In 1951 our family moved from Springfield, MA to Detroit, where my father, Rev. Albert B. Cleage, Jr., was called as pastor of St. Marks United Presbyterian Community Church at Twelfth and Atkinson. My paternal grandparents lived several blocks up Atkinson. The parsonage was right down the block from them. He was there until 1953 when there was a church split. My father and 300 members started a new church that became Central Congregational Church and finally The Shrine of the Black Madonna.
14 thoughts on “St Mark’s United Presbyterian Church 1951 & 1953”
Wow what an amazing story.
Thank you Camille. I appreciate your comment!
Hello Kristen – I remember my Mother telling about this in the spring of 1953. I was attending St. Luke’s (Ohio and Tireman) in the 7th grade. That was quite a power play move! Your Father was a “Change Shaker”. Shakers are important to maintain a dynamic society.
He was definitely a shaker. What do you remember about what she told you? I’m always looking for memories about family events. Usually they differ slightly or come at it from a different angle.
Watched the CBS coverage of the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture this morning and thought of your father and you. The website in place is already very rich in content. Great material. These photos of yours are splendid! It’s hard to imagine that anyone would object to adding cultural and social elements to church activities.
I believe my great uncle Henry and those who agreed with him thought that the focus of the church should be on the members and on more traditional religious elements.
Nice photo composites. Church splits happen since people are people and will tend to encounter disagreements. I’ve seen them happen in the church I attend.
Tossing It Out
Yes, that seems to be the case. People sometimes split and sometimes go join another church as a group.
Beautiful photos Kris!
Thank you Terrence!
More fascinating ‘then and now’ photographs. The buildings’ former inhabitants are like spirits from the past.
That is the way I think of them too.
The pictures are wonderful. I like how this post and previous ones describe a lot of complex church and family issues in a way that is understanding of the the various perspectives.
Most of the time in disputes of this kind, both sides are sincere and I try to remember that when I write about it. It’s very sad to me when close families split apart like this.
Comments are closed.