Church Denominations of Newaygo County
Early Church Histories
Assembly of God
Christian-Disciples of Christ
Church of Christ
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
United Church of Christ
Among the early religious societies in Fremont the Methodists were the most prominent, being here, as almost everywhere throughout the West, the pioneer denomination. They had an elegant church, built at a cost of about $4,000. Under the pastor of Rev. Mr. Montford, the Membership was about 125.
The Congregationalists organized a society July 24, 1865, with five members. Their first pastor, Rev Gerritt Dangremond, remained till January, 1878, when he was succeeded by Rev. Francis Wrigley. He remained till Sept. 1, 1883. In 1879 they purchased the store building of J.M.Barnett, across the street from the St. Charles Hotel, on North Division Ave., at a cost of $1,000. In which they held their meetings.
The Church of Christ had a large following here, and it was one of the oldest organizations in Fremont. Its had about 50 members. Their church was completed in 1882, at a cost of $2,000.
The Dutch Reformed Church had about 90 communicants, and a church which cost in the neighborhood of $2,500.
The United Brethren have a church, built in 1881, at a cost of $1,600. The pastor was Rev. Mr. Wood. The members of the church were principally resident in the country. Obed Hall did most of the work on the church. The United Breathern conference transferred a good hard working minister, and sent in one who had no interest in working for the church or the people, Obed finished the church and got into debt doing it. He said, he got some donations of work and some logs. He paid the lumber bill, the hardware and the plasters. He hauled sand from Crystal Lake, and hauled the logs to the saw mill, paying the painter with the family organ.
The Churches of Newaygo Before 1884
The Methodist Episcopal Church was the pioneer religious organization there. The first sermon preached in Newaygo (or In Newaygo County) was delivered by Rev. William Kelley, June 30th. 1850. There at that time only three houses in Newaygo. The Muskegon circuit, embracing Newaygo, was organized in 1852, and Newaygo charge was first designated as such in 1857. The Church was built in 1860, when Rev. Thomas B. Granger was pastor. He appointed as trustees William Loomis, Henry Loomis, Pomery C. Spooner, John Morse and T. J. Randolph. At that time the Church had but nine members. In 1884 the membership, under Rev. Mr. Van. Wyck was about 50.
The Congregational Church was an old society, and has the honor of building the first church in Newaygo. The society was formed Nov. 8th, 1855, with the following members; Sarell Wood, James M. Stryker, E. P. Chapin, Edmund Lamb, Edgar L. Gray, Ashley B. Furman and John H. Standish. The first trustees were Sarell Wood, James m Stryker and Edmund Lamb. Their church was erected in the winter ensuing, at a cost of about $3,000. The society had always been a strong one until the fire of 1883, which destroyed the church. A new building was erected in 1884.
St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal Mission was organized in 1872. The pastors of the society were Revs. Mosely Morris, E. W. Flower, William H. Sparling and J. Rice Taylor. The society numbers 23, and the congregation about 60. In 1883, they begin erecting a very commodious, handsome brick church, costing more than $5,000.
The Churches of Hesperia Before 1884
Hesperia supported several religious societies. The Adventists had two organizations, which held occasional services, but had no churches. The Presbyterians had a fine church, built in 1880, at a cost of $3,000. Rev. Mr. Walker, was the pastor at that time, should have much of the credit for this. He was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Coulter. The Methodists had the oldest and largest society in the village. They had a neat and commodious church, built in 1869, at a cost of about $1,000. The pastor was Rev. Mr. Beach. The Baptists completed a substantial church in 1877, at a cost of $2,500. The pastor was Rev. Mr. Gostelow.
The Churches of White Cloud Before 1884
Congregational Church—There was but one church in White Cloud, in 1884, the Congregational. It was built in 1875, at a cost of $800, as a Union Church. The Congregational society was organized Dec. 20, 1877, with eight members, but services had been held from the early part of 1876. The first pastor was Rev. James Worden He was followed by Rev. John Dongerman, John Holloway, D. Betts, Wm. G. Puddefoot and John Jeffries. In 1884 the society numbered about 25.
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