St. Andrews History

History of St. Andrews

We believe that our church is a miracle. This is a brief part of our story:

St. Andrews Presbyterian Church had its beginnings at a New Years Day 1995 meeting at the home of Ned and Bobbie Edwards. On December 31, 1995, the church was chartered with 63 members.

Mary Elizabeth Armstrong
Jon Stephen Armstrong
James T. Baker
Mary Louise Baker
Barbara L. Baltazar
James E. Baltazar
Eleanor Bancroft
Russell Bancroft
Michael Bancroft
Joan Ruge Buckmaster
James W. Coats
Judith Irene Coats
Curt Cooper
Lucie Cooper
Betty Cramer
Robert Cramer
John B. Daugherty
Virginia R. Daugherty
Marian Edwards Doane
Anne Sluyter Dryden
Earl Lee Dryden
Barbara Anne Trapp Edwards
John Anthony Fellows, Jr.
John D. French
Marjorie Louise French
Robert C. Froelich
Ellen Ann (Nan) Froelich
Donald C. Graves
Ellen H. Graves
Richard H. Gregory
Roseanne S. Gregory
Christine Ann Jahr
David Edward Jahr
Gladys Mary Kendall
James Robert Kendall
Betty Krebs
Willard B. Krebs, Jr.
Charles John Larson
Sally C. Larson
David Lean
Jane Allison Lean
Verona B. Lewis
Christine MacInnes
James Donald MacInnes
Marion K. MacInnes
Donna Malecki
Janet B. McCloud
Donald M. Phillips
Elaine A. Phillips
Charlotte FitzHenry Robling
Neva Schalm
James Sheffield
Sue Sheffield
Marilyn J. Skold
Ronald V. Skold
Carol Shirley Slonaker
Betty Jean Tompkins
William E. Tompkins
Shirley Trump
Phoebe Vance
Roger Vance

In that year, we found a place to worship–St. Philip’s Episcopal Church welcomed us to share its building. We called our first pastor, The Rev. Dr. Ned Edwards, and then found a site for the new church we hoped to build, 19 acres with a beautiful view acquired from members, Bill and Betty Tompkins.

We chose the name St. Andrews Presbyterian Church to honor Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, because the Scottish brought the Presbyterian Church to America. Celtic crosses surround us in our sanctuary: You will see the cross on the communion table, on the pulpit and, at the rear of the church on a Scottish flag.

As the church building was still a dream, we rented a tent to put on our property for church services. We also used the tent for picnics, Bible school, and committee meetings. The first Kirking of the Tartans (which became a tradition of our church) was held in the tent.

At that first Kirking, there was a terrible thunderstorm with lots of rain. David Van Dam, executive of the Mackinac Presbytery, looked up and said, “We’re being baptized!”

The tent was packed with standees on the outside on that first Kirking.

A design by Tom Reay of Saginaw, Michigan, was chosen for the new church building. The design’s most important feature was the glass windows allowing us to view the beautiful nature on all sides. Ground was broken in the spring of 1999 and completed in June of 2000.

The first service in our new church was held on June 18, 2000. All the Presbyterians and Episcopalians gathered at St. Philip’s, and all of them walked or rode in a horse-drawn wagon north on US 31 to the new building. The Michigan State Police handled the traffic. We worshiped together and celebrated with a reception afterwards.

Dr. Edwards announced his retirement in early 2002. The Rev. Dr. Terry Bard, associated with St. Andrews since its inception, became interim pastor. The Rev. Dr. Thomas Nelson was called to the St. Andrews pastorate September 1, 2002. The Rev. Nelson left in July of 2005, and the Rev. Pam Fulton served as supply interim pastor while the pastor nominating committee conducted the search for the next pastor. The Rev. Shelaine Bird and the Rev. Kyle Segars answered our call and began their ministry as co-pastors in August 2007.

Each of these gifted pastors brought unique gifts to help in the growth of St. Andrews.

Dr. Edwards and Dr. Bard helped us envision our beautiful place of worship. Not only do we have a magnificent edifice, but also we are surrounded by banners and special seasonal displays to aid our worship, many of which are provided by our Liturgical Art Group. Our fellowship hall, named Edwards Hall to honor the founding pastor, is the site of many joyous dinners and events. The completion of the fully functioning kitchen was celebrated with a pancake luncheon with Dr. Edwards doing the honor of “flipping” pancakes.

Dr. Nelson helped us understand more fully the importance of our liturgy. He introduced a variety of ways to partake of communion and involved the entire congregation in baptisms, reminding us weekly of the importance of our own baptism.
Rev. Fulton helped guide us in identifying who we are by helping us understand what it means to be Presbyterian. She focused on communication, helping us to formulate a mission statement to guide our ministry: Open minds, Open hearts, Open hands — St. Andrews is an open, Christ-centered community of faith: serving, learning and praying together. The congregation will be forever grateful for Rev. Fulton’s ministry and mourned her death in May 2009.

Rev. Bird and Rev. Segars brought youthful vitality to the church. Their young family, Sedona who arrived as an exuberant three-year-old and Silas born in June 2009, reminded the congregation of the joy of youth. Their ministry of enthusiasm and genuine caring led the congregation in finding new ways to reach out into our community.

We are a serving church with a strong mission program reaching out to others in a variety of ways:  we support Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life; we initiated a fund-raiser for local agencies, Concerts on the Hill; we host monthly Community Suppers, no-charge suppers for anyone to attend; we invited a mission team from Illinois to assist us in repairing homes in nearby Thompsonville; we sent teams of workers to do hurricane relief; we have an active Shawl Ministry Program; we knit sweaters for children; we collect warm clothing for the Presbyterian Copper Country Free Store for our neighbors in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; we support through financial gifts and prayers Presbyterian missions throughout the world.

We are a learning church with numerous Adult Education classes–one on Sunday, another on Thursdays, and still others. We host lecture series with special speakers. We host International Peacemakers through a denominational program. We have a weekly Sunday school program for our children and host Vacation Bible School for the community. We get together for potluck dinners, Presbyterian Women’s meetings, men’s book studies, and any number of committees.

We are a praying and worshiping church. Our life together is marked by joyful liturgy and celebration of sacraments, great music and timely preaching, magnified by a setting that shouts of God’s goodness in creation.

But above all else in our church is our dedication to God, the Father; Jesus Christ, the Son; and the Holy Spirit.
(Charlotte Robling & Betty Tompkins – 6/2003; updated by Charlotte & Betty – 10/2005; updated by Betty Tompkins & Dianne Stephenson 8/2009)