Past Places of Worship
305 E. Porter St
The First Presbyterian Church of Albion, Michigan, was organized in the old Albion Hotel (now destroyed) by Rev. Calvin Clark. Application having been made to the St. Joseph Presbytery. On Sunday afternoon, February 5, 1837, a meeting was held in the Red School House, 24 persons had presented letters and were organized into a church. Meetings were held in the School House, and in 1839, the Society purchased the corner lot on West Erie and Clinton Street, directly west of the St. James Church and began the building of a church. In 1840 it was completed and a few years later, was owned and occupied by the German Lutheran Church.
In May, 1857, the building of a new church was commenced upon the present location. The corner-stone was laid in June and the church finished the following summer, dedicated, August 26, 1858. The Society carried heavy debt for years, but it was finally cleared and the new basement finished and furnished and services held on Sunday, January 2, 1870. A few years later the auditorium was finished. In 1871 a bell was purchased. Everything was progressing nicely until Sunday morning, February 9, 1873, the church was entirely destroyed by fire. While the church was still burning a little boy came to the pastor and gave him the following note: “Dear Mr. Cooper: I want to give you these 21 cents, all I have in my savings bank, to help build your new church. Signed, H.H.B.” These 21 cents were placed in the cornerstone where they remain today.
For a year meetings were held in Howard Hall, then on September 16, the laying of the new cornerstone took place. Sunday, March 24, 1874, the basement was dedicated and services held there six years, then on Sunday, November 16, 1879, the auditorium room was finished and services began there. In 1880 a fine pipe organ was purchased.
Then on the night of October 6, 1883, the second fire occurred and everything was destroyed but the brick walls. This time it was insured and the work of re-building commenced at once and on Sunday, February 3, 1884, services were again held in the basement. In the summer the church was finished and dedicated Sunday, August 10, 1884, and the last 47 years we have held services in the same little church. The various societies are prosperous and with earnest work and hearty cooperation, we hope and pray much more may be done in the future than has been done in the past.
The church has had 23 ministers and 36 elders in 94 years: Elias Childs, John L. Marvin, Alexander Trotter, Calvin Clark, Marvin Hawley, Mills B. Gelson, Maltby Gelston, Jeremiah Odell, James Vincent, Joel Kennedy, David U. Cooper, Edward H. Harvey, Henry E. Mott, Evert Vander Hart, Willis E. Parsons, Richard Wightman, Fred G. Cadwell, William T. Jacques, Charles E. Scott, Charles E. Huffer, A.E. Cameron, A.W. Wolfe, and S. Conger Hathaway, comprise the list of ministers.
The elders are: William C. White, Sylvanus Parkinson, L.B. Horton, Charles Hancock, Jesse Gardener, E.H. Johnson, John D. Olcott, James Barber, L. Humphrey, S.L. Barker, John S. Brown, E.O. Grosvenor, John Fleming, Henry Barnes, Jesse O. Wade, Edwin Rockwell, Ira W. Reed, Charles Holmes, Newell Fleming, L.D. Crane, William Boyd, Henry Van Ostrander, Robert Shipman, R.A. Torrey, R.L. Esterbrook, E.F. Mills, S.A. Wilder, Dr. J.L. Ramsdell, F.J. Herrick, W.F. Ford, A.A. Dibble, W.H. Barney, H.M. Brown, M.B. Murray, C.E. Werner, and J.A. Gibbs. William Boyd was the honor elder, serving from 1876 until his death in 1915
Source: Mrs. S.M. Reed in Miriam Krenerick, Milestones and Memories, 1932. 131-132