Our History

Congregational Founding

The Second Church to be established in the small whistle stop village of Metamora was first organized as Pilgrim Congregational. The minutes of the fellowship’s first meeting, dated March 13, 1878, record Pilgrim’s genesis: “Pursuant to a written notice several citizens of the township of Metamora assembled in the Old School house in Metamora Village for the purpose of consulting together in respect to the building of a new religious society.” Later that same day, at a second meeting, the Articles of Consociation were signed and the name of the new church was chosen. At a meeting on July 1, 1878, the congregation extended a call to the Rev. M.A.Bullock to become its first pastor. A few years later, his name was cast on the church bell together with Psalm 89:15, 16.

Pilgrim Presbyterian Church - Metamora, Michigan - watercolor painting

Pilgrim Presbyterian Church in Metamora, Michigan - Watercolor painting by Edwin Homer

Sanctuary Construction

Pilgrim constructed its house of worship in the same year. Property on High Street was donated and the work began, almost at once costing $3,200. The meeting house (1750 square feet, with vaulted ceiling and a belfry tower sixty feet to the pinnacle) was dedicated by the congregation on December 2, 1878. Stained glass windows replaced the plainer leaded windows in 1941, and newer pews, lights, and a pipe organ were added in the 1960’s. With these exceptions, the main sanctuary stands virtually unaltered. The church basement was renovated in 1998, and an addition to the fellowship hall with a barrier-free restroom and kitchen was completed in December of 1999.

Pipe Organ

The Felgemaker pipe organ, built in 1916, was a gift from the First Congregational Church in Pontiac, MI. A rebuilt 1935 pneumatic action Moller replaced the earlier 1925 Moller console in 1999. The organ has 14 ranks with over 700 pipes. Bourdon pedal pipes and chimes were added in 1999. The organ is in several stages of restoration.

Doctrinal Pilgrimage

Pilgrim remained in the old Congregational Association of 1878 until 1964, when it was received into the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference. On July 15, 1974, the congregation adopted a constitution which committed it to Reformed theology. The Savoy Declaration of Faith and the Cambridge Platform of government and discipline were adopted along with the catechisms of Westminster. The church became members in the Fellowship of Reformed Congregations in Grand Rapids after withdrawing from the “Four C’s” in 1979. The pilgrimage continued as the congregation voted to adopt the Westminster Standards and Presbyterianism on May 9, 1984. The church was received officially into The Orthodox Presbyterian Church denomination on May 5, 1985.