2130 Hobart Blvd. #4
Los Angeles 7, California
January 9, 1945
It’s me again. I heard from the Board of Pulpit Supply in Boston this morning… and as I “suspected” there ain’t no vacancy. Reverend White has not as yet contacted me regarding names and addresses… He was no doubt surprised that his “bluff” had been called. The pastor is on a leave-of-absence and another pastor is serving for him. so that’s that.
You-all failed, apparently, to take my suggestion regarding the organization of a Detroit church very seriously. ‘Tain’t no use, however…in view of the absolute lack of Congregational openings I’m going to have to organize somewhere. Let me present the matter again in an orderly manner so you can let me know your reactions immediately.
I think I can organize and operate a church in Detroit without any great difficulty IF either the Presbyterian or Congregational Board can be interested in contributing to such an undertaking. By contributing for the purchase of an adequate plant in which the execution of a full church program would be possible. The local Congregational Board does not think in those terms so I would prefer not to have to deal with them. I have no way of knowing what the Presbyterian board would consider SO I WISH THAT DADDY and/or Uncle Henry would find out. In my previous letter on this matter I mentioned a small church on Forest near Brush. After more lengthy consideration, however, I think organizing that close to Reverend White could not but be considered a declaration of war… and I would rather not start with any more declarations of war than necessary (Rev. Hill and the rest would automatically consider any such move WAR no matter where it was located.) So, the Church on the Blvd. and Warren being out of the question until the war is over…I end up with the only practical possibility, The Church building at the end of Scotten (facing Grand River) is available and adequate. It is offered for sale for ninety-five thousand, ($15,000 down) THE LOCATION is better than it would seem off-hand. It is convenient to both the WEST SIDE and the NORTH-END (where any members I might pick up would come from for the most part) The building has two auditoriums… club rooms… offices… and a gas station on the corner (For a co-operative venture!) WOULD THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH LEND A MISSION THE DOWN-PAYMENT ON SUCH A BUILDING? If a membership of say 100 and pledges of $100 a week could be lined up?
You are no doubt thinking the idea “impossible”…but I should think that a Board without a Detroit Church, properly approached regarding such a “community church idea” would not consider the risk too great. Talk it over with Uncle Henry and let me know as soon as possible. (So I can get Bud busy sighing up members!)
Everything is O.K. (Same as usual).
I tried to find a photo of a church on the corner of Scotten and Grand River in Detroit, which was only a few blocks from the Cleage family home, but there is no longer a church there.
To the left is a photograph of Bud Elkins, who was helping my father look for a church building in Detroit. He was married to my mother’s sister, Mary V. Graham Elkins. At this time they had one daughter, Dee Dee, who is the 7 year old photographer who appears in this photograph.