Friends, family and members of the congregation gathered together last weekend to celebrate the anniversary of Alpena's First Congregational United Church of Christ.
For 150 years the church has served as a beacon of hope by ministering to the community's spiritual and physical needs. While the Civil War was being waged in other parts of the country, a group of committed Christians joined together in the wilds of Northeast Michigan to form the initial congregation - the community's first place of worship.
A diverse group made up that initial congregation, including residents of different faiths and walks of life. Today, that diversity still is celebrated by its members, as the church not only reaches out to every neighborhood in our community, but also to many neighborhoods across the globe.
The First Congregational United Church of Christ is special, as it is one of the "Besser" churches constructed in Alpena during the '50s. The home church of Jesse and Anna Besser, it is still visited regularly by Besser Co. officials, who use it as an example to guests of how Besser block can be used effectively and practically in construction.
Established March 2, 1862, First Congregational traces its roots to Daniel and Sarah Carter, the city's first white settlers.
The original church building was erected in downtown Alpena in 1868 on property acquired from pioneer lumberman George N. Fletcher. That building was entirely rebuilt in 1892, when the original wooden structure was modernized with brick and stone. The current structure was built in 1954.
For 150 years people of the church have gathered together in worship. We celebrate with them their historic achievement, and wish them 150 more years in their journey of faith.