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 Temple." Like the City Hall, which was build four years later, the Ionia sandstone church was designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style by local architects Pratt and Koeppe, and reflects Bay
Erected 2000 by Michigan Historical Center, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number L2084.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
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.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Trinity Church/Trinity Episcopal Church (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Center Avenue (about 500 feet away); Charles B. & Georgiana (McGraw) Curtiss House (about 500 feet away); "Ten Hours or No Sawdust" (approx. 0.4 miles away); Theodore H. Roethke Childhood Home / Theodore H. Roethke (approx. 13.7 miles away); The Bavarian Colony of Frankenhilf (approx. 16.6 miles away); Frankenhilf (approx. 16.6 miles away).
Categories. • Churches & Religion •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 28, 2010, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 561 times since then and 14 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.