Richland in Kalamazoo County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The First Presbyterian Church
American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Site
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.
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
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the American Presbyterian and Reformed Historic Sites, and the Michigan Historical Commission series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1910.
Location. 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. Touch for directions.
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); Thomas’ Mills (approx. 3.8 miles away); Welcome to the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary (approx. 3.8 miles away); Barn Theatre (approx. 5.6 miles away); Casey McKay (approx. 6.1 miles away); Park Theatre (approx. 6.1 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
The following text is taken from the Presbyterian Historical Society website:
In 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 7, 2018. It was originally submitted on September 26, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 385 times since then and 15 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.