By Rev. Gordon V. Smith
In 1842, Jesse Crowell and nine others with their wives, including Tenney Peabody, Issachor Frost, Daniel S. Bacon, William T. Carroll, Charles H. Carroll, and John McVicker, deeded the property at the corner of Erie and Clinton Streets to St. James Parish. A frame Church was built the same year and services were held by the Rev. F.C. Hodgekins. He was followed by the Rev. M. Lane. The next incumbent was the Rev. G.E. Peters who was Rector until October, 1878, when the Rev. J.J. Morton succeeded him. After the resignation of the Rev. J.J. Morton the parish was without a resident clergyman until 1883, when the Rev. Belno Brown became rector. During the winter of 1884 the old frame Church burned, with most of its records. Father Brown immediately set about to rebuild and he was rewarded in 1886 when the present very beautiful and substantial building was erected. It was not until September 10, 1900, however, that St. James Church was solemnly consecrated by the Rt. Rev. George DeNormandie Gillespie, Bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan.
Father Brown resigned in December, 1887, and was succeeded in 1888-1889 by the Rev. A. Kinney Hall, who remained until 1892, when the Rev. T. Dickinson became rector. Upon the resignation of Father Dickinson in March, 1893, the Church was without a rector, visitations being made by Bishop Gillespie and the Rev. George Bancroft, General Missionary. In 1894, the vestry called the Rev. Thomas Henley, who remained until October, 1896, when the Rev. Herman Vicborn came. He left in October, 1898. Another vacancy occurred until 1903, when T. DeWitt Tanner was appointed lay-reader. Father Tanner was ordained while serving here and remained until 1907. In 1910, the Rev. Frederick Thompson, Ph.D., took charge for one month until the arrival of the Rev. Lawrence A.S.R. Rose as rector. Since the resignation of Father Rose in 1913, the Rev. Messrs. Lawrence Grant, William Fenwick Bachman, Percy Deacon, Walter Gordon Craig, and Robert Francis Hill have been in charge for varying periods. Upon the resignation of Father Hill in February, 1930, the Church was again closed.
The first Sunday of July, 1931, marked the reopening of the Church under the Rev. Gordon V. Smith. Since the time St. James seems to have taken a change for the better. Attendance at services has increased and the whole life of the parish has taken new life. Several improvements in the fabric of the Church have been made. We hope and pray that St. James will continue to be a source of spiritual strength in the community as it has been for the past 89 years.
Source: Miriam Krenerick, Milestones and Memories, 1932. 133-134
Image Source: James B. Field, Souvenir of the City of Albion, 1894.
In 1842 Jesse Crowell and nine others with their wives, deeded the propertyat the corner of Erie and Clinton Streets to St. James Parish. A frame churchwas built the same year and services were held by the Rev. F.C. Hodgekins.During the winter of 1884 the old church building burned with most of itsrecords. Father Brown immediately set about to rebuild and he was rewarded whenthe very beautiful and substantial building was erected in 1886. It was notuntil September 10, 1900 that St. James Church was consecrated. F135
Source: Miriam Krenerick. Albion’sMilestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932.