History of Our Local Church
The First Congregational Church of New Baltimore, U.C.C. was organized in 1856 as a missionary effort by the Eastern Association of the Michigan Division of the American Congregational Union. It was founded at the request of several residents of the town and the cooperative efforts of a few of our sister churches throughout the area.
The first meeting took place on April 29, 1856 at the Union School House in the village of Ashley. Ministers and delegates from Romeo, St. Clair, Detroit, Almont, and Chesterfield were present, along with local citizens Lancius Haskins, Maria Haskins, Elizabeth D. Terry, Laura A. Grover, Joshua Perry, Elmira Haskins, and L. Terry. The Rev. Elkannah Whitney was the minister present at the founding of the church.
There are no records for the period between January, 1859 and June, 1861. It was, however, a busy period of the church, as land on which the church was built was donated by Alfred and Euphemia Ashley, for whom the town was originally named. The church structure was built and finally dedicated on Wednesday, June 20, 1861. Churches in Bruce, Detroit, Mt. Clemens, Memphis, Lexington, and Chelsea were represented at the ceremony.
The church edifice is currently the oldest church building in constant use by one denomination in the area. The building has undergone several "face lifts" over the years and has survived two fires. Today, the Board of Trustees keeps a watchful eye on the condition of the church, mindful of the heritage that has been handed down through several generations.
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