Kalamazoo in Kalamazoo County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
First Baptist Church
Constructed in 1853, this is the oldest church building in Kalamazoo. Titus Bronson, the city’s founder, donated this site on Church Square. The Baptist faith reached the Kalamazoo River Valley in 1826 when missionary Leonard Slater preached to the Indians. In 1836 fourteen settlers led by Jeremiah Hall, a Baptist minister from Vermont, met in the home of Ezekiel Ransom to organize the First Baptist Church.
The history of the First Baptist Church and Kalamazoo College are closely interwoven. The same year that the church was organized, the Reverend Jeremiah Hall persuaded the Michigan and Huron Institute, now Kalamazoo College, to settle in this city. The second pastor, Dr. James H.B. Stone, was an early president of the college and many of his successors in that office have been active in this congregation. Over the years the First Baptist Church has served as the parent church of several parishes in outlying areas.
Erected 1977 by Michigan History Division, Department of State. (Marker Number L338.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & ReligionMichigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1853.
Location. 42° 17.487′ N, 85° 35.172′ W. Marker is in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in Kalamazoo County. Marker is at the intersection of West Michigan Avenue and South Church Street, on the right when traveling east on West Michigan Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo MI 49007, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kalamazoo Disabled Veterans Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Kalamazoo Case: Establishing High School for All (about 300 feet away); Spanish War Veterans Monument (about 400 feet away); In Memoriam U.S.S Maine (about 400 feet away); Kalamazoo Korean War Memorial (about 500 feet away); First United Methodist Church (about 500 feet away); Kalamazoo Vietnam War Memorial (about 500 feet away); Kalamazoo 9/11 Memorial (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kalamazoo.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 18, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 414 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on October 20, 2022, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 18, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. 7. submitted on November 11, 2014.