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Through the years Fort Street Presbyterian Church has had its woes. In 1876 the interior was destroyed by fire. The roof collapsed, and the spire crashed across Fort Street. It was rebuilt the next year. In 1914, when its gas lamps were being replaced by electric lights, fire broke out again and demolished the roof.

The same spirit that enabled the church to rise from the ashes helped its ministry adapt to changing times. By the turn of the century these members were beginning to move further out, causing the congregation to reassess its mission. Mr. James Joy gave the adjoining property, and Mrs. Oren Scotten gave $50,000 to pay for the erection of the Church House in 1908. This enabled the church to meet the needs of the families of modest means moving into the neighborhood. It set up an active gym program and sponsored one of the first Boy Scout troops west of the Alleghenies.

During World War II the gymnasium was equipped as a dormitory for servicemen arriving at Union Station, then across the street, and 60,000 men made use of it. Today a program for indigents and the lonely of the city serves here hundreds of needy persons weekly. This is just one facet of a multitudinous program serving Detroit in a time of challenge.

Early History

The Building

Tribulations Old and New

Zacariah Chandler and Fort Street Church

Mansion to Mission

Through War and Turmoil

It Happened Here

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