VIDEO: Final Days of Pilgrim Collegiate Church, Youngstown, Ohio – Dec. 6, 2012

Pilgrim Collegiate, main entrance, Wick Avenue, Dec. 6, 2012. Electronic image by Mark Peyko for Metro Monthly.

Pilgrim Collegiate, facing Wick Avenue, Dec. 6, 2012

Pilgrim Collegiate, main entrance, Wick Avenue, Dec. 6, 2012. Electronic image by Mark Peyko for Metro Monthly.

This Metro Monthly video feature focuses on the final days of Pilgrim Collegiate Church, which Youngstown State University plans to raze later this month. The segment is narrated by Mark Peyko, editor of  the Metro Monthly, and was filmed on Dec. 6, 2012.

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  1. Claudia Belsan Woodard says:

    How sad that the church is gone. My father, Rev. Richard Belsan, was minister at the church from 1958 until the early 1990’s. He also taught at YSU. It was such a beautiful building. Feels like home to me, and no longer there.


  2. Jeff Schoch says:

    Any idea if the stained-glass windows were spared?


  3. Sherry Williams Milligan says:

    My family also attended the church there. My mother, now 86, grew up in the church there. The windows were beautiful, real works of art. Claudia, good to see your comments above. Rev. Belsan confirmed me and married me. We brought my daughter up from Texas to be baptized there. It was a special building, fun for kids to run and hide in, many sacred areas within the sanctuary. So sad to see it razed.


  4. Rick Zaborsky says:

    I began attending the church at age 14 to play on the men’s softball and basketball teams, and it was my church for 17 years prior to my move to Dublin, Ohio. I have so many fond memories of the church itself and so many wonderful people whom I knew during my time there. As a YSU student, it was a great benefit to be able to park in the church parking lot. One winter day, I completed my last class and started my car to drive home, but I was hopelessly stuck in the snow. I recall that Reverend Belsan came out of the church and helped me to “rock” my car multiple times to get me on my way. It was my privilege to be a long-time usher, and a “junior” deacon. The final time that I was in the church was for Todd Belsan’s wedding. The building was very traditional with an aura of holiness , and I loved the organ, and the choir loft behind the pulpit. PCC (that’s what was on our softball shirts and basketball jerseys) had a tremendous impact on me, and I still recall and tell others about some of the excellent sermons delivered by Dr. Belsan; his recurrent “attitude of gratitude” teaching is something that has stuck with me throughout life.


  5. I was involved with the Collegiate demolition. I was hired by the person who had bought the salvage rights to the building to cut up the steel piping for scrap. I am a steel industry preservationist and when I discovered that most of the piping was made by Youngstown Sheet & Tube and Republic Steel in Youngstown I started salvaging more pipe that I was scrapping. That old pipe has either “Youngstown” or “Republic” rolled into it about every three feet, so I cut out those sections of pipe. The new section of the building also had conduit made by YS&T, so I salvaged as much of that as I could.

    All of the stained glass was salvaged, as were the ends of the pews. I even cut out a piece of the hardwood wall paneling to give to a YSU professor who stopped by one day when I was there. Mark you filmed this video about the same time I was doing work there.


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