The New Church In the spring 2014, Christ Community Church of Rochester, under the leadership of Rev. Marlowe V.N. Washington, was asked to consider merging with Parsells Avenue Community Church. In the fall of 2014, leaders from both churches started to seriously discuss the idea. On December 21, 2014, both congregations, in separate congregational meetings, officially voted to merge and create a new church. On Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, The Historic Parsells Church was born with its first official worship service. The merger was legally finalized on December 7, 2016. The Old Building The Historic Parsells Church resides in a handsome Romanesque Revival building with its acoustically excellent sanctuary. It was originally the home of East Side Presbyterian Church, one of many new congregations to become established in the Beechwood neighborhood in Rochester, N.Y., around the turn of the 20th century. The original 1909 structure was designed by Rochester architect Herbert Larzelere. By 1925, the congregation had out-grown that smaller building. Two young architects, Herbert Bohacket and Lewis Brew, were commissioned to create an addition, combining an historic stylistic precedent: Lombard- influenced Romanesque Revival style with the then-prevailing Arts and Crafts design philosophy. The sanctuary and tower were completed in 1926, and the older section of the building was turned into the educational wing. Today, the entire edifice is listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The Deep Roots Even from the very beginning, the emphasis has always been on ministering to the children in the community. The Historic Parsells Church traces its roots back to 1869, when individuals living in the Hudson Avenue area started a Sunday School. That led to the formation of Memorial Presbyterian Church on January 19, 1872. In 1892, a couple of ladies saw the need for Christian work in the Beechwood neighborhood where they lived. They started a Sunday School class with five kids, and in a month’s time that had swelled to 55 children. The ministry continued to expand, and on April 25, 1895, Parsells Avenue Baptist Church was legally formed, with its building located at Parsells Avenue and Oswego Street (now called Chamberlain Street). The name “Parsells Church” has been a part of the community ever sense. In 1916, the congregation completed a new sanctuary adjacent to the original “chapel,” which was retained for classrooms. In 1923, church leaders launched a campaign with the slogan, “It’s for the Boys and Girls,” to erect a new education building, which was completed in 1925. On April 22, 1901, East Side Presbyterian Church was founded in the same neighborhood. After outgrowing a small building at Hayward Avenue and Chamberlain Street, the congregation moved to Parsells Avenue and Denver Street, laying the cornerstone for a new building in 1909, which was completed in 1911. On September 27, 1925, the church laid the cornerstone for an addition to its existing structure, providing us with the sanctuary and gymnasium still in use today. In 1939, East Side Presbyterian Church merged with Memorial Presbyterian Church. This resulted in the creation of East Side Memorial Presbyterian Church. The new congregation kept the building on Parsells Avenue and sold the Hudson Avenue property. Finding it difficult to maintain large, separate buildings, Parsells Avenue Baptist Church and East Side Memorial Presbyterian Church merged on September 28, 1975, to form Parsells Avenue Community Church. In this second merger, the building at Parsells and Denver was also retained. The property belonging to the Baptist church was sold to Eastside Community Center (which is now the Community Place). Christ Community Church of Rochester (C3) was officially launched as an independent congregation on October 24, 2010, at the Youth for Christ building on Favor Street. In 2013, C3 was admitted into membership by the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region. In 2014, C3 moved into rented space at 1119 Joseph Avenue. That same year, discussions began with Parsells Avenue Community Church, leading to the creation of the current congregation. The Entrepreneurial Mission The Historic Parsells Church is now in the process of repurposing the building, taking our cue from the original intent of those who designed the structure. The church itself was built before community centers existed. In those days, the church was the center of the community and focus of the neighborhood. Our goal is transform the church into a mission center. Rochester is now the fifth poorest city in the United States and the Beechwood neighborhood is considered the epi-center of blight. A large percentage of the population consists of children and youth (36.88% of Beechwood residents are under the age of 20; expanding that further, 79% of those living in 14609 are 18 years old or younger, according to US Census data). These demographics are reflected in the congregation; 30-40% of those attending worship services and other activities are kids. And the number of kids coming will continue to increase as more programs and activities are launched. Our ministries offer a holistic approach to well-being. We provide physical, spiritual, emotional, and economic help and hope. Our purpose is to BLESS the world. The Revival Project The Historic Parsells Church will also launch its own foundation. Still in the planning stages, the foundation will be created as a separate corporation from the church with its own fiduary officers and governance to preserve the Romanesque Revival jewel in our community. The foundation’s Board of Trustees will also be tasked to approach the critical and omnipresent element of poverty from an entrepreneurial perspective and consider innovative ways to attack poverty. The Revival Project will consist of both building restoration and entrepreneurship that will not only restore the integrity of the 1909/1925 architecture, but will also clean up and revive a whole community.
THE HISTORIC PARSELLS CHURCH  345 Parsells Avenue  Rochester, NY 14609-5207 
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Our Legacy

There, of course, is a lot more to the story. To make it easy for you to read, we’ve put together a single PDF file (25 pages), which you can download by clicking one of the icons, or right-clicking and selecting "save target as." That may seem like a pretty good sized book, but it’s only a “booklet” compared to the amount of material available. So, the church is working on a lengthy book crammed with history, sermon summaries, and connections to the community — and lots of pictures. It’s called “East Side Endeavor.” It’s not available yet, but when it is, it will be available as  an e-book.
The Historic Parsells Church 345 Parsells Avenue Rochester, NY 14609-5207
The Historic Parsells Church  A Dynamic Christ Community

Our Legacy

The New Church In the spring 2014, Christ Community Church of Rochester, under the leadership of Rev. Marlowe V.N. Washington, was asked to consider merging with Parsells Avenue Community Church. In the fall of 2014, leaders from both churches started to seriously discuss the idea. On December 21, 2014, both congregations, in separate congregational meetings, officially voted to merge and create a new church. On Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, The Historic Parsells Church was born with its first official worship service. The merger was legally finalized on December 7, 2016. The Old Building The Historic Parsells Church resides in a handsome Romanesque Revival building with its acoustically excellent sanctuary. It was originally the home of East Side Presbyterian Church, one of many new congregations to become established in the Beechwood neighborhood in Rochester, N.Y., around the turn of the 20th century. The original 1909 structure was designed by Rochester architect Herbert Larzelere. By 1925, the congregation had out-grown that smaller building. Two young architects, Herbert Bohacket and Lewis Brew, were commissioned to create an addition, combining an historic stylistic precedent: Lombard-influenced Romanesque Revival style with the then-prevailing Arts and Crafts design philosophy. The sanctuary and tower were completed in 1926, and the older section of the building was turned into the educational wing. Today, the entire edifice is listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The Deep Roots Even from the very beginning, the emphasis has always been on ministering to the children in the community. The Historic Parsells Church traces its roots back to 1869, when individuals living in the Hudson Avenue area started a Sunday School. That led to the formation of Memorial Presbyterian Church on January 19, 1872. In 1892, a couple of ladies saw the need for Christian work in the Beechwood neighborhood where they lived. They started a Sunday School class with five kids, and in a month’s time that had swelled to 55 children. The ministry continued to expand, and on April 25, 1895, Parsells Avenue Baptist Church was legally formed, with its building located at Parsells Avenue and Oswego Street (now called Chamberlain Street). The name “Parsells Church” has been a part of the community ever sense. In 1916, the congregation completed a new sanctuary adjacent to the original “chapel,” which was retained for classrooms. In 1923, church leaders launched a campaign with the slogan, “It’s for the Boys and Girls,” to erect a new education building, which was completed in 1925. On April 22, 1901, East Side Presbyterian Church was founded in the same neighborhood. After outgrowing a small building at Hayward Avenue and Chamberlain Street, the congregation moved to Parsells Avenue and Denver Street, laying the cornerstone for a new building in 1909, which was completed in 1911. On September 27, 1925, the church laid the cornerstone for an addition to its existing structure, providing us with the sanctuary and gymnasium still in use today. In 1939, East Side Presbyterian Church merged with Memorial Presbyterian Church. This resulted in the creation of East Side Memorial Presbyterian Church. The new congregation kept the building on Parsells Avenue and sold the Hudson Avenue property. Finding it difficult to maintain large, separate buildings, Parsells Avenue Baptist Church and East Side Memorial Presbyterian Church merged on September 28, 1975, to form Parsells Avenue Community Church. In this second merger, the building at Parsells and Denver was also retained. The property belonging to the Baptist church was sold to Eastside Community Center (which is now the Community Place). Christ Community Church of Rochester (C3) was officially launched as an independent congregation on October 24, 2010, at the Youth for Christ building on Favor Street. In 2013, C3 was admitted into membership by the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region. In 2014, C3 moved into rented space at 1119 Joseph Avenue. That same year, discussions began with Parsells Avenue Community Church, leading to the creation of the current congregation. The Entrepreneurial Mission The Historic Parsells Church is now in the process of repurposing the building, taking our cue from the original intent of those who designed the structure. The church itself was built before community centers existed. In those days, the church was the center of the community and focus of the neighborhood. Our goal is transform the church into a mission center. Rochester is now the fifth poorest city in the United States and the Beechwood neighborhood is considered the epi-center of blight. A large percentage of the population consists of children and youth (36.88% of Beechwood residents are under the age of 20; expanding that further, 79% of those living in 14609 are 18 years old or younger, according to US Census data). These demographics are reflected in the congregation; 30-40% of those attending worship services and other activities are kids. And the number of kids coming will continue to increase as more programs and activities are launched. Our ministries offer a holistic approach to well-being. We provide physical, spiritual, emotional, and economic help and hope. Our purpose is to BLESS the world. The Revival Project The Historic Parsells Church will also launch its own foundation. Still in the planning stages, the foundation will be created as a separate corporation from the church with its own fiduary officers and governance to preserve the Romanesque Revival jewel in our community. The foundation’s Board of Trustees will also be tasked to approach the critical and omnipresent element of poverty from an entrepreneurial perspective and consider innovative ways to attack poverty. The Revival Project will consist of both building restoration and entrepreneurship that will not only restore the integrity of the 1909/1925 architecture, but will also clean up and revive a whole community.
Print quality Small file size
There, of course, is a lot more to the story. To make it easy for you to read, we’ve put together a single PDF file (25 pages), which you can download by clicking one of the icons, or right-clicking and selecting "save target as." That may seem like a pretty good sized book, but it’s only a “booklet” compared to the amount of material available. So, the church is working on a lengthy book crammed with history, sermon summaries, and connections to the community — and lots of pictures. It’s called “East Side Endeavor.” It’s not available yet, but when it is, it will be available as  an e-book.