This is the final page of the letter my father wrote home on Christmas Day, 1944. He talks about wanting to come back to Detroit and various ideas he has for finding a church there. It would be another 8 years before he made it back to Detroit as pastor of St. Marks Presbyterian Church. That is a post for another day.
Last night (Christmas eve n’ that) we practically decided to return to Detroit in July and organize some sort of a church there. We ain’t too particular…Congregational, Presbyterian..Triumph, the Church and the Prophet…or what have you. Perhaps a Presbyterian would be best…in as much as Daddy and Uncle Henry could then talk someone out of some sort of a building! could it it be done…you-all? (or do we just want to come home) if it was Presbyterian I would try to get something over in the Bible-belt with Rev. White…and the rest…you know over there with Bethel…Plymouth…etc. Buddy would be glad to look around for me…he loves to transact big business. (He looked up that big church at the end of Scotten at Grand River for me earlier…The Real Estate Company sent me
full particulars…95 thousand will handle and that…so we had to sort of let it go…since they wouldn’t take fifty dollars down and rent it! Said they didn’t care who they sold it too however…long as the money was available. But back to the subject…my mind wanders…there is a modest little Church on Forest near John R. (I think…it could be Warren) which is almost unused…I think a few lingering white-folks still worship there…brick…and not bad looking..but small oughtn’t cost too much. If you-all (at a family council assembled) think such an undertaking wouldn’t be too foolish…
Church at John R. and Forest from Google street view today.
I’ll get Buddy to look up the Trustees or whatever there is and see what they want for it. WILL THE UNITED PRESBYTERIANS DO ANYTHING TO SUPPORT SUCH A VENTURE!!! Well let me know…I’m barkin’ up many a tree…tryin to uncover something or other OUT OF THE SOUTH (my stomach ulcers don’t thrive so well in Dixie…the fog is too heavy or something). And I seem to be headin’ for Detroit both consciously and unconsciously it seems like ‘twould be better to just go on and get it over with! But perhaps ’tis just Christmas. Lee, the Boy who was by today wants me to go in partnership with him in a Portrait Photographic Studio down on Central Avenue. He can get some money (Wants me to get some…but can get it all if I want to work for him I’d like to know what you-all think of the church idea, though…FIRST! HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE SOMEBODY TO FIND OUT WHAT THE PRESBYTERIAN BOARD WOULD DO IF ANYTHING! If nothing can be done…I’ll continue my gentle hints to the Congregational brethern in Philadelphia that they enter the field of Mission work. Them dern Congregationalists are so lacking in enthusiasm, however, it’s like pulling eye-teeth. (I am not again indicating my indecision…I’m talking about next summer…by which time I will have all the CINEMA they have here…and would be ready to go to New York for a Doctorate..if I could get to New York… If I could get a church IN THE NORTH, never fear, I would use my CINEMA. I would build the biggest youth organization in America right around CINEMA PRODUCTION and its allied arts!) So there…I am not changing my mind again! Well so-long…Write sometime you-all!
For other Holiday Sepia Saturday offerings click below . And in case you missed it, my connection to the theme this time is I posted a LETTER!