Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, May 5, 2019, pg. 4
It is always sad to hear about a church closing, but this closing is even more painful as this particular one goes back to Albionís founding in the 1830s. On Sunday, April 28 at 3 pm. the First Presbyterian Church in Albion held its final service before closing its doors. This church was one of Albionís original four churches, (Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian) and dates back to the very beginning of our history at "The Forks." A circuit-riding minister, Rev. Calvin Clark (1805-1877 Findagrave #88304505) began Presbyterian meetings here in 1835. By 1837, local attendance had grown to 24 persons, and it was decided to officially organize the church.
The congregation teamed up with the other church groups in town and jointly raised $100 to erect a community meeting place and school house. Named the "Little Red Schoolhouse," it was located on the east side of the 600 block of S. Superior St. on the present-day site of a former gas station turned into an office building. It was here that the First Presbyterian Church of Albion was officially organized on February 5, 1837. The first minister was Rev. Elias Childs, who served from 1837 to 1839.
The original founding members were: Bostwick and Olive Brown, William and Betsey White, Sylvanus and Betsey Parkinson, Peter and Rozella Young, Vine and Polly Markham, John Montcalm, Laban and Eunice Horton, Oliver and Henrietta Barnes, Margaret Tichenor, Michael S. Brown, Lucy Pool, Nancy Holmes, Mary White, Harriet White, Eliza Young, Moses Holden, and Polly Dutton.
If you want to learn more, a good history of the church was written in a book authored by the late John Kinney entitled "First Presbyterian Church, Albion, Michigan. A Sesquicentennial History 1837-1987." There you can read about the various building projects, the list of ministers, featured members, and many other details. The erection of an education wing in 1956 greatly improved the churchís participation in community events. It was here that the Albion Day Care Center was organized in 1965 and operated until moving to its own headquarters in 1972.
And so, we say goodbye to this respected Albion church. The First Presbyterian Church of Albion has been there, providing spiritual guidance and fellowship to generation after generation during Albionís 185 years-or-so of existence. It will be sorely missed. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1911 winter scene view of the church. How many of our readers have attended some type of function at the First Presbyterian Church in Albion?
The Presbyterian Church in 1911
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic