Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Six months ago we were having around forty people in Sunday morning services at our church, and financial problems were plaguing us. Now we have between 180 and 218 on Sundays and 100 sometimes for Wednesday evening supper and classes. At least 40 people have accepted Christ through our services and close to that many have been baptized. And we are no longer having financial problems.

Would you call that God at work? I do.

The K-Springs Church, first called the East Saginaw Church of God, was established 107 years ago in East Saginaw, a little logging town located around two or three miles southwest of our present facilities. At first the people met in homes to hold services. Then in 1911, a family donated land for a church building.

Traveling evangelists and singers came often, some from national church headquarters in Indiana, to help with the church. They traveled by horse and buggy or on a log train from Saginaw or Bessemer. Some even rode into town on railroad handcars, where they stood and pumped a hand lever, propelling themselves manually down the tracks. Or on small, work cars where they sat on the back of the car and pushed themselves along with their feet.

The church people came by foot, on horseback or in wagons. They forded swollen streams or walked across on foot logs.

These were still the main modes of travel when the congregation moved to the old K-Springs School House after the logging operation moved out of the area and people followed their jobs.

After a few years, around 1936, the congregation tore down the old school building and erected a little, white church building (This building still stands across the road from our newer, modern facilities, and is in use by another congregation). Pews and altar rail for the little building were built by men of the church.

The congregation later built a basement by digging and drawing out the dirt with a mule and a slipscrape. They also added a wood-burning furnace, where warm air rose up into the sanctuary through a hole in the floor. They baptized in creeks and lakes.

The church moved across the road into a new brick building in 1978. Several years later, they added another wing.

Almost every adult you talk to who grew up in this community, attended, K-Springs church at one time or another, if not as a regular member of the congregation, at least for a funeral, wedding, drama, Vacation Bible School or youth activity. Numerous ministers and dedicated lay leaders grew up in this church. And it has been a lighthouse to many others.

The church has had many faithful pastors through the years. Oftentimes, in the early days, when there was not enough money to pay a pastor with money, he was paid with chickens, eggs or vegetables from community gardens. One pastor, too ill with cancer to stand in the pulpit, sat on a stool to preach. Still later, he spoke to the congregation from his sick bed via a special telephone hookup.

Many people of the congregation and many faithful pastors have sacrificed and worked hard to keep a ministry going at K-Springs. A few years ago, when it looked as though we would have to sell the property or lose it, part of the congregation was anxious to sell. Others could not see giving it up --if there was a way to save it. We didn’t feel that God wanted us to give up and sell these wonderful facilities for ministry, which so many had worked and sacrificed to save.

And, so, we hung on, trusting God and doing everything we could to make, at the least, mortgage interest payments when they came due. People from out-of-town but with long-time ties to the church, stepped in with large donations. But even this was not enough for very long.

Then, early this year, God brought this 107 year old congregations into fellowship with a congregation who had been in existence for a little less than a year. They needed more space; we needed more people. So, in March the K-Springs Church of God merged with Chelsea Community Church and changed its name again.

Over 200 people gathered for our first joint meeting. 268 came for worship on Easter. Average Sunday morning attendance is now between 180 and 220. At least 40 people have accepted Christ through the services and around that same number have been baptized. We no longer have financial woes.

We have found that no matter what name we go by, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are all part of the same family -- God’s family. We share not only these facilities, but the work of the ministry, a loving pastor, who -- under God‘s leadership -- began Chelsea Community Church.

And we now share the history and heritage of the little group of Believers who first began meeting at old East Saginaw, and who, worked so hard to get -- and keep -- a ministry going at K-Springs.

Today, the people are working together to increase the Kingdom of God in this community and beyond.

1 comment:

Terra said...

This is a lovely story about your church's history and growth to serve more members today.