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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richland in Kalamazoo County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The First Presbyterian Church

American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Site

 
 
The First Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 17, 2013
1. The First Presbyterian Church Marker
(Side One)
Inscription.

(Side One)
Settlers from Hudson, Ohio, came to the Richland area (then known as Gull Prairie) in 1830. A year later, a Presbyterian congregation was organized. Established under the 1801 Plan of Union adopted by the Presbyterians and Congregationalists for churches west of New York, the church originally served both denominations. The early "Presbygationalists" worshiped in the log homes of the settlers until they built their first house of worship, a wood frame structure completed in 1837, on this site.

(Side Two)
Dedicated on February 27, 1861, during the pastorate of Milton Bradley, this is the First Presbyterian congregation's second church. William Doolittle and Stephen Patrick built the Greek Revival frame edifice with its round-headed Italianate doors and windows at a cost of $7,000. The original bell cracked and was replaced by the present one in 1881. Until 1886 a slender ornate steeple stood thirty feet higher than today's tower. The interior was altered in 1952, but the original pews remain.
 
Erected 1981 by Michigan History Division, Department of State. (Marker Number L835A/368.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
 
Location.
The First Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 17, 2013
2. The First Presbyterian Church Marker
(Side Two)
42° 22.622′ N, 85° 27.388′ W. Marker is in Richland, Michigan, in Kalamazoo County. Marker is on Park Street west of N. 32nd Street (Michigan Highway 43), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8047 Park Street, Richland MI 49083, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Community Library (a few steps from this marker); First Religious Service in Kalamazoo County (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); W.K. Kellogg House (approx. 3.4 miles away); Barn Theatre (approx. 5.6 miles away); Park Theatre (approx. 6.1 miles away); William Rufus Shafter Memorial (approx. 6.4 miles away); U.S.S. Maine Memorial (approx. 6.4 miles away); Congregational United Church of Christ (approx. 6.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richland.
 
Regarding The First Presbyterian Church. First Presbyterian Church is one of 445 American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Sites registered between 1973 and 2003 by the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS), headquartered in Philadelphia. Approved sites received a metal plaque featuring John Calvin’s seal and the site’s registry number (PHS marker location unknown).

The following text is taken from the Presbyterian Historical Society website:

In
The First Presbyterian Church image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 17, 2013
3. The First Presbyterian Church
1830, John Barnes and Seldon Norton conducted the first religious service in Kalamazoo County, Michigan Territory. A year later the settlers organized a formal church in a family cabin. The congregation erected its first building in 1837, the same year Michigan officially became a state. In 1842, church members purchased an 800-lb bell from the Meneely Bell Foundry of West Troy, New York. In 1845, an associate of Andrew Meneely’s tried to steal the bell back because the congregation was unable to pay the full price. In time, the congregation paid off the debt on the bell. The Meneely bell later cracked and was replaced in 1881 by one still ringing today.

 
Categories. Churches & Religion
 
The First Presbyterian Church image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 17, 2013
4. The First Presbyterian Church
The round-headed Italianate windows
on the north side of the church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 7, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 26, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 317 times since then and 26 times this year. Last updated on August 21, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 26, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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