Historical Sketch of CCC
Creator: Detroit Tribune
Subjects: Historic Designation
Description: Article written by the Detroit Tribune about the history of the Central Church of Christ.
Date: September 24, 1890
Original Format: Newspaper Clipping
Rights Management: Detroit Tribune
Contributing Institution: Array
Contributor: Brett Boor
Transcript: Historical Sketch of the Central Church of Christ
Detroit, Michigan from July 1842 to Sept. 24th, 1890
This appeared on paper with a letterhead as follows: The Leading Michigan Newspaper (Established 1829) The Detroit Tribune
James H. Stone, President & ManagerJames W. Hine Vice President
James S. Barstow, Secy & Treas.
Published by the Tribune Printing Co.
Previous to July, 1842, a few earnest disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, true to the principles that had called them out of their sectarianism of their day, had met regularly from house to house, for the worship of God, and the observance of the Lord's Supper on every first day of the week. Joseph Hawley and his family consisting of his wife Rebecca and their sons Joseph and Richard and their daughter Sara, with their wives and children, together with Thomas Christian his wife and family, John and Archibald Duncan with their wives, Mrs. John Foster, with her sons and others whose names are not recalled, in all about twenty persons thus assembled from week to week. In July, 1842, their numbers were increased by the arrival from Scotland of William Linn and his wife Jean Ralston Linn, with their sons and daughters as follows: Calvin Campbell and his wife Caroline Linn Campbell, Alexander Linn and his wife Helen Lambie Linn, with their infant children; Thomas Lin, Robert W. Linn and Jeanette Linn, Thomas C. Scott who later removed to Toronto, Canada, James Donaldson and his wife, and perhaps a few others, possibly John E. Dixon and wife,--these added great strength to the working force, and immediately the Cause became strengthened. During the administration of Governor Mason of Michigan an earnest Disciple, an effort was made to establish the cause on permanent foundations, and the Capitol Building where now stands the HIgh School at the head of Griswold Street, was placed at the disposal of the brethren and Bro. Nay was called to preach for the Congregation. The work flourished for a time, but owing to the death of Gov. Mason, and the departure of Bro. Nay the church was thrown out of a meeting house, and resumed their assemblies in private houses. For some years they thus met, in private houses, private halls, first one place then another, until about the year 1852 when the building known as the Institute on Jefferson Avenue near St. Antoine Street was secured as a permanent place of worship, and Elder Eli Regal of Ohio was installed as Pastor of thechurch. Here the Cause flourished for four years until the termination of Bro. Regal's labors among us. At this time Bro. Joseph Hawleyand his family removed from the city, Bro. John E. Dixon and his wife, Bro. Alexander Linn and family and Robert W. Linn removed to Newport, now Marine City, the elder Sister Hawley died, and her husband returned to England, and other changes so materially reduced the strength of the church that it again resorted to hired halls, and for some years met in the old Odd Fellows Hall on Woodward Ave., finally landing in the old City Hall on Campus Martins where now stands the Central Public Market on Cadillac Square. Here they met until the summer of 1862, when Colin Campbell and Richard Hawley, restive under the lack of progress, determined that something must be done. Some years previously a lot had been purchased on the corner of Miami Ave. and Gratiot St., but the panic of 1857 made building impracticable and the lot was sold. As before said an effor was now made (1862) to accomplish something in the way of permanency, but the movement met with such determined opposition from Bro. Alexander Linn and others that they with a number of others withdrew from the church and organized a new church, which met in the Hawley Block for a time. Brethren Campbell and Hawley, then purchased the old Congregational Church, on the S. W. Cor. of Jefferson Ave. and Beaubien Street, and invited Bro. Isaac Errett of Ionia, Mich.m to the oversight of the Church. This he accepted and in 1863, he began his work in Detroit. For the first time in its history the church had now a house of its own. At once Bro. Errett's influence was felt in this community, and soon the house was thronged both morning and evening to hear the great preacher. Under his ministry the church prospered greatly. Over two hundred persons being added to the church the first year without any protracted effort. Almost ever Lord's Day from three to five persons would be immersed and added to its membership. So the work went well into the second year when Bro. Errett was prevailed upon to establish a weekly religious paper in the interest of our plea for Christian Union. The Christian Standard was thus begun and founded by its illustrious editor. Bro. W.T. Moore of Kentucky succeeded Bro. Errett and grandly carried on the work so well begun. The interest was unabated and large numbers were converted through his preaching. After two years Bro. Moore was called to another field of labor though during his ministry a union had been effected between the Jeff. Ave. church, and the Howard Street church, who had removed from the City Hall after the division previously noted.Bro. A. I. Hobbs, succeeded Bro. Moore, and continued the good work. After about two years labor, he foresaw that antagonistic elements had been brought together by the Union of repellant elements, and he resigned rather than remain and stand in the way of harmony. Bro. Thomas F. Berry became the nest Pastor of the CHurch, and during his ministry the storm which had been brewing broke, and the church was divided into three parts. Insubordination had done its dire work. The principal members of the HOward St. Church were excluded for unruly conduct and went off and built a house at the corner of Fourth and Plum Sts. The church proper was compelled to vacate the Jeff. Ave. Church rather than become involved in a law suit to retain their just property rights. Richard Hawley retained possession of the property and for some years continued services in the old building. There church then met in St. Andrews Hall for some time under the faithful ministry of Bro. Matthew S. Clapp formerly of Mentor, Ohio. Here they worshipped until about the year 1870 when the old Scotch Presbyterian Church, a frame structure was purchased by Colin Campbell and Thomas Linn and was moved to a lot on the West Side of Washington Ave. between State St. and Grand River Avenue, where the congregation is now worshiping at this date. After some years of peace and comparative prosperity, the Jefferson Ave. church disbanded and most of the members united with the Washington Ave. Church. Not long after this Bro. Clapp died at his home on Sibley Street sincerely mourned for his many noble qualities.Bro. Gilbert J. Ellis just from Bethany College, became our next Pastor and for about 6 years labored acceptably for the church. He was followed by Bro. Geo. Clendenning, and he by Bro. Thos. D. Butler, both of whom were estimable men. After Bro. Butler's ministry the church remained several years without a preacher, maintaining its order of worship under many discouragements. In July 1883, Bro. W. B. Thomson of Wheeling W. Va., who was called to the oversight of the church, entered upon his labors, and a new era of prosperity began. Early in the present year negotiations for the sale of our Washington Ave. property finally culminated in its purchase for $24,000.00, and the site at the corner of Second Ave. and Ledyard St. was bought for $10,500.00 upon which to build the edifice whose Corner Stone we lay today. Plans and specifications were prepared by Bro. Malcomson, and his partner Mr. Higginbotham and the work of building was begun at once. So in this new home for public worship, and for the proclamation fo the gospel of our blessed Lord, the Congregation of Disciples of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for the third time in a history, covering a period of nearly 50 years, enters into a church of its own, adapted to its wants and requirements, where the advocacy of a return to the faith and simplicity of primitive Christianity, and the UNion of the people of God upon the bible alone as a rule of faith and practice, will be faithfully maintained. This stone was laid by the oldest living member of the church, sister Caroline Linn Campbell whose husband and brother made it possible for us to enjoy the fruit of their labor and self sacrifice. And when the Saviour shall come again to receive his church as a bride adorned for her husband, may he find the members of this church truly members of his body, a spiritual temple made meet for glorification before our Father and the Holy Angels. So may it be. John M. L. Campbell. Detroit Sept. 24th A.D. 1890.
Officers of the Church
Pastor William B. Thomson
Elders Maurice Marr, and Dr. James A. Post
Deacons Henry Wineman, Edwin H. Hayes, John W. Amphlett, James H. Donaldson, Geo. S. Hammond, Arthur N. Stall, William H. Rogers, F. H. Cozzens
Honorary Deacons John Hude, Fred. Linsell
Building Committee: Dr. James A. Post, Chairman, W.D. Harrah, Henry Wineman, Fred Linsell, John H. Mitchell, Geo. S. Hammond
Architects Malcomson and Higginbotham
Church Clerk John M.L. Campbell