Pilgrim Church of Christ was established in 1933, during a prayer meeting in the home of Elder Joseph D. and Mother Beatrice Williams, 5802 Longwood Drive, in Cleveland, Ohio. Sister Bessie Lyles and Sister Eula Jordan were founding members of this small mission, which affiliated with the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc. Soon after, a congregation of 15 moved the services from the Williams’ home to a city mission at 3408 Cedar Avenue.
Finding a permanent location for the church was challenging during its formative years, as the congregation moved to several buildings before settling into a church facility. In May 1948, Pilgrim began worshipping at the former home of St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, 5507 Thackery Road in Cleveland. Pilgrim’s board of trustees worked together to make the move and purchase possible. A mortgage burning service took place July 16, 1957, to celebrate this accomplishment.
As the church membership grew, so did the need to identify another building that could support its mission to serve and meet the spiritual needs of the broader community. The pastor, board of trustees, and deacons agreed to move the church to its current location, 616 E. 105th St., in Cleveland’s historic Glenville neighborhood.
On September 30, 1973, the congregation took ownership of the new building. It included a beautiful sanctuary, an indoor basketball court, library, office and storage space, dining room, full kitchen, baptismal pool, and fellowship hall.
An ambitious financial plan enabled the congregation to take full ownership of the church and its related facilities on September 29, 1985. Pilgrim has been a reliable and spiritual community partner for more than 85 years.
The Apostolic church, which had its beginning at Pentecost in AD 33, is the paradigm for church doctrine, the salvation experience, and methods of operation, fellowship, and ministry. Above all else, we see this first-century church as a people of worship. They were so in love with Jesus until they stayed in His presence through worship. As a result, they experienced a great manifestation of the power of God through miracles. (Acts 2:40-43)
We have these guiding principles as our mission:
- To follow the mandate of Jesus to preach, teach, and baptize
- To win the lost to Jesus through evangelism
- To be guardians and transmitters of the truth in a world where everything appears to be relative
- To build up the saints in love so that they are equipped for ministry
- To be involved in healing a hurting community
Refer to Matthew 28:19-20, II Timothy 2:1-2, and Ephesians 4:11-16.