Ari Church of God to close itís doors

 

          On January 10, 1875, Rev. John Parker, a Church of God circuit preacher, held protracted meetings for the purpose of exploring the possibilities of starting new church. The meetings lasted two weeks and were held in the old Mason Schoolhouse located about a mile southwest of Potterís Station (now known as Ari).

 

          Twenty-three people made professions of faith and Rev. Parker remained in the area for about a year to nurture the seed that was planned. Lycurgus Bowman, who had moved from the Wolf Lake area (and had been identified with the Wolf Lake Church of God) served as ruling elder. Elam Disler was elected deacon.

 

          A church was organized with the following people as members:

Mr. and Mrs. Amos Manning

Mr. and Mrs. Abram Disler

Mr. and Mrs. James Mason

Mr. and Mrs. Lycurgus Bowman

Alvira Nahier

Phobe Potter

Margaret Hutton

Catherine Disler

Mary Potter

Anne Kinney

Henrietta McBride 

Catherine Manning

Sara Richards

Elam Disler

Silas Potter

 

          James Potter contributed land on which the church was built. The building committee was composed of Ira Kinney, James Mason and Lycurgus Bowman. John young served as building contractor. The church structure was completed in June   1876 at a total cost of $1,360. Dedication services were held May 12, 1876 with Rev. Mary E. McColly, assisted by her husband, John McColly II.

 

          As a means of raising funds to pay for the church, the building committee promoted an excursion trip in the fall of 1877 over the Eel River

Railroad from Logansport, Indiana to Jackson, Michigan. While at Jackson, the group visited places of interest and were conducted through the Michigan State Prison. A substantial amount was raised from this trip.

 

          Improvements were made over the years which was included in the digging of a partial basement and installing a furnace. A light plant was purchased to take place of the gasoline lights and in later years electric lights were installed. (During the first 51 years, the congregation was served by twenty-seven pastors).

 

          In the spring of 1949, a new foundation was put under the church and the basement was completed to make room for Sunday School classes. After these improvements were made, the church was re-dedicated by Rev. Marion Shoyer.

 

          A few years later the church purchased a house and had it moved to its recent location to serve as a parsonage.

 

          On Sunday, December 12, the Ari Church of God will officially close its doors with a service of celebration at 3 p.m. Former pastors, members, and friends are invited to share pictures and memories and for a fellowship time following the service.

 

Article was taken from the Northwest News

December 8, 2010