The Oberlin Review

The First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ, in 1870, and the same building in 2019, almost 150 years later.

First Church to Undergo Historic Renovations

April 19, 2019

Members of The First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ believe it’s time to renovate the historic building that was completed in 1844. The renovations, which include window replacements, more accessible entryways, repointing old bricks, and a new elevator, and will cost the church around $1.45 million. First Church has already raised around $300,000 in grants and $500,000 in donations, as well as $350,000 that the church already had on hand. This means they only need to raise $300,00...

First Church Celebrates Pete Seeger, Folk Musician and Activist

Roman Broszkowski, Senior Staff Writer

April 5, 2019

Community members celebrated the 100th birthday of famed folk musician and activist Pete Seeger with a concert and fundraiser at the First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ last Thursday, March 28. Annie Patterson and Charlie King, longtime friends of Seeger, performed songs inspired by Seeger’s commitment to labor organizing, as well as other selections from the songbook that Patterson created with Peter Blood, OC ’68, Rise Up Singing and Rise Again. Seeger gained national fame for his politically progressive songwriting in the ’60s but was blacklisted following his refusal to testify to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Oberlin remained one of the few places that still allowed Seeger to per...

The First Church in Oberlin pictured with a sign reading “Inmigrantes y Refugiados Bienvenidos,” which translates to Immigrants and Refugees Welcome.

Sanctuary Space Established by First Church

November 2, 2018

The First Church in Oberlin United Church of Christ opened a sanctuary space for undocumented immigrants beginning mid-October. It is a space iwhere people in need of shelter who have been marked for deportation can temporarily live while they sort out the legality of their immigration status. Sanctuary spaces work by deterring Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials because places like churches are considered “sensitive locations.” Immigration agents generally avoid these sensitive locations...

First Church is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year.

First Church Celebrates 175 Years with Multi-Faith Anniversary

September 22, 2017

Once one of the largest congregations in the United States, the First Church in Oberlin is celebrating its 175th anniversary Oct. 8. The event is open to members of all faiths and will commemorate the church’s decorated history. Throughout the years, the church has hosted notable speakers like Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, and Frederick Douglass. First Church, now the oldest building in the city, was home to a congregation comprised of the original settlers of the...

Fundraiser Jazzes Up First Church

Carol Longsworth, Nicki Memmott, Concert Planning Committee

March 31, 2017

To the Editors: Your readers will surely be interested in the Afternoon of Jazz event being offered on Sunday, April 2 at 3 p.m. at First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ, located at the corner of Main Street and Lorain Street in Oberlin. Jazz professionals Bobby Ferrazza, guitar; Dan Wall, piano; and Paul Samuels, drums; all members of the Oberlin Conservatory Jazz Department, will be joined by accomplished bassist Aidan Plank. All these musicians are highly regarded professionals, known throughout the Cleveland area and well beyond. Admission is free. Donations are strongly encouraged and needed for homeless families served by Family Promise of Lorain County. For more information, see familypromiselorai...

Alexa Still, associate professor of Flute, and pianist Thomas Bandy, musical coordinator of opera productions, perform Copland at the inaugural concert of the Music at the Meeting House series. Classical and Jazz faculty took the stage of First Church to unveil a newly refurbished 1911 Steinway on Saturday.

Jazz, Classical Faculty Perform on Refurbished Piano

October 3, 2014

  Conservatory faculty unveiled a newly refurbished Steinway piano to the public on Sunday afternoon for the inaugural concert of the Music at the Meeting House series. Members of the Oberlin community gathered in the historical First Church sanctuary to enjoy the incredible versatility of the program, which included everything from stately waltzes to operatic arias to jazz standards. Sigrun Heinzelmann, associate professor of Music Theory, opened the concert with Maurice Ravel’s Valses nob...

Established 1874.