FLINT TWP. — For five Sundays, through Oct. 6, Peace Presbyterian Church will be celebrating its first century while looking forward to the second.
The celebration will culminate on the final Sunday with an anniversary dinner and a special afternoon service full of stories of the past, special music, and even some prayers in German.
Peace Presbyterian Church, originally called First Reformed Church, was founded as a German-speaking congregation in 1919 by Volga German immigrants who had migrated from Russia in the early 20th century.
The original church building sat on the corner of Buick and Gillespie streets in the North End of Flint. The population of Flint was booming with the burgeoning car industry, and First Reformed grew to 353 adult members and 322 children in its first ten years.
English services began to be held once a month at First Reformed in 1940 and weren’t included every week until 1952. By the 1960s, the church had overgrown its original building and began construction on a second building on Carpenter Road, which the church occupied in 1969.
In 1990, the congregation of First Reformed felt the need to relocate once more, and purchased the church’s current building at 1521 N Elms Rd. The church bell from the original building was installed as a mark of continuity as the church began meeting in its new building.
In 2002, under the leadership of Rev. David Galbraith, First Reformed Church joined the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and became known by its current name.
In 2018, Peace called Rev. Andrew Winter as their new pastor. Pastor Andrew has been tasked with leading the church into its second century and is overseeing a shift in focus outward into homes, neighborhoods, and the community. — G.G.