CHURUBUSCO — After 135 years of serving the community, the Ari Church of God is closing its doors.
The church will officially close with a service of celebration planned for 3 p.m. Sunday at the church. Anyone is welcome to attend. Former pastors, members and friends are invited to share pictures and memories during a fellowship time following the service.
On Jan. 10, 1875, a circuit-riding preacher with the Church of God, Rev. John Parker, began two weeks of meetings that were to explore the possibility of starting a church. Those meetings were held at the Mason Schoolhouse, located southwest of Potter’s Station, now known as Ari.
Ari is located just east of Churubusco, off state Route 205.
The decision was reached to organize a church with Mr. and Mrs. Amos Manning, Mr. and Mrs. Abram Disler, Mr. and Mrs. James Manson, Mr. and Mrs. Lycurgus, Mary Potter, Anne Kinney, Harietta McBride, Catherine Manning, Sara Richards, Elam Disler and Silas Potter.
James Potter contributed land on which the church was to be built. Dedication services with Rev. Mary E. McColly, assisted by John McColly II, occurred on May 12, 1876 and by June of that year the church structure was completed at a cost of $1,360.
During the first 51 years of the church, the congregation was served by 27 pastors.
To raise funds to pay for the church, the building committee organized an excursion trip in the fall of 1877 over the Eel River Railroad from Logansport to Jackson, Mich. While in Jackson, the group visited places of interest and toured the Michigan State prison. The trip raised a substantial amount of money for the building of the church.
Over the years, a variety of improvements were made including the digging of a partial basement, furnace installation, a light plant was purchased to replace gasoline lights and in later years, electric lights were installed.
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 rededicated by Rev. Marion Shroyer.
A few years later the church purchased a house to be used for a parsonage and had it moved to recent location.