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4510 Gravel Ridge Rd., Coral, Michigan

When William H. and Caroline Randall came to Maple Valley Twp. in 1871, they had a dream - a dream that on December 30, 1874 became reality. That reality was the Cowden Lake Church of Christ.  During the early years, services were held in the Cowden Lake school.  On January 10, 1886 a new church building was dedicated on the corner of Gravel Ridge and Coral Rds - land donated by William H. Randall. As it approaches it's 125th anniversary, the Cowden Lake Church of Christ continues to serve the spiritual needs it's congregation.

In 1974 a centennial celebration was held, complete with a centennial booklet.  View the booklet here. Our appreciation goes out to Pastor Raymond Gaylord for permission to publish the booklet.


On July 13, 1879, the Cedar Lake Seventh-Day-Adventist Church was officially founded. The church was founded essentially through the work of Judge Francis Nelson of Cedar Lake. The first elected officers were:

Judge Nelson, First Elder
Whitman Hall, Deacon
William Nelson, Clerk
Charlotte Webster, Treasurer

The Cedar Lake congregation was accepted into Conference by the Northern Michigan Conference in September of 1889.


In 1880, George and Luella Kelsey, George's brother Oliver and his wife Anna moved to Edmore. These two families, who were carpenters by trade began to interest others in the area in the teachings of their religion. When the first church was built, there were sixteen charter members. They included: 

George and Luella Kelsey
Oliver and Anna Kelsey
John W. Graham
Mrs. John Faught
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ross
Mr. and Mrs. Parmeter
Mr and Mrs. Dexter
Mrs., Jim Tuttle
Mr. V. Ferney
Andrew and Rheba Barret


The Methodist Episcopal Church of McBrides was organized in 1875 by Charles B. Voorhees. Services were held in the schoolhouse in McBrides until a church could be built. In 1885 a fire destroyed most of the business district of McBrides including the church. In 1878 Charles Voorhees organized the Edmore Methodist Episcopal Church which included the McBrides church. After this time, most of the pastors served both churches.


The First Congregational Church of Edmore was organized in August of 1879 under Rev. S. R. Roseburough. Initial meeting and worship was held at the school house. The following people were registered at the first organizational meeting:

S. R. Roseburough
Nathan Coleman
S. W. Whittlesey and wife
J. S. Sanford
Mrs. S. Hunt and Mrs. Coney.

The congregation was served by a number of pastors until 1906 at which time it disbanded.


Pastor Ole Amble came to Montcalm County in May of 1874. He conducted the first Lutheran church service on May 24, 1874. The pastor of the early Lutheran Church was shared with the Lutheran congregations in Sidney, Greenville, Trufant, McBrides and Gowen.

Read an article about the church ~ submitted by Tina

Read a document written by Pastor Ole Amble ~ submitted by Tina


Mathias Bossen made the pews for Church and we are still sitting in them today.  The interior of the church (i.e. altar, pulpit, etc.) was made by members of the congregation at that time.  My grandmother's sister, Margrethe Paulsen Lilleoere (sp?) was the second person that Ole Amble baptized, confirmed, married, and buried. (Source, her obituary from the newspaper).  There are a number of members whose heritage is still connected to that church.  Their families have been there since its inception.  That is a tribute to the longevity of the church and its congregation.

Submitted by Karen Paulsen

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