Remarkable Ohio

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1161 E 105th Street
Cleveland

, OH

The Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church (GABC) organized with 250 members on December 16, 1945, at a Phillis Wheatley Association meeting. Led by its first pastor, Rev. John Rollins Plummer, the congregation raised $47,000 to purchase the Jewish Synagogue at East 105th Street and Tacoma Avenue from the Beth Hamedrosh Hagodel Beth Israel Congregation in 1946. It later purchased a parsonage, land for parking, and created a Federal Credit Union. Tragically, Rev. Plummer was killed in a car accident on October 22, 1951. The church’s lower auditorium was remodeled and dedicated as J.R. Plummer Memorial Hall. Honoring its missionary and pastoral care foundations, the church built a $3M senior citizens complex nearby. An endowment fund, instituted by its pastor’s savings in 1995, ensures that this commitment to civic leadership endures.

890 Martin Luther King Jr Drive
Cleveland

, OH

Acquiring the African American Cultural Garden was a struggle for equitable access to public space in Cleveland during the Civil Rights era. Between 1961 and 1977, Black Clevelanders sought space to celebrate Black pride and culture within Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens. Activists lobbied the Cultural Garden Federation, City Council, and engaged the Black community to acquire a garden space. When the African American Cultural Garden was dedicated on October 23, 1977, dignitaries from Ghana, Togo, Kenya, and Tanzania, were joined by national, state, and city officials to celebrate the first garden space assigned to a community of color.