Our History

Clawson United Methodist Church

Clawson United Methodist Church will celebrate it's 100th year anniversary in 2016.  

In 1910, a group of people were meeting in the Log Cabin School in Troy, or rather Troy Township for church and Sunday School. The group was nondenominational and as it kept growing, it was decided in 1916 that there was a need for an organized church.

On December 1, 1916, a meeting was held to draw up articles of incorporation for Clawson Methodist Episcopal Church. The dedication services were held August 19, 1917.   Rev. Ira Cargo became the pastor.  There were 75 charter members at that time. 

A larger portion of the cost of building and church expenses was raised by church suppers, bazaars, and other fundraisers.  Also at the time, there was no water in the church, and all water had to be carried from a nearby well in ten-gallon cans and lifted over a fence as well.

At one time during the depression years of the early 1930's, the church was unable to keep up payments on an $8000 mortgage and they were afraid they would lose the church so the Ladies Aid purchased equipment and church members served meals at the state fair. 

Reverend John Parrish helped the church celebrate their 25th anniversary in 1941, and also helped greatly in paying off the mortgage.  At this time, there were 188 members and a church school enrollment of over 300.

By 1942, the church school had grown so large it seemed we needed more space, so plans were started for an educational unit.  The new educational building was started in 1949 and finished in 1951.  Nearly 100 men volunteered their time at various times to help the contractor.

By 1955, both the church membership and the school had grown so that it seemed we needed more space.  The new building began in the Spring of 1961 and was completed in 1962.  We celebrated our 50th anniversary in 1966, when our membership books showed a membership of about 1200.

The church had its first woman pastor when Rev. Helen Royce became assistant minister from 1967-1968.

Under the direction of Rev. Clyde Smith (pastor 1968-1973), about 15 high school students went to inner city Detroit to tutor grade school children who needed help in various subjects.

We supported several missionary programs of fairly large amounts around the world.  Also, at home, the layettes program usually amounted to around a total of 100 layettes each year.  These went to Rose Bell's United Neighbors program, hospitals and wherever they were needed.  (We now collect 250 - 300 layettes every year, providing infant clothes and supplies to families in need!)

(Winnifred and Marion Martin wrote the early part of this history in 1983)

Clawson United Methodist Church has housed and fed homeless families and individuals from South Oakland Shelter one week every October for over 25 years now.  Several times a year we serve lunch at Baldwin Center in Pontiac.

Other church ministries over the years have included mission trips to Haiti, regular visits to help residents of the Jeffries project in Detroit, collecting lots of clothes and food for those in need, including a small food pantry in the church.

We have sent many children and youth to United Methodist camps over the years, especially to choir camp, since we have had a strong music program.

In 2015 we started Messy Church - a new way for families to worship and learn about faith with all ages together.