– by Elaine West –
Among those present at the very first service of the Beaver Island Christian Church was the Gregg Family – Phil and Lil, their daughters Phyllis and Ruthie, and newborn son, Ron.
It was Easter Sunday, 1963 and that first gathering of the nondenominational church was held at a unit of Wojan’s #1 Motel, the residence of the Island’s physician, Dr. Howard Haynes, who was also a student of theology.
For a time, the BICC members gathered in the basement of the old Health Center. “And Father Louis let us use Holy Cross Parish Hall in the summer when there were more people,” said Lil.
With a firm base of members they began to search for their own property and in the spring of 1966 they purchased a log cabin on Kenwabikise Lane. Renovations on the house gave them more space for their servicesand the two bedrooms allowed the “Little Brown Church in the Wildwood” to be used as lodging for visiting pastors.
Growing in membership and needing more space, the project of building a new church began, with a cadre of volunteers and some generous donors. The new church building was formally dedicated on July 7, 1985 and the log cabin next door then became the parsonage.
The celebration of the church’s 50th anniversary will be two-fold: a special celebration during Easter Sunday service on March 31 commemorating the beginning of the church, and a community picnic to be held this summer on Sunday, August 4.
The Easter Sunday service will begin at 10:00 a.m. and at 11:30 a.m. Easter Brunch will be served at the Gregg Fellowship Hall. The brunch will include ham, breakfast casserole, scrambled eggs, baked French toast and coffee. Community members are invited to attend (and to bring a dish to pass if they would like) and join their neighbors for this joyous event.
For the complete story on how the church began, see the March issue of NorthernIslander.