DEARBORN — Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church will celebrate 75 years of mission and ministry to the community Sept. 10.
The day will include a festive anniversary worship service with former associate minister, the Rev. Jim Russell, as guest speaker, along with special music for choir, organ and bagpipes. Also participating in the service will be the Rev. Allen Timm, executive presbyter of the Presbyter of Detroit, and the Rev. Mark Phillips, the church’s current minister.
Formed in 1942, Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church began when a young United Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Frank Irvine, accepted a call from the Board of American Missions of the United Presbyterian Church of North America to move to Dearborn from Pueblo, Colo., to start a mission church. Littlefield Presbyterian Church in east Dearborn was also instrumental in its helping.
It was almost six years before Cherry Hill worshipers had a building of their own. Until then, Sunday services, classes and other activities were held at Lindbergh Elementary School, near the church’s present location.
With the chapel completed in 1948, the church school grew rapidly, and by 1950, plans were made for an education building to be constructed adjacent to and connecting with the chapel. The addition was dedicated in 1953.
By 1955, physical resources of the church were again strained, and another building committee was formed to plan and supervise construction of the church sanctuary. The building of colonial design was dedicated in June 1958, and only months later, the Austin pipe organ was installed and dedicated.
Irvine served the church through three major building programs with the last one completed in 1970. It included an addition at the rear of the sanctuary as well as improvements to the existing building.
Over the past 75 years, hundreds, if not thousands, of children and young people have passed through the church’s doors to attend Sunday school and participate in youth activities. At its height Cherry Hill had a membership of more than 2,600.
For many years, the church has continued to serve as home for the Dearborn Pastoral Counseling Center; Scout Troop 1111; and C.H.U.P., a co-op nursery school which also is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Today, Cherry Hill operates the Helping Hand Food Pantry to assist those in need of food and provides meeting space for several community groups.
Last year, the church introduced a new concert series, Music at Cherry Hill, which brings national and international artists in concert for the community’s enjoyment. The second season will begin on Sept. 17, as the church continues to seek new ways to move forward in ministry, mission, witness and worship.
In the words of Irvine, “All are welcome at Cherry Hill, for the doors of this church are as wide as God’s love.”
For more information about Cherry Hill Presbyterian, at 24110 Cherry Hill Road, go to www.CherryHillChurch.org or call 313-563-4800.