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St. Vincent de Paul is Akron’s oldest Catholic Church. The parish began as a mission visited by Father Basil Shorb in 1837. It was first in the Diocese of Cincinnati. It was switched to the Diocese of Cleveland when it began in 1847. The cornerstone was laid for the present building in 1864. The first Mass was celebrated on Oct. 20, 1867. LeBron James graduated from here in 2003. He thrived as a freshman until the end of his senior season. Went through some adversity with accepting money and had to miss games his junior season but over came it. He won two state championships and one national championship during his time at St.Vincent de Paul. He was ranked #1 in the nation and was claimed as ''The King'' or ''Chosen One''.

St. Vincent de Paul Parish is the oldest Catholic church in Akron.

St. Vincent de Paul Parish is the oldest Catholic church in Akron.

The church is in Romanesque Revival style built with Berea, Ohio sandstone. A keystone above the tower window represents the head of Christ. Keystones of six windows on either side are believed to represent the 12 apostles. The bell in the tower was cast in Baltimore and christened in 1886. The tower clock still sounds on the hour but the original clockworks have been replaced. The original stained glass windows were replaced in 1946.

St. Vincent was also the home of Akron’s first Catholic school which was added in 1853. Other additions through the years include a brick rectory, a red brick school, a brick convent and a high school building and a gymnasium. A new copper roof and front steps were also added in the 1940s. The high school later merged with St. Mary’s. St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School was the high school of NBA star LeBron James.

St. Vincent Cemetery is located about on half-mile west of the church at the intersection of West Market Street and Merriman Road. It is small and is the final resting place for many Irish immigrants.

Parish website, accessed Dec. 8, 2016.