First (Park) Congregational Church
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 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
Erected 1985 by Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number L850A.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
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 Place NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503, United States of America.
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); Kent County Civil War Monument & Fountain (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ladies Literary Club (approx. 0.2 miles away); McCabe-Marlowe House (approx. ¼ mile away); Central High School (approx. 0.4 miles away); Central Reformed Church (approx. half a mile away); Voigt House (approx. half a mile away); The Castle (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grand Rapids.
Categories. • Churches & Religion •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 27, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 26, 2016, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 99 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 26, 2016, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.