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Grand Rapids in Kent County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

First (Park) Congregational Church

 
 
First (Park) Congregational Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J.T. Lambrou
1. First (Park) Congregational Church Marker
Inscription.  On September 18, 1836, twenty-two persons, under the direction of the Reverend Silas Woodbury of Kalamazoo, founded one of the first Protestant congregations in Grand Rapids. Initially a Presbyterian parish, the church was reorganized under the Congregational polity in 1839, with the Reverend James Ballard as pastor. For the next two years, services were held in various structures around town. During 1842 - 1869, the church occupied a wooden, former Roman Catholic chapel on the corner of Division and Monroe. The present church was completed in 1869. First (Park) Congregational Church was instrumental in founding a Reformed Protestant Dutch, a Presbyterian and ten Congregational churches in the area.

This handsome yellow-brick Gothic style structure is the second oldest existing church building in Grand Rapids. Erected between 1867 and 1869, it was designed by A. Barrows of Adrian, Michigan and Chicago. Among the church's notable features are its Tiffany stained-glass windows and its stately corner tower. The unusual second floor worship area is adorned with delicate art work and an ornately carved wood reredos designed by Alois Lang. The

First (Park) Congregational Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Pfingsten, November 21, 2016
2. First (Park) Congregational Church Marker
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church complex now consists of the original 1867-69 church, a 1916 fellowship hall, and a 1950 addition comprising a narthex, chapel, offices, and church school rooms. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
 
Erected 1985 by Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number L0850A.)
 
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. A significant historical year for this entry is 1836.
 
Location. 42° 57.84′ N, 85° 39.952′ W. Marker is in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in Kent County. Marker is on East Park Place NE. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10 East Park Pl NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Grand Rapids Veterans Memorial and Honor Roll (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Cecilia Music Society (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Roger B. Chaffee (about 400 feet away); Kent County Civil War Monument & Fountain (about 500 feet away); Fountain Street Baptist Church / Fountain Street Church (about 600 feet away); Ladies Literary Club (approx. 0.2 miles away); Paul Steketee & Sons (approx. 0.2 miles away); McCabe-Marlowe House (approx. Ό mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grand Rapids.
 
First (Park) Congregational Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J.T. Lambrou
3. First (Park) Congregational Church Marker
There is an additional wall mounted marker on the eastern end of the church off Ransom Avenue.
First (Park) Congregational Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Pfingsten, November 21, 2016
4. First (Park) Congregational Church
Additional plaques
First (Park) Congregational Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Pfingsten, November 21, 2016
5. First (Park) Congregational Church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 26, 2016, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 287 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 3, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan.   2. submitted on November 26, 2016, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   3. submitted on July 3, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan.   4, 5. submitted on November 26, 2016, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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Jan. 31, 2023