Older Established Churches Bearing Fruit in Michigan


By: Jim Lacy

King David prayed that he "... would bear fruit in old age." This is a great prayer for our established churches. Oftewn we see churches peak in their fruitfulness after 40+ years. However here are a few blessed exceptions in Michigan.


The first church established by Converge in Michigan 143 years ago is First Baptist of Manistee.  When originally planted the services were in Swedish, of course.  Under the direction of Pastor George Butler the church continues to progress in its witness to the Manistee area.  Special blessings have come in the form of several men being prepared at the church for future full time ministry, including chaplaincy and preaching ministries.


Temple Hill Baptist of Cadillac, Pastor Jack Miller, is over 125 years old and growing.  Because Temple Hill often has over 300 morning worshipers (in an auditorium which maxes out at 325), they are currently looking at building expansion plans (as well as multiple service options).


Cornerstone Baptist of Ludington was founded 138 years ago and has undergone several name changes (being Washington Ave. Baptist before building the new Cornerstone facility).  Pastor Jim Peterson has served there for two years (following many years of fruitful service by Pastor Jim Carlson) and the church has now grown to fill the majority of their 700 seat auditorium.



Interestingly, in 2013 two established chuches with rich histories joined Converge MidAmerica. Sparta Baptist Church, Pastor Nate Wagner, is over 125 years old and currently overflowing with young families and children.  Berean Baptist Church of Grand Rapids, MI is 122 years old, and growing, with an aggressive worldwide missions porgram with one third of their budget committed to missions. This year they are taking a team of 12 high school students to Nicaragua and also a team of 14 young adults to India. The new pastor of Berean Baptist Church, Marcus Little, is currently moving from California and will begin his pulpit ministry on March 23rd.




Michigan, Church Health, Jim Lacy