From: Bicentennial Biographies
Congregational histories of the Presbytery of Cincinnati 1790-1990, 1990, by
the Bicentennial Committee of the Presbytery of Cincinnati.
First Presbyterian Church, on the north side of Fourth Street near Main, was organized October 16, 1790, as part of the oldest congr4egation in the Ohio Vallley-the Cincinnati Columbia Presbyterian Church. This congregation separated in 1796, the Columbia group eventually becoming the Pleasant Ridge Church.
The Second Presbyterian Church branched off First Church in 1816 and in 1830 built an edifice in the Grecian style on Fourth Street near Race. The Fifth (1831) and the Central (1844) churches were also off-shoots of the First Church.
In 1909 the Second, Fifth and Central churches, due to declining membership as a result of population shift out of the BAsin area, merged to form the Church of the Covenant. In 1933 the original First Church, which had absorbed the Reformed Presbyterian in 1914 and the West Liberty Presbyterian, popularly known as the German Presbyterian, in 1928, united with The Church of the Covenant to form the Covenant-First Presbyterian Church.
Previous to these mergers encroaching commercial life led to Second Church's removal to the then rural neighborhood of Eighth and Elm Streets. Here, facing Piatt Park, a beautifully detailed Gothic style church was constructed of handcut stone from the quarries of church member Colonel Peter Rudolph Neff. The sanctuary was dedicated April 11, 1875. This became the home of the 1933-merged congregation of Covenant-First Church.
The Gothic motif is consistently carried out throughout the church. The belfry remains as originally constructed and contains a huge bell bearing the old inscription in bold relief, "Revere, Boston." The unusual interior arrangement is said to have its origin in the seventeenth century Gothic tithing -barns of the Scotch-English border country. The pulpit furniture was carved from black walnut by Henry L. Fry and son and is a splendid example of the work of these gifted artists. Almost without exception, visitors and members alike comment on the beauty of the sanctuary and, in particular on the beautiful stained glass windows.
List of Pastorates:
Rev. Frank Elder; 1928-1950
Rev. Paul Ketchum (AP); 1940-1942
Rev. J. Louis Crandall (AP); 1943-1944
Rev. Hodson Young (AP); 1944-1945
Rev. John McLeod (AP); 1945-1953
Rev. Irvin Yeaworth; 1950-1967
Rev. S. Allen Catalin (AP); 1957-1960
Rev. Harold Russell; 1967-1984
REv. Robert Strain (AP); 1973-1974
REv. Peter J. Fosburg; 1948-
Early Churches and Synagogues
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