Nardin Park UMC History
Nardin Park Methodist Episcopal Church was formed in 1927 by the union of two large churches in northwest Detroit - the Grand River Avenue Church (at Grand River and McGraw) and the Ninde Church (at Grand River and Beverly Court). Immediately they became a congregation of 3,000 members! A new building was erected in 1928 at 5151 W. Chicago Avenue and the church was renamed "Nardin Park." The name was taken from the park and the subdivision where the church was located. You may refer to "Our Journey" Pages 1-2 and Chart on Page 138.
The decision to relocate and to build a new building was made in the early 60s. Twenty acres were purchased in Farmington Township, with ground breaking in 1963. The Nardin Park congregation met at East Junior High School on Middlebelt Road until the new building at 29887 W. 11 Mile Road was ready in September of 1965.
In 1972 a building addition provided more Sunday School rooms, a Youth room, Parlor, Choir room, an expanded Fellowship Hall and Kitchen, a Stage and a Scout Room. In 1989 another addition included an elevator, a Children's Worship Center, a Multi-Purpose Room, Chapel, Music Complex, Courtyard, Office Space, and Offices for the Samaritan Counseling Center.
Tracking the history of a congregation is easier to do through concrete and visible benchmarks such as building accomplishments, membership numbers and pastoral years of service. While as important as these may be, it is the intangible benchmarks that have a more lasting effect on the DNA of a congregation, such as the lives that have been impacted by the grace of God through the people and ministries of this church, and the difference the church makes within the community it is located. It is our prayer that every brick of our building is equally matched by an act of grace within this world we live.
The Archives of Nardin Park Methodist Church
Even before Nardin Park was established, records from its predecessor congregations were being collected and preserved. Although sketchy for Tracy, Ninde, Hudson Avenue, and Grand River Avenue churches, the records for Nardin Park are extensive since its November 2, 1927, founding. The Nardin Park Archives contain virtually every Sunday worship bulletin from its first services to the present. For most of the years copies are available for each month the newsletter was issued. Board of Trustees, Administrative Board, and other organization materials are contained in notebooks. In addition, chronological files contain programs, photographs, and other documents related to the ongoing life of the church. Several church organizations also have provided the Archives with many of their key documents. Our Archives contain conference reports since the early 1860's and local church records from the 1880's. Many individuals have contributed resources and volunteer time to help maintain these materials. Today, the records are stored in a storage room and a closet in the Conference Room.
For information about the Archives, email the church office or Annette and Jim McConnell, firstname.lastname@example.org
A lot of the history is in the church archives. To possibly stimulate your interest see this index of what is available to browse.
The historical marker reads: "NARDIN PARK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH In 1927 the Nardin Park Methodist Episcopal Church was formed by a merger of two Detroit churches: the Ninde Church, organized in 1886, and the Grand River Avenue Church, established in 1891. The following year an educational building and gymnasium were constructed on a site across West Chicago Boulevard from Nardin Park. The Depression delayed construction of the sanctuary. In 1937 a building campaign began. The Kresge Foundation donated $50,000. The completed sanctuary was dedicated in 1943. In 1963 the congregation sold the building to the Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church. The present church was dedicated on October 17, 1965."