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HISTORY INDEX>Historic Buildings by Community>City Churches

Hillsdale Churches
The Presbyterian The First United Presbyterian Church, organized in 1843, was the first regular and continuous religious organization in the village of Hillsdale. Services were first held in the log cabin schoolhouse built by Cook and Ferris. Several different buildings were used for worship between 1843-1899. The present church on the corner of North and Manning Streets was dedicated in 1900


The Hillsdale Baptist
The College Baptist Church was organized in 1855 as the Free Will Baptist Society. The congregation soon embarked on a church building project. Professor Ransom Dunn with his son, Wayland, were traveling in 1865 in Europe where Wayland made extensive drawings and measurements of the cathedrals visited. The church was dedicated in 1867. These were taken to an architect in Chicago who used them in designing the church. As a result, the church combines Gothic and Romanesque architecture. The construction was begun and in 1867 and the church was dedicated on January 5, 1868.
This building is listed on the National and State Register of Historic Sites
Trinity Lutheran [Click here to view full size picture]
The need for a Lutheran church developed when a group of German immigrants gathered in 1847 to conduct the first Lutheran services. The formal organization of Trinity Lutheran church took place in 1854.

Mr. and Mrs. Hezikiah McCollum gave a piece of land on Griswold St. to the small congregation for the purpose of building a church. The land was cleared of trees, funds were raised and the cornerstone was laid in 1854.Throughout the years the church has remained at this location.

Later a small brick school house was built next to the church and classes were conducted in the German language every day except Friday. Church services were also conducted in the German language three Sundays in the month and English was used on the fourth Sunday. However, with the advent of World War I the use of the German language was discontinued.

Various rennovations to the church have been made thoughout the years but its simple colonial style has remained.


The first United Methodist Church organized in 1842 in a little schoolhouse at 199 E. Bacon St. The building burned and in 1864, the present church with a New England steeple was built at the corner of Manning and North Streets. In 1881, fire destroyed the steeple. In 1889, the church was remodeled with the present belfry and east wing.
This building is listed on the Register of National and State Historic Sites
first episcopal church [Click here to view full size picture]

In 1839, the first Episcopalian services were held in Howders Tavern “Ballroom” on the site of the present Fair Grounds with a missionary pastor from Jonesville officiating. This was the first known religious service to be held in Hillsdale. Five years later, the parish was officially organized, at first meeting in the Michigan Southern Railway depot. Then it leased the Methodist Meeting House located on Howell Street. Finally a new red brick church located on the corner of Broad and Bacon Streets was consecrated in 1859. The church still retains its beamed ceiling and colonial styled pews.
This building is listed on the National and State Register of Historic Sites
St.Anthonys Catholic Church [Click here to view full size picture]
The impetus for the first Catholic Church in Hillsdale County occurred after men of Irish birth who worked on the construction of the railroad settled in the locality. The first regular attendance of a pastor in Hillsdale was was made by a priest,who in 1853,came from Adrian The congregation used the former Presbyterian Church building until 1883 when it was torn down and the present St. Anthony’s Catholic Church was built on the same spot.
The church is registered on the National and State Register of Historic Sites
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