Ari Church of God

Ari Church of God closing its doors Sunday

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On January 10, 1875, Rev. John Parker, a Church of God circuit preacher, held protracted meetings for the purpose of exploring the possibilities of starting a new church. The meetings lasted two weeks and were held in the old Mason Schoolhouse located about a mile southwest of Potter’s Station (now known as Ari).

Twenty-three people made professions of faith and Rev. Parker remained in the area for about a year to nurture the seed that was planted. Lycurgus Bowman, who had moved from the Wolf Lake area (and had been identified with the Wolf Lake Church of God) served as ruling elder. Elam Disler was elected deacon.

A church was organized with the following people as charter members: Mr. and Mrs Amos Manning, Mr. and Mrs. Abram Disler, Mr. and Mrs. James Mason, Mr. and Mrs. Lycurgus Bowman, Alvira Nahier, Phobe Potter, Margaret Hutton, Catherine Disler, Mary Potter, Anne Kinney, Henrietta McBride, Catherine Manning, Sara Richards, Elam Disler and Silas Potter.

James Potter contributed land on which the church was built. The building committee was composed of Ira Kinney, James Mason and Lycurgus Bowman. John Young served as building contractor. The church structure was completed in June 1876 at a total cost of $1,360. Dedication services were held May 12, 1876 with Rev. Mary E. McColly, assisted by her husband, John McColly II.

As a means of raising funds to pay for the church, the building committee promoted an excursion trip in the fall of 1877 over the Eel River Railroad from Logansport, Indiana to Jackson, Michigan. While at Jackson, the group visited places of interest and were conducted through the Michigan State Prison. A substantial amount was raised from this trip.

Improvements were made over the years which included the digging of a partial basement and installing a furnace. A light plant was purchased to take place of gasoline lights and in later years electric lights were installed. (During the first 51 years, the congregation was served by twenty-seven pastors).

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 re-dedicated by Rev. Marion Shroyer.

A few years later the church purchased a house and had it moved to its recent location to serve as a parsonage.

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