from Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society Collections
Volume 22 (1894) pages 624-625
FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST
PRELIMINARY NOTE BY REV. C. W. BIRD, THE
On Saturday, February 4, 1893, the Portland Congregational church celebrated the
completion of fifty years of her history.
It had been
determined weeks before that the day should not pass by without some notice, and
the following is an outline of what finally transpired:
morning after the usual devotional exercises under the conduct of the pastor,
prayer being offered by Rev. L. P. Spelman, the congregation listened to a very
interesting sketch of the first deacon of the church, Baruch G. Cooley. This was
prepared and delivered by A. F. Morehouse, Esq., a resident of Portland, who was
personally acquainted with the deacon in earlier years.
congratulation and reminiscence from former pastors still living were read,
including one from Rev. L. M. S. Smith, the organizer and first pastor of the
church; from Rev. David Wirt, Rev. A. Marsh, Rev. J. L. Maile, from the wife of
Rev. R. G. Baird (deceased), and from the daughter of Rev. S. Sessions
(deceased.) A letter from Rev. D. P. Breed was received too late to be read at
Spooner, a pioneer missionary in this part of the State and first pastor of the
Congregational church at Greenville, also sent a letter which was read with the
others. Rev. S. G. Anderson, pastor of the Baptist church, Portland, also
extended congratulations and good wishes.
At noon over
fifty of the members and guests of the church came together at the parsonage and
partook of a bountiful dinner prepared by the ladies of the industrial society.
afternoon after the hymns, anthem, responsive readings, with prayer by Rev. D.
E. Millard, an esteemed brother residing in the village, came the historical
sermon by Mr. Spelman (who had the longest pastorate the church has enjoyed),
which is here printed in full, together with some statements of facts added
subsequent to delivery.
would not be complete without mention of the communion service on the following
morning which was a season of precious interest to all who were present. Rev.
Mr. Spelman spoke on that occasion very earnestly and appropriately, and again
in the evening, giving a very able and practical sermon. The entire occasion was
one of great interest and profit, encouraging the church to look forward with
increased unity and hopefulness to the work which God has for her to do in the
December 06, 2012