Central’s roots …
Our congregation came into being through the efforts of two African-Americans, Deacon Abner Bennett and his wife, Mary. They resided near the mouth of White Lake. Bennett was a Methodist Lay Preacher who walked down the shoreline to Muskegon. The congregation was formally organized in 1856. There have been three church buildings. The first two stood on the corner of Jefferson and Clay Streets. The groundbreaking for our present building took place in 1928. The Great Depression began when the church was but half-built. Thanks to the can-do attitude of pastors and parishioners, foreclosure did not happen and the building’s tower has been a city landmark ever since.
One of Central’s historic treasures is the stained glass windows in the sanctuary. Priceless today, the most expensive window back in the day was $2,100. Of course, that was when a Model A Ford cost $400 and gasoline cost 10¢ a gallon. This gives evidence of the faith and sacrifice of the saints of yesterday. They gave today’s generations more than a building. Present members of the church and the community enjoy this heritage site as a place of worship, mission and cultural enrichment.
More can be learned in the books “The Builders” and “Devoted Dreamers and Daring Doers.” For sale in the church office 231-722-6545.