This Sunday afternoon, I came across this article on the fb page of one of my cousins. Article and transcription below.
April 12, 1952 The Michigan Chronicle – “America’s Fastest Growing Weekly”
The Cleages An Introduction to one of Detroit’s most Versatile and Accomplished Families
A bright-eyed little lad of eight crossed 12th street just below Edison and walked down to the St. Mark’s Community Church near Atkinson. He opened the door, entered and was directed to the Rev. Albert B. Cleage, Jr., who sat on a table in the basement watching a troop of Brownie girl scouts busily making puppets.
“Can I help you?” the Rev. Mr. Cleage asked the little boy.
The boy nodded. He was trying to locate his cub scout group. He gave the Rev. Mr. Cleage the troop number and the minister located the troop meeting place through a church bulletin. He gave the boy directions, and the boy went away.
The incident was typical of the attitude of the people of that community toward each other and the St. Mark’s Church in general, and toward the Rev. Mr. Cleage in particular
In less than a year, the boyish-looking pastor of the church has succeeded in making the church not only a spiritual stronghold but a center of community interest and service as well.
Practical institutions like a day nursery, with a paid worker, where all members of the community can bring their children are integral parts of the total church program.
Youth activities, including sports, socials and dramatics, are not merely encouraged – they are directed and supervised by adults in the church.
The Rev. Mr. Cleage believes that the church should serve the community as a whole and not simply the adults. He also believes –in his own words – “That the church cannot have much influence on the congregation if it merely serves as a meeting place for services on Sunday morning.”
This intelligent approach toward religion, which draws into it all the normal aspects of living, characterizes the Rev. Mr. Cleage. It is an attitude which does not spring solely from his theological training but which has its roots deep in his family background.
For the Cleage family is one of Detroit’s most versatile and accomplished families.
The Cleage family is headed by Dr. Albert B. Cleage, Sr., veteran physician who has practiced medicine on the city’s west side since 1913, and by his wife, Pearl.
A graduate of Knoxville college and of the University of Indiana medical school, Dr. Cleage instilled in his four sons and three daughters an appreciation for education, sound principles and respect for human dignity.
All seven of the younger Cleages attended Wayne University. The Rev. Albert B. Cleage, Jr., the oldest son, went on to graduate from the Oberlin (Ohio) Graduate School of Theology and to work on his doctorate in Visual Education at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles.
The second son, Dr. Louis J. Cleage, gradated from the Wayne University medical school. After interning at the Homer Phillips hospital in St. Louis, Dr. Cleage returned to Detroit to practice medicine with his father.
Henry W. Cleage, the third son, graduated from the Wayne university college of law and is a member of the legal firm of Cleage ad League in Detroit.
The youngest son Hugh, who studied agriculture at Wayne and at Michigan state college, is presently a clerk in the Detroit Post Office.
Two of the three Cleage daughters are now married and live in other parts of the county. Mrs. Barbara (Cleage) Martin lives in Newburg, N.Y. and Mrs. Gladys (Cleage) Evans, a former Detroit schoolmarm resides at the Veterans hospital at Tuskegee, Ala., where her husband is a physician.
Anna, the youngest of the Cleages, will graduate from the Detroit, will graduate from the Detroit Institute of Technology’s school of pharmacy in June. She has already received her bachelor of arts degree from Wayne university.
During the war years, capitalizing on Hugh’s training and Henry’s zeal, the two Cleage’s bought a 100-acre farm at Capac, Mich., and proceeded to raise chickens and operate a dairy. They maintained an average of 1,000 broilers plus 500 laying hens, and a herd of 15 milk cows.
Though successful, the venture proved just a bit strenuous for the two, so they sold the farm and returned home. Henry went back to his law books and Hugh became a postal employee.
The Cleage family is a closely-knit unit, the kind of family which is held up as an example of the typical American family. It is a disciplined unit, with the wisdom of age and experience meeting the enthusiasm of youth, and the two being molded into a liberal philosophy of life.
From this family background, the Detroit community has profited. For, aside from the fact that such a well-balanced group is a community asset in itself, the family produced the Rev. Albert B. Cleage, Jr., who is demonstrating through his leadership of the St. Marks congregation the virtues of his family training. – by Fuller
Other stories about this time and St. Marks