by Sue Harrison
The roots of religious heritage in Cedar Springs are as deep and long as the history of the people who settled it. No group or community can survive long without some common belief or religions commitment to bind them together.
The very first sermon in Cedar Springs was preached in 1855 by a Methodist Episcopal preacher, Rev. W. W. Johnson, a circuit rider. Those services were held in the little log schoolhouse, which was then located on the southeast corner of Main and Muskegon Streets. A class of eight persons formed and continued to be served by Laphamville Circuit riders. (Laphamville was the original name for Rockford, Mich.)
The Methodist Episcopal Society was organized on October 6, 1866, with Preacher in Charge, Rev Burton Smith, along with four circuit riders who served eight other outposts in the North Kent area. Thus, the Methodist Episcopal Church became the second organized church in Cedar Springs.
This year, 2016, marks a milestone for the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, which will be celebrating 150 years serving Cedar Springs through Christian worship. As part of its Sesquicentennial celebration, the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church has planned the following events open to the public throughout the summer and fall.
June 25 – Following a week of Vacation Bible School, there will be a Field Day held at Skinner Field with games, bounce house, and face painting. Hot dogs, chips and water will be provided.
July 31 – Hymn Sing and Ice Cream Social held at the church.
August 28 – Tent Revival in Morley Park, with hot dogs, chips, and water served afterward.
Oct. 1 – Red Flannel Day. Parade entry of circuit rider and a horse-drawn float.
Oct. 16 – Jubal Brass Concert at the CS United Methodist Church with a reception following the concert.
Nov. 20 – Rededication of the church cornerstone. Former pastors will be invited. A potluck will be held after the morning church service and before the ceremony.