About Us | History
The Presbytery of the Western Reserve is a governing body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), organized January 20, 1973 by the authority of the Synod of the Covenant and the General Assembly, and governed by the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The establishment of Presbyterian and Congregational churches on the Connecticut Western Reserve was begun by the Connecticut Mission Society in 1800 and continued under the Plan of Union adopted in 1801 by the General Assembly and the General Association of Connecticut. "Presby-gational" churches flourished in Ohio and western New York State. The first traveling missionaries on the Reserve were William Wick, Presbyterian, and Joseph Badger, Congregationalist.

The presbyteries having jurisdiction in the area of the present presbytery included Hartford (1808); Grand River (1814) which was organized at Euclid, [First, East Cleveland (1807)], with seven ministers and eight churches; Portage (1818); Huron (1823); and, Cleveland (1830). The Synod of the Western Reserve was established in 1825 with the Presbyteries of Grand River, Portage, and Huron. The controversies over matters of faith and practice, which in 1838 resulted in the division of the General Assembly into Old School and New School branches, developed over a number of years. In 1837 the Assembly abrogated the Plan of the Union of 1801, and "exscinded" the Synods of Utica, Geneva, Genesee, and the Western Reserve for disobedience, forcing a general reorganization.

Northeastern Ohio was predominantly New School territory, but the separation of the Congregational/UCC churches (e.g., Austinburg, Dover, Brecksville, Brooklyn/Archwood) from the Presbyterian churches (e.g. Ashtabula First, Cleveland/Old Stone, Euclid/East Cleveland, Newburgh/Miles Park) was never overcome.

The United Presbyterian Church in North America congregations representing Presbyterians of the Covenanter and Seceder traditions arrived only slightly later on the Western