One hundred forty-nine years ago, in October of 1869, a handful of earnest, hard-working, dedicated persons came together to fulfill a mission project of the “Mother Church”, Park (First) Congregational Church – i.e., establish a future church in the rapidly growing north end of the city.
Located just beyond the city boundaries, north of Leonard Street, its proximity to the Grand River quickly earned the nickname “The Bullfrog Church” for the small struggling church. A series of part-time ministers deplored competing with the noise the ever-present frogs made (especially with the windows open) until 1874, when the Rev. Olney advised the members he would answer their call only if the church were moved to a drier location. Consequently, the little building was put on log rollers and pulled by horses to a donated lot “way out in the country” at the corner of Plainfield and Grove. Slowly, the membership grew and Sunday School classes were crowded with young people. A north and south wing were added to the original building, but as time passed, it became increasingly apparent that a “new” church was needed and a great deal of effort was put forth to raise the money for this project. Many money-making projects, potluck dinners, and committee meetings later, the original building was razed, a new foundation laid and the The “new” red brick church, was dedicated in 1900.