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Methodist Episcopal Church, Big Rapids, MI

September 17, 2015


Several Michigan churches in my collection have a strong family resemblance, including Methodist churches in Big Rapids and Hastings. I have crappy postcard view of both, though neither gives much indication of an “Akron Plan” Sunday School. Another card of Big Rapids showed up in my searching this morning, so I decided to take a look on google.maps. Sure enough, partially masked by a recent addition, there is the telltale polygon-ality of the Akron idea for efficient religious education. If there’s not a fullblown A-A interior, I’ll be genuinely surprised.

Similar churches in the same region suggest a local architect specializing in church design. Big Rapids and Hastings were both designed by Detroit architect William E. N. Hunter (1868-1949), who arrived on the scene at precisely the right moment to be a full participant in the A-A phenomenon. I’ll be surprised if there aren’t more yet to be found.

The date of construction is 1907, by the way.


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One Comment
  1. Richard Cawthon permalink

    This building is also similar to the First Methodist Church in Warsaw, Indiana; the North Woodward Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church (not extant) in Detroit; and the former Central Methodist Church (now Central United Church) in Windsor, Ontario.

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