from Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society Collections Volume 22 (1894) pages 624-625

1843-1893

FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH,
PORTLAND, MICHIGAN

PRELIMINARY NOTE BY REV. C. W. BIRD, THE PRESENT PASTOR

 

            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:
            In the 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.
            Letters of 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 the meeting.
            Rev. Chas. 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.
            In the 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.
            This note 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 future.

 

Last update December 06, 2012