Bay City in Bay County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
First Presbyterian Church
In 1848, James G. Birney and his wife led Bay City's earliest Presbyterian services in a schoolhouse. Birney, an elder in the church, twice ran unsuccessfully for president on the antislavery ticket. The Reverend Lucius Root organized the First Presbyterian Church of Lower Saginaw on September 5, 1856. Services continued to be held in the schoolhouse and other public buildings until the first church was built in 1863. In 1886 church elder Alexander Folsom donated $50,000 for the founding of a college in "northern" Michigan. His donation funded the organization of Alma College. In 1906 the college established the J. Ambrose Wight Memorial Fund scholarship in honor of First Presbyterian's minister.
In 1884 the Reverend J. Ambrose Wight challenged the members of the First Presbyterian Church to "go forward and build a church that will be a lasting gift to the future." The Reverend Wight (1811-1889) feared that Bay City's prosperity, gained through the lumber and salt industries, would not last. When the church was dedicated on June 4, 1893, the Bay City Times-Press declared it a "Magnificent
Erected 2000 by Michigan Historical Center, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number L2084.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list.
Location. 43° 35.864′ N, 83° 52.927′ W. Marker is in Bay City, Michigan, in Bay County. Marker is at the intersection of Center Avenue (State Highway 25) and North Jackson Street, on the right when traveling west on Center Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 805 Center Avenue, Bay City MI 48708, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. George H. & Elva Shearer House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Trinity Church/Trinity Episcopal Church (about 500 feet away); Center Avenue (about 500 feet away); Charles B. & Georgiana (McGraw) Curtiss House (about 500 feet away); Cross Country Connections Keit's Florist (approx. 0.3 miles away); "Ten Hours or No Sawdust" (approx. 0.4 miles away); Abraham Lincoln (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bay City.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2010, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 616 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 28, 2010, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.