and Obedient to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ."
Knox is a member of the
Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)
For more information about the PCA, click here.
For a summary of Knox's beliefs, click here.
A Brief History of Knox Presbyterian Church
The Knox Presbyterian Church had its beginning on January 1, 1913 when the Rev. Alexander Danskin opened Fairview Mission on East Jefferson at Hillger in Detroit. On April 4, 1915, the Mission moved to a larger building on Kercheval and Hillger, where on September 19, 1915, it was officially organized as Knox Presbyterian Church with a chartered membership of 62 individuals. Within five months, the congregation extended a call to the Rev. Arien Muyskens to be the first pastor of the new organization who began his pastorate on March 17, 1916. In the summer of 1916, the church purchased property at East Jefferson near Harding and eventually erected a steel structure often referred to as the "Tin Church.” It was used for services from 1918 to 1925. The church’s second pastor, Dr. Calvin A. McRae (1921-1930), began his ministry there and later at the Knights of Pythias Hall when the congregation returned to the Kercheval-Hillger area. Eventually, property at Dickerson and Mack was selected and purchased in the summer of 1926, and a large tent borrowed from the Detroit Presbytery erected on the site. After the tent was destroyed in a violent windstorm on September 26, 1926, the entire congregation began using the Uptown Theater at Mack and Chalmers for all services.
Ground-breaking ceremonies were held for a basement unit at the Mack and Dickerson site on September 16, 1928, and the cornerstone laid October 14, 1928. The first service was held in the basement on March 10, 1929, with 100 in attendance for a special communion service. The sanctuary section was completed and dedicated on September 8, 1940, during the pastorate of the church’s third minister, Rev. George E. Muran (1931-1942). Rev. Francis Barr Allen came to Knox on October 23, 1942 and served briefly until his death on June 14, 1943, following an extended illness. The fifth minister to serve the church was the Rev. Alfred Holman whose pastorate began May 2, 1944 and continued until his retirement, May 31, 1972. He served as Pastor Emeritus until his death in August 1974. Church growth during his ministry necessitated the addition of an educational wing in 1947 and a fellowship-gymnasium unit in 1957.
Rev. George W. Woodcock, Knox's sixth ordained minister, preached his first sermon on August 13, 1972, and six weeks later conducted the last service held at the city building on October 1, 1972, before it was sold to the Presbytery of Detroit. During the negotiations and purchase of a 5.67-acre tract of land at Crocker and Metropolitan Parkway in Harrison Township, services were held at the Graham Elementary School from October 8, 1972 until the new building was erected and dedicated on February 1, 1976. In July 1980, Knox withdrew from the United Presbyterian Church in the USA and became a charter member of the newly formed Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Throughout the 1980's, the church built several additions and added to the staff Associate pastors John Tenjack and Mark Hudson . Rev. Chris Gibson came on staff in 1988 and served six years as Associate Pastor under Rev. Woodcock who retired July 1, 1993. On December 5, 1993, the congregation called Pastor Gibson as its seventh senior pastor and he served until 2003, following the Lord’s call to the mission field in Budapest, Hungary. Associate Pastor Wayne Uppendahl, youth director Fred Albaugh and Associate Pastor Waring Porter all served during these years.
On October 23, 2003, the congregeation called Rev. Douglas W. Graham as its eighth senior pastor. At a combined worship service on May 9, 2004, the church dedicated the Knox Activity Center to the glory of God. The new major expansion has provided tremendous resources to the youth, the children and the recreational ministries. Assistant Pastor George Boomer came in August 2004 and was called in 2007 to church planting in Virginia. Ryan McVicar came in June 2007 as Knox’s assistant pastor of congregational life and in 2010 was promoted to Associate Pastor. Youth director Chris Sanders has been leading our dynamic youth ministries since joining the staff in March 2009. In November 2010, Knox joined the larger and more biblically conservative Presbyterian Church in America in order to guard the church's cherished value of the authority of Scripture.
As Knox celebrates almost a century of ministry, the church rejoices in her strong foundation in Christ and God’s faithfulness throughout the decades. Knox Presbyterian Church looks forward to the future in anticipation of the marvelous things God will do among His people, transforming lives through the power of the gospel.
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.” Psalm 90 (ESV)