About Us





It all began in August of 1908 with families meeting in homes. Later these families moved to a building on 131st and Penobscot Avenue, later known as the Shaw Avenue Church of Christ, located in East Cleveland, Ohio.

It was in 1960 that this faithful group of members found the need to purchase a larger building to accommodate its growing membership.  They purchased a site at 3425 Mayfield Road and built a church building that has remained the home of our spiritual family for the past 50 years.

Our history is deep and rich with so many members who have been an integral part of our growth, but have moved on due to either retirement, relocation, or completion of their education.  This is why in 2010 we  counted it a great blessing to have a unique opportunity to host a wonderful reunion in celebration of our 50th anniversary.



Our Congregation Today

Derwood Smith has been our minister for 36 years.  He is a retired professor and former chair of the Department of Religion at Cleveland State University and his masters and doctorate degrees from Yale and Harvard Divinity Schools. As of the summer of 2017, he has retired.  Each of our elders has been serving the Forest Hill congregation in that leadership capacity for over 35 years. Our church reflects the great diversity of Cleveland Heights and the surrounding communities.  We strive to love each other and help the community around us.

In our worship, you will find great diversity. Our population is about 50/50 African American, and white with a growing population of Hispanic members. Our membership ranges economically from welfare recipients to households earning $60k or more. We have members who are high school graduates all the way to members with doctorate degrees. Our members are in the teens and over 80, live on the east side as well as the west side.  We pride ourselves on our diversity.

Derwood Smith, our pulpit minister of 36 years, retired in the summer of 2017.  Currently, the congregation is in search of a new minister to work in a full-time pastoral capacity.  The congregation is working with a well-established consulting group to assist our leadership and members in finding just the right minister to lead our congregation into the future. In the interim, our capable brethren are delivering our weekly messages to keep us encouraged and inspired as we continue to “Love like Jesus and to teach each other to do the same.”  

In addition, all of our programs, such as, “Leaning on Jesus and Each Other” 5:00 p.m. Sunday services, 50 Plus, Prison Ministry, Red Hatters, our annual August Clothing Drive, Holiday Gift Card Give-Away and Angel Tree Program,  and our “Feed My Sheep” food cards remain active resources for our members and community. As always, our doors remain open to all!