A Brief History
Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church began in April 1942 when a young United Presbyterian minister, Dr. Frank J. Irvine, accepted a call from the Board of American Missions of the United Presbyterian Church of North America to come to Dearborn from Pueblo, Colorado, to start a mission church. Littlefield Presbyterian Church in East Dearborn helped considerably. It was almost six years before Cherry Hill worshipers had a building of their own. Services and Sunday School classes and other activities were held in Lindbergh Elementary School across Telegraph Road from the present location of the church.
The chapel was completed in 1948. The Church School was growing so rapidly that classes were held in every possible nook in the building. By 1950, plans were being made for an Education Building adjacent to and connecting with the chapel. The addition was dedicated in May 1953. By 1955, the physical resources of the church again being strained, still another Building Committee was put to work- first planning – and then supervising the construction of the Sanctuary. The attractive building of colonial design was dedicated in June 1958. Some months later, the crowning glory of the sanctuary, the beautiful Austin Pipe organ was dedicated.
Dr. Irvine was the wise and efficient administrator and friend during three major building programs. A total of $700,000 had been pledged and paid in a period of less than 15 years. With greatly increased membership, the need for space again became pressing, especially for offices, music and choir rooms, youth activities, and additional classrooms. An addition at the rear of the sanctuary, as well as improvements to existing building, were completed in 1970.
Countless children and young people have passed through the doors over the years to attend Sunday School and Youth activities. Youth and their advisors took yearly mission trips to various parts of the country to extend Cherry Hill’s ministry beyond Dearborn. There were numerous championship athletic teams sponsored by the church, fellowship groups, Bible study groups, community programs, and the list goes on. For many years, the church has provided a home for the Dearborn Pastoral Counseling Center, C.H.U.P. – a co-op nursery school – which is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, and Scout Troup #1111. For many years, the church presented as a gift to the community, “The Boar’s Head Festival” which is a costumed, musical program of pageantry and Christmas music. The production involved around 300 persons and attracted large audience every other year.
Today, Cherry Hill Church continues to build on the foundation laid by our ancestors. The church operates the “Helping Hand Food Pantry” which assists those in need of food. The program continues to grow and expand. Several community groups continue to meet in the building. In 2016, the church inaugurated a concert series, “Music at Cherry Hill,” which presents national and international artists in concert. We continue to seek new ways to move forward in ministry and mission and witness and worship.