Source: Sherman Publications

Week of events for church anniversary

by Phil Custodio

September 07, 2011

Clarkston United Methodist Church kicks off a week-long 50th-anniversary celebration, Sunday, Sept. 11, with a historic walk.

"Fifty years ago, Sept. 17, the congregation walked down Buffalo from Church Street to Waldon to their new sanctuary," said Pastor Amy Mayo-Moyle, leading the Forward with Faith Planning Team.

"I was a 10th grader – the whole family was involved," said George White, team member.

Planners Richard and Mary Beth Huttenlocher also helped.

"I remember watching the new church go up," Richard said. "Dad was the building chairman. He'd stop by every morning and talk to contractors."

"It was just the sanctuary with one wing," Mary Beth said. "The rest of the buildings went up in steps."

The 1960s were an exciting time for Clarkston and the church, White said.

"We had the men’s group, lots of women society things," he said. "The community was growing rapidly."

"The church was center of town, the community center," Mary Beth said. "We had a lot of outreach then, too."

Anniversary events Sept. 11 start with a pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m. The walk starts at 10 a.m. at Church and Buffalo streets, with worship service at 11 a.m. at the new church, 3600 Waldon Road.

"Sharron (Catallo, owner) will let Rick and George ring the bell – it's very nice of her," Mary Beth said.

They used to do that growing up, signaling start of services.

"We'd swing on the bell rope," Richard said.

"The bell ringer would be in the steeple," said Marilyn Weber, church historian. "Sometimes they would see people hurrying to church, and they’d hold off a bit on ringing the bell."

Forward with Faith 50th Anniversary Week continues:

Monday, Sept. 12, 12:30 p.m., 50-year luncheon;

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 6:30 p.m., UMW Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend Tea, $5;

Friday, Sept. 16, Family Hayride and Bonfire at Diehl’s Orchard in Holly;

Saturday, Sept. 17, Mission In Action Day at Cass Community Social Services, meet at CUMC at 8:15 a.m.; and

Sunday, Sept. 18, United Methodist Men’s Breakfast, 7:30 a.m., with guest speaker Frank Tanana, former Detroit Tiger pitcher, and worship services, 9 a.m., 11 a.m., with the Rev. Doug Trebilcock. Pot Lock Picnic follows 11 a.m. service, with a concert by Ivybrooke Trio, 3 p.m.

Former clergy and church members are invited to share memories of the past 50 years.

For more information, call 248-625-1611 or check