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On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

deerfield united methodist church deerfield michigan

Deerfield United Methodist Church, Deerfield, Michigan, William Kriechbaum, pastor Facebook

I wanted to go inside to find more information about this Christ who died and rose again for the people of Deerfield United Methodist, but alas the doors were locked. The church wants passersby to know that it supports the United States and it armed forces. Good to know…

light of catholic church deerfield michigan light of catholic church deerfield michigan 3 light of catholic church deerfield michigan 2

Light of Christ Catholic Church, Deerfield, Michigan, Jeffrey Poll, pastor Website

Light of Christ Catholic wants passersby to know that they wish them peace, love, love and happiness at Easter and always. The irony here is the memorial to a dead soldier; an emblem of violence and death, and not peace, love, love and happiness.

deerfield free methodist church deerfield michigan

Deerfield Free Methodist Church, Deerfield, Michigan, Bill Fix, pastor Here’s what the church wants you to know about them:

The beautiful sanctuary of Deerfield Free Methodist Church is shown below. It is even more beautiful in person and I want to invite you to attend. Our campus is located at 572 East River Street in Deerfield, Michigan. We are part of the Southern Michigan Conference of the Free Methodist Church of North America. Our conference is a coalition of churches desiring to advance God’s Kingdom by including people from all walks of life. We invite you to join our church family this Sunday at 10 am. Prior to the church service we have complimentary refreshments in Aunt Bethel’s Cafe located in our Heritage Hal [sic]. Come as you are and enjoy a service that might change your life in a really good way!

I thought Christianity was all about Jesus? Evidently, at Deerfield Free Methodist the star attraction is its beautiful sanctuary, and not Jesus.


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  1. Avatar

    Looks like the Deerfield church is trying to attract people with movies and a cafe.

    A couple of years ago I checked out the website of the Baptist church I had grown up in. When I left 25 years ago, it had starred a massive building project to double the existing facilities. It was already the biggest church in town, and the new facilities equipped with the latest sound and lighting technology effectively dwarfed the competition. I saw that they offered dinner that people could pre-order from their cafe before Wednesday night services. I guess some churches are trying to get more savvy to lure in new meat from the competitors.

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    I notice once you get up into Michigan you have to be a lot more nit-picky about the churches. I think that’s a good thing. No good zingers on the signs though, how sad.
    When I read your comment about the beautiful sanctuary my exceptions were set pretty high. It is pretty nondescript .

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      What was strange is the number of Missionary Baptist Churches, and how close they are to each other. If we had been in Alabama this would have been normal. Michigan? Seems out of place.

      I know IFB churches have an outsized footprint in the Detroit Metroplex. I attribute that to the auto plants and the migration of Southern workers to Detroit in the 40s to 70s. The church I attended while in college was, at the time, one of the largest churches in the United States. Its pastor was from Alabama. Lots of auto workers attended the church. I suspect they viewed the church as a slice of home — a breath of Southern culture in the land of Yankees.

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        That’s a good explanation. I’ve always thought it funny that Jeff Foxworthy actually came up with his “Ya might be a redneck…” shtick when he was in Detroit.
        I don’t think it is still in existence, but there was a snake handling church in the Detroit area too.

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    Maybe some of those Missionary Baptist churches were started by Southern ex-pats who moved to Michigan for the auto industry, like your IFB church members. Wen I moved from TN to NJ and my husband and I were church shopping, he mentioned we should check a nearby Baptist church. I said, hell no, it will be IFB. We went once, and sure enough, it was IFB. Some of the evangelical churches in NJ rebranded to “community” church in the name to try to attract members, but most people wise up to that. Most of the traditional “white people” churches only survive by renting space to ethnic congregations and to groups using the facilities during the week. My daughter’s ballet school is in space rented from a Lutheran church. The dance school owner paid for a new floor and mirrors on the walls, and she pays monthly rent. The parishioners move tables and chairs info the room for post service fellowship and events. The dance school is the church’s biggest income source.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away!

Bruce Gerencser