THE FIRST 50 YEARS
In the early part of the 1960's, Presbyterians were either driving into Flint, or not attending church, because of the lack of a Presbyterian Church in the Grand Blanc area. The Rev. Robert Nixon of the Farnumwood Presbyterian Church invited William Modrack of Grand Blanc to meet with the Committee on National Missions of Lake Huron Presbytery for a discussion of a church in the Grand Blanc area.
On November 27, 1962, Bill and Sally Modrack hosted a meeting at their home in Hillcrest Subdivision. On December 10th, the first general interest meeting was held with Rev. Elmer Braden, of Community Presbyterian Church, Flint, as Moderator. With approximately 75 persons in attendance, it was unanimous; a new church was needed! Under Rev. Braden's guidance, a Steering Committee was assembled with Elsie & James Elliott, Marilyn and Stewart Harger, Jane and Fred Josey, Bill and Sally Modrack, John and Helen Stevenson, Jim and Mary Elizabeth Stiles, Earl and Ruth Sutton, with Bill Modrack as Chairman.
The first services of the United Presbyterian Mission was held at the Masonic Temple, January 27, 1963, with 93 adults and 53 children attending. On May 5, 1963, an unanimous vote was cast to call Rev. Richard Geiger of Xenia, Ohio, as an Organizing Minister. Dick, his wife, Barbara, and daughters, Margaret, Nancy and Jane, moved into the manse purchased with denominational help, at 5496 Moceri Lane, Grand Blanc. Mr. Geiger's first worship service was September 3, 1963. On May 17th,1964, Kirkridge United Presbyterian Church was organized with 172 charter members. Mr. Geiger was installed as Pastor on November 15, 1964.
The purchase of 10.6 acres of land from the Peter Neimersheim family on South Saginaw Road was the beginning of the church building. A house on the premises known as the "Kirk House" was used for meetings.
A Building Committee with Raymond Sturk, Chairman; Sally Modrack, Secretary; and James Elliott, Finance Chairman was established. Also on the committee were Catherine Carroll, Clyde Kinney, Thomas Lawton, Edward Peotraczk, Anne Rasmusson and Neale Schermerthorn. Architects were Merritt, Cole and McCallum of Farmington, Michigan. The first worship service in the new facility was July 2, 1967. October 1-8, 1967 was set aside as a "Week of Dedication".
In succeeding years Kirkridge Church established itself as a vital witness to Christ in the community. The Rev. Richard Geiger concluded his pastorate of Kirkridge, March 31, 1974.
At the end of the first ten years, of the original 172 charter members, 35 were still active, either in service, attendance, or support.
The Rev. Hugh V. Stewart was called by the Congregation and led his first worship service on December 1, 1974. Hugh, with his wife, Pat, and their daughters, Rosalia, and Amy, settled into the church manse upon their move from Farmington, Michigan. In 1975, they purchased the manse from the church.
In December of 1982, the Church received as a gift, 5.84 acres of property adjacent to the south-east, from Dr. and Mrs. Vincent Murphy, (Johanna), and Dr. and Mrs. Allan Silverton (Marjorie).
1984 was a peacemaking time for Kirkridge. "Postcards for Peace", proposed by Eleanor Armstrong, and adopted by churches of all faiths, passed by our Session, the Presbytery of Lake Huron, and the 196th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, called for a day of prayers, and that on World Communion Sunday, October 7, 1984, each worshiper was to write a post card tp President Reagan and one to President Chernenko of Russia, encouraging them to work for a "just peace". "Peace Cards" were also recognized by a congressional record in Washington, D.C. Bookmarks were made by members of Kirkridge Church to be presented to the Christians in the Soviet Union by Rev. William Saum, one of three ministers to visit Russia.
Kirk News, November 1984, Rev. Hugh Stewart wrote, "I'm looking forward to the dedication of the Kirkridge Garden in memory of Mary Elizabeth Stiles. It has been a long time happening. But with the good work of Alan Rainney, who has been the "contractor" as an Eagle Scout Project, the garden has become a reality. It will be a place of remembrance and reflections. We thank all of those persons who made contributions to the Kirkridge Memorial Fund. Your gifts have funded a beautiful and lasting memorial, Hugh".
November, 1987, Rev. Hugh Stewart asked the Kirkridge Session to join with him in his request to dissolve the pastoral relationship, effective December 31, 1987.
Rev. Jack Byers, formerly with the 1st Congregational Church, Grand Blanc, became Interim Minister in 1988, followed by Reverend Mark Caldwell. Kirkridge remained under Mark's guidance until the new pastor was called.
The Reverend Herschel Ele of Pennsylvania was called by the congregation on August 27, 1989 and he was installed on November 26, 1989. His pastorate at Kirkridge concluded on October 27, 2002 when he was called to serve the Presbyterian Church in Garden City, Michigan. Reverend Robert Lakey of Saginaw led worship at Kirkridge until the Reverend Mickey Blair of Port Huron was called to be Interim Pastor in January 2003.
The Reverend Mickey Blair remained Interim Paster of Kirkridge Church until June 27, 2004.
Our current and fourth pastor, the Reverend Glenn G. Grant came to us from Three Rivers, Michigan and was installed on November 7, 2004. His wife, Debbie, is a substitute teacher in Grand Blanc. They have five children and 4 grandchildren. Glenn has served on Lake Huron Presbytery as Chairman of Church Growth Ministry and was involved in planning and organizing the new Trinity Presbyterian Church in Flint.
We are a caring and generous congregation. Although our church supports on-going missions, our greatest strength is our ability to respond to disaster relief. We draw our strength from the scriptures:
Mark 12: 28 – 34
“When you love God with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength and you love your neighbor as yourself…you are not far from the kingdom of God”
We, the members of Kirkridge believe that God has empowered our congregation with a variety of strengths and resources. God has blessed Kirkridge with the wisdom of age and the enthusiasm of youth.
We believe we are being called to WORSHIP GOD, to challenge each other to grow in faith, to spread His word and to support His works in the world.
We believe we are being called to OUTREACH to those in need, to the youth, the elderly, to families and to the community in which we live.
We believe through joyful prayer, dedication to hard work, open minds and working together that all things are possible.
The generosity of the members of Kirkridge has enabled us to reach many in our community and worldwide. Through these efforts we can spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ giving to those who receive the opportunity to learn of Jesus’ love through our actions. We are obeying Jesus commission
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan
CROP Hunger Walk
Operation Christmas Child
Relay for Life
F.I.S.H. of Grand Blanc
Boy Scouts of America