The State Journal – Lansing, Michigan – January 10, 1917
Dedicatory Services For New Mt. Hope Church Begin Sunday
(photo caption: Mt. Hope M. E. Church and Rev. William B. Benn, pastor, whose work made possible new edifice.
Dedicatory services for the opening of Lansing’s newest church will be held by members of the Mt. Hope Methodist Congregation in their new $18,000 edifice, at Mt. Hope ave. and South Cedar st., Sunday.
The ensuing week, up to and including Jan. 21, will be given over to appropriate services. A supper and musical program will be given on the evening of entertainment by Bethany girls on Friday; and a second Sunday of special services on the 21st.
Three years ago, a piece of land, little better than a tract of swamp, situated at the corner of Mt. Hope ave. and South Cedar st., was purchased by trustees of Central Methodist church; a small frame building was erected and a mission Sunday school opened. This was done through a legacy of $1,400, given by Elizabeth Cole Reasoner for the purpose of starting a Methodist mission in a needy and hitherto churchless community. The attractive new church and parsonage, to be opened Sunday morning, is the fruition of that need.
During the first year, a Sunday school was conducted under the leadership of John F. Bell, who is still superintendent of the present school. Services were conducted in the afternoons by the Rev. J. T. LeGear, then pastor of the Central church. Two years and a half ago, William B. Benn was appointed assistant of Central Methodist church and given full charge at Mt. Hope ave. Six months later a church organization was formed and incorporated as the Mt. Hope Ave. M. E. church. From this time on, the growth was rapid and it soon became apparent that a much larger building would be needed.
Just a year ago, a Lansing man and his wife, impressed with the need of such a building in that community, gave as a memorial gift to a deceased daughter the sum of $5,000 towards the building fund of the organization. With this as an inspiration, the members and friends contributed liberally, and the contract for the new church was set. The corner stone was laid by Bishop Henderson in June.
The cost of the church itself is $17,000 exclusive of the pipe organ provided by the Bethany girls, but included in the enterprise was the remodeling of the church into a modern bungalow where the pastor and his wife now reside. The total cost amounts to $18,000 has already been paid or pledged.
During the year all the societies of an efficient church have been organized, including an active boys’ work shop.
The exterior architecture of the church is old English style. The interior which includes an auditorium, parlor, study, dining room, kitchen, and Sunday school rooms is finished in oak. The pews and general furniture are of solid oak in the Gothic. The seating capacity of the auditorium, exclusive of the parlors which can be thrown open, is 425. The building is heated with steam, and lighted electricity, the semi-indirect system being used.
The dedication will be conducted next Sunday at 10:30 a. m. and 1 p. m. The Rev. William H. Phelps, D.D., superintendent of the Lansing district, will preside and the addresses will be given by the Charles B. Allen, D.D., of Detroit. A full orchestra, pipe organ, and choir will contribute toward the musical success of the services, with James Pearce as soloist.
* Transcribed by Timothy Bowman,
March 8, 2014.