the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 148-149
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Churches -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Township -- History

Bloomfield Township (Mich.) -- Religious life


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part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

text, image


THE STAUNCHLY RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY OF "PIETY HILL" The name "Piety Hill," bestowed on Birmingham in its infancy, smacks of derision. Perhaps the fact that there were three competing taverns and three competing religions in the early days had something to do with it. Each of our pioneer families brought with them seeds from farm and garden, and seeds of their deep religious beliefs. The history of organized worship here started with the preaching of an itinerant Methodist minister in Willits' tavern in 1821. Dr. Ezra Parke, also a Methodist, began conducting services in his house as early as 1823, with his wife, who had a beautiful singing voice, assisting. The Methodists were the first to have a charter, in 1827, and the first to erect a church building in 1839. The Presbyterians also got an early start. Deacon Elijah Fish, across the Saginaw Trail from Dr. Parke, held a three-day meeting in his barn in July of 1834 and "The Presbyterian Society of Bloomfield" was organized December 17, 1835, at the Davis Hotel in Birmingham. Meetings were often held there although the Presbyterians later rented the facilities of the Methodist church for $100 a year. On the other side of the Township Deacon Elijah Bull held a meeting of Presbyterians 1n his barn on June 4th, 1831. His church was chartered that year and flourished in the Wing Lake area until his death August 9, 1871. "The Regular Baptist Church of Bloomfield" was recognized by act of ecceliastical council May 25, 1833. Over the next century the church went through many changes and incorporations, and today is a strong denomination in Bloomfield.

Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 148-149 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 148-149 part 2

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