Description: This is an asymmetrical structure consisting of a
connected church, chapel, education center, and courtyard. The unadorned walls are made of red brick,
and the rooflines are flat. An angled
arch extends from the ground to the roof, framing the front doors of the
church. Rectangular colored windows fill
the remaining space in the arch. Farther
from the street, the building widens in increments, the space being filled with
narrow rows of colored glass from ground to roofline. To the east of the church is a courtyard,
enclosed by square brick columns supporting a narrow roof. The connecting meeting area and education
center are one and two story additions wrapping around the courtyard. The chapel, which is of similar architecture,
is connected east of this.
Construction Date: 1969
Architect/Builder: Harry J. Harmon
history of this congregation began in 1838.
In that year, Alason Sheley,
owner of a saw mill on Black River, and Dr. Justin Rice,
physician at Fort Gratiot built a Sunday School building with the financial support of local
citizenry. Rev. Oren Thompson became
the first resident minister in 1840. The
church organized and became the 23rd Congregational Church founded in Michigan. In 1844 the building was moved to the
southwest corner of Fort and Butler Streets and enlarged. Membership grew, and a new brick church was
built on the southwest corner of Seventh and Wall Streets in 1859. Major renovations took place in 1886 and
1948. A Christian Education Building and an All Faiths Chapel,
designed by local architects Wyeth and Harman, were
constructed in 1954. The old church was
demolished and a new church, designed by Harry J. Harmon, was built and
dedicated in 1969. Harry Harmon was a
noted local architect. His other projects
included the St. Clair County Library, Clara E. Mackenzie Library, Al J. Theisen Science and Technological Center, McMorran
Junior Sports Arena, Salvation Army Citadel, and other buildings. Water H. Wyeths was
a noted local architect, whose other works included the St. Clair Inn, Emory L.
Ford Estate (Wingford) near Avoca, YMCA, Sperry Building, and other buildings.