs of the Twinsburg Heights community for over 85 years. Within the three communities only the Twinsburg Congregational Church has a longer continuous history.

Not long after the Heights was established as an African American community within Twinsburg, a small group of residents met to form what would eventually become Mount Olive Baptist Church.

The small group, meeting in the home of John and Emma Mckinney, first organized themselves on May 25, 1932. The group included the Mckinneys, Hiram and Betty Studevant, Louise and Blanch McDonald, acting secretary Christine Golden and Rev. Wilder, who served as the initial chairman.

The congregation held their services in the Mckinney’s home until April 16. 1933 when they relocated to The Church of God in Christ on Eaton Street, where they continued to meet for the next year.

In 1933 though, Charles Brady of the Ravenna Building Co and the developer of Twinsburg Heights, had promised a church to the first minister who purchased a home in the development. Rev. John Ribbins, previously of Cleveland, purchased a home in early 1934 and was awarded a lot on the current church site at the corner of Oxford and Yale. Ribbins’ house, after several remodels, still stands.

Pastor Ribbins capitalized on the standing offer from Charles Brady of the Ravenna Building Company to provide land for a church to the first minister to purchase a house in the Heights.

The men of the community dug and built a basement for the church, volunteering their free labor during the W.P.A. era. On the fourth Sunday in April of 1934, the congregation marched from The Church of God in Christ to the new church and held services their for the first time. The church consisted only of a basement, which would be the congregation’s home for the next three years. And while it has continued to grow over the years, both spiritually and physically, The Church of God in Christ structure no longer exists.

In the spring of 1937 the membership started work on the framework for what was to become the upper sanctuary. It was completed by that winter. In the subsequent years a pulpit area and a choir loft were also added. In 1970 though a major renovation occurred when a front room, church office, choir room, restrooms and a pastor’s study were added.

Mt. Olive, currently led my the Rev. Wallace Thomas, continues to serve the Twinsburg Heights community. The Heights has always been well served by its churches, with six congregations currently residing within the community, but Mt. Olive is the originator.

For more information, check out Mt. Olive’s website.

The First Congregational Church

Like a boulder that withstands the flow of a rushing river, the First Congregational of Twinsburg has remained unmoved, in spite of time and transformation. A house of worship, it has stood through the ages, a silent witness to generations of parishioners and the coming and going of reverends, as well as periodic renovation and expansion.

Twinsburg’s oldest church during a long ago Christmas season.

The origins and essence of the church predate its physical embodiment. The first assembly coalesced in August of 1822. Though small in number, the thirteen founding members formed a cohesive community, united in their belief in a higher power. The work and worship they dedicated themselves to began within the walls of a small log structure in close proximity to Public Square. The church standing today owes its construction and craftsmanship to the skilled laborers who completed the structure in the autumn of 1848.

Over its nearly two centuries of service, numerous leaders would guide the flock; schisms fractured the congregation and time brought them together again. The street it stood along, Church Street, was named for its houses of prayer, though Congregational Church would eventually stand alone, much as it was when it began its life. Of all the reverends to serve, Dewey Long held the distinction of serving the longest, doing so from 1972 to 1991. It was during his tenure that in 1974 the National Register of Historic Places bestowed a place within its ranks on the church, recognizing its longevity and importance to the community. Patricia Jefferis, the first woman to shepherd the flock, arrived in 1998.

For more information, visit the First Congregational Church website here.

Sanctuary of Praise International Ministries

In March of 1983 Bishop William B. Smith, Sr. joined the Apostolic Church on Stanford Street.  Over the next decade the church’s congregation, which was very small upon Smith’s arrival, constantly worked at renovating the small facility for it’s quickly growing membership.

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church is located on Stanford Street in the Heights, and was once the location of the Apostolic Church now known as the Sanctuary of Praise on Hadden.

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church is located on Stanford Street in the Heights, and was once the location of the Apostolic Church now known as the Sanctuary of Praise on Hadden.

In April 1994 they choose to break ground on a new facility still within the Heights neighborhood. The new facility, renamed The Sanctuary of Praise, relocated just a few blocks onto Haden Rd.

Over the next decade the Church’s activities continued to grow, requiring the Church to add 7,500 square feet to the original complex.  The expansion including a larger chapel, classrooms, office space and a hall. Now known as the Main Campus, to differentiate from the Southern Campus located in Akron, the new facility has served as the focal point of a number of international ministries, while still being led by Bishop Smith.

Their original facility is now home of the Seventh-Day Adventists and still serves as a Church for the Heights neighborhood.


Christ the King Lutheran Church

One of the byproducts of Chrysler moving into Twinsburg, beyond a 52.4% population growth between 1950-1960, was the need for more services in the community, spiritual needs among them. During the early 1960s Twinsburg saw a  number of new churches established, including Christ the King Lutheran.

Christ the King had its first worship service in October, 1961 and became a congregation in the American Lutheran Church April 15, 1962.

Christ the King had its first worship service in October, 1961 and became a congregation in the American Lutheran Church April 15, 1962.


In April 2012 Christ The King Lutheran celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special worship service at which Northeastern Ohio Synod Bishop Elizabeth Eaton presided.

In April 2012 Christ The King Lutheran celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special worship service at which Northeastern Ohio Synod Bishop Elizabeth Eaton presided.



Congregational and Methodist Churches merged in 1920

In the fall of 1920 Twinsburg’s spiritual needs were met by two churches that had existed almost as long as the community itself.  At that time the two churches merged and most of the small community united under one church.   The spiritual leader of the First Congregational Church during the merger was Rev. William C. H. Moe, who published books during his lifetime on the history of The Congregational Churches, churches in the Western Reserve and church music.  In 1960 he wrote Seeing it Through, An Autobiography of Rev. William C. H. Moe, D.D.  On pages 76 through 81 Rev. Moe, who was also the Twinsburg correspondent to the Hudson newspaper that most Twinsburg residents used to obtain their news, tells the story of how the merger came about:


For nearly 100 years two church organizations–Congregational and Methodist–had

ministered to the spiritual interests of the Twinsburg people. The church buildings

stood about 150 feet apart. Before I arrived as pastor, there had been some discussion

about the possible union of the two churches into a Federated Church. The plan of a

Federated Church was finally abandoned and, since the Congregational Church was a

stronger organization than the Methodist, the members of the latter were quite willing

to become Congregationalists. The people arrived at this decision by themselves.


One thing which led to their final decision for a united work was the frequent change

of pastors in the Methodist Church, Too frequently, desirable young ministers were

transferred to larger churches, and older, less able men sent in their places.


In November, 1920, when I cams as pastor, the Methodist members decided to worship

with the Congregationalists, and Reverend Cobbledick, their minister, having no

congregation, came with them, He continued to occupy the Methodist parsonage and

did considerable visiting among Methodist members. At Easter in 1921 I received into

the Congregational Church all Methodist members and a large number of others by

letter and on confession of faith—102 in all. Dr. R. T. Cross, the pastor emeritus,

shared with me the joy or receiving them. They came forward in four groups, each

group extending from one side of the church to the other.


What was done with the Methodist property? Since it was legally held in the name of

the Conference, it was sold and the proceeds went to the Conference. The Congregational

Church auditorium and parlors were spacious and there was ample room for the enlarged

church membership. The new members were very generous and talented and no church

group in my 57 years was more harmonious.


Ironically, Rev. Moe only stayed in Twinsburg a few years before taking over a much larger church in Connecticut, where he remained for years. In his short time in Twinsburg Rev Moe took part in the newly formed Chamber of Commerce. serving as its treasurer.  He was also the president of the local library association and was news correspondent to the Hudson newspaper.