History of Our Congregation

History of United Presbyterian Church, Cassopolis:

The United States was just 66 years old and the transcontinental railroad still almost thirty years in the future when, eleven years after the Village of Cassopolis was laid out in the woods, on March 19, 1842, the Presbyterian Church in Cassopolis was organized.

Assisted in organizing as a congregation by the Home Missionary Society, there were 21 charter members present when the Rev. Noah M. Wells officiated at the first worship service. Our first building was a frame building which was built in 1845. That building was moved to Fulton Street to allow for the building of the new brick building in 1893.

The neighboring Baptist Church was organized March 8, 1862 with twelve charter members, and a building built in 1868.
On May 16, 1927 our two congregations agreed to incorporate as one church under the name of United Church of Cassopolis. So on November 30, 1938 the Baptist Church building was moved from its previous location on the south side of State Street, just east of the intersection with Broadway, and connected to the Presbyterian Church building here on the North side of State Street at the corner of O’Keefe.

For the next 30 years the United Church operated as a Federated congregation governed by a board consisting of three members each from the Presbyterian Church, the Baptist Church and the United Church.

In 1972 the congregation once again reorganized as the United Presbyterian Church, and reaffirmed the call of the pastor of three years, Rev. Allan L. Widerquist, who continued to serve as pastor for the next 20 years; and is currently our Pastor Emeritus.

In 1963 we remodeled our sanctuary; and in 1983 we tore down the old gas station which was located next door, replacing it with a parking lot for the church. In March of 1992 we were joined by church officials and extended family from across the United States as we celebrated our Sesquicentennial. In 2006 we welcomed current Pastor, Rev. Stephen Kaszar into the pulpit, and in 2010 entered a new stage of congregational life, yoking with First Presbyterian Church of White Pigeon, MI.

Much has happened in our 168 years of ministry here in Cassopolis. We’ve loved and supported one another, baptized our children and said good bye to those who have moved away from the area, and those who have gone to be with God. We have served our community individually and as an individual congregation, as well as in joint effort with other churches in the greater Cassopolis area, raising funds internationally in the CROP WALKS and locally with Helping Hands, while also sharing many other joint mission projects and worship services. We continue to celebrate our rich history and our present ministry, as we look forward to the future our Lord calls us to in the years to come. We invite you to join us as we follow Christ on this awesome adventure!


2 Responses to History of Our Congregation

  1. Scot Decker says:

    What a great addition to the web site. I never knew the details of merging the two churches.

  2. Charlie Keller says:

    Nice document. It is interesting that we will have the Maundy Thursday service at the Federated Covenant Church since your congregation was “Federated” during the first part of the last century.

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