Jones Road Chapel has deep roots in the Slavic Village neighborhood.
Our historic building at 8000 Jones Road was built by the original JONES ROAD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, founded by Welsh immigrants living in the Broadway and Harvard Ave. section of Cleveland (originally NEWBURGH), developed out of a Sunday school and prayer group held in the home of William Jones on Harvard St. in 1857. The Welsh Congregational Society organized and built a small church on Wales St. in 1860. were among the founders of what was called the Wales St. Congregational Church. The secretary of the congregation, George M. Jones, served as preacher until a minister was hired in 1864. In 1876 a brick Gothic building was built on Jones Rd. Dedicated on the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the church was known for a time as Centennial Welsh Congregational Church. A rear wing was added in 1913. The church, with 211 members by 1896, was a strong force in the Welsh community’s religious and social life. While economic conditions brought change to the neighborhood and the Welsh dispersed, the Jones Rd. Congregational Church remained. Extensive renovations were made to the building from 1979-83. In 1995 membership stood at 80, and the church continued to offer weekly worship services, Sunday school, small prayer groups, a women’s group, youth programs, and a neighborhood hunger program that served free lunches the last Saturday of every month.
In 1987, Ione Parry (wife of the late Pastor Pete Parry) launched The Jones Road Church outreach ministry when the church’s first community hunger meal was organized. After in-depth training by The Cleveland Foundation’s Project Access, Ione determined that creating a new, non-profit organization was the most effective way to increase the impact of the established programs. In 2008, Jones Road Family Development Corporation was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 2008 and now serves as the sponsoring organization of these programs.
Several years later, in the wake of the passing of Pastor Parry, Jones Road Congregational Church was without a pastor and in need of new leadership. Simultaneously, another congregation in the Slavic Village neighborhood called “The Village Chapel” (lead by senior Pastor Joe Jaworski), was just settling into a storefront space farther north up Broadway. However, upon a meeting between Ione and Joe—and several consecutive meetings thereafter—members and leaders in both congregations began feelings God’s call to lead these two separate churches to unite as ONE; and within a few years, the two churches merged to form “Jones Road Chapel” in September of 2014.
God is continuing to draw us together and has been blessing us with His presence. Despite our differences, our ultimate goal has been one of unity under the blood of Christ, and through the work of the LORD we’ve been fortunate to see Him softening our hearts towards each other for the greater good of the community. We’re still “young” as a church in terms of our merging-venture, but we feel the deep-roots grown in this community through the faithful legacy of former Jones Road members, and we hope to continue that legacy by meeting the spiritual needs in our neighborhood for years to come!
“Will God by His grace continue the ministry and outreach of Jones Road Church for another 150 years? We do not know, but we do know that nothing is impossible with God and that you and I have been called and chosen to remain faithful to His Word and will. Now is the time to respond to God’s call to give and serve. And what a miraculous work He is yet to do through us as we trust our all to Him!”
— Quoted from letter to church on October 2007, Rev. Peter Parry.
1Cited from a report by The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.
2Cited from Jones Road Family.
(by Pastor Chris Schwab of GatewayDowntown Church)