About our Church
St. Johns Alma is an open and welcoming community to all who visit us. Although a small congregation, we reach out to the community through our resale shop the Plaid Door and ministries such as visiting at Masonic Pathways, making tied-fleece blankets for the dialysis units in Michigan, contributing to the Women's Shelter and Salvation Army food bank, donating school supplies each fall, and adopting families at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Our life together is centered in the worship of God and witnessing to the good news through our lives. Come and join us!
History of St. John's, Alma
Late in 1853, a party of four land and lumber prospectors, led by Episcopalian Ralph Ely, walked along the rough wagon trail which ran from Ionia to Hubbardston. Reaching the outskirts of civilization, they continued north, cutting a trail for about twenty miles. Reaching the Pine River at the big bend, today's Sumner, they continued northeast for about twelve more miles reaching a spot which is today the intersection of Center and State streets in Alma. There Ely built a twelve by fourteen foot log cabin, the first building in what was to become the City of Alma. The following April, Ely sent for his wife and four children. The first meeting of the Episcopalians was to be in the Ely cabin without clergy.
The first regular services of the Episcopal Church in Alma were held in the Baptist Church building. Plans were made and money raised so that Saint John's was admitted as a mission parish in June of 1886. In November of 1907, Saint John's was admitted as a Parish.
In 1961, the growth in membership plus the general physical condition of the Church building dictated that a new building must be built. The church at that time was located at the corner of Superior and Wright Avenue, site of Alma College Bookstore & Starbucks today. A ten acre site had already been purchased on North Luce Road, adjacent to the Pine River Country Club. Ground was broken on Sunday, October 31, 1965, for the Luce Road structure.
Due to membership decline, as of October 16, 2016, we moved to our own worship room inside The First Presbyterian Church on Charles Avenue. Enter through the main entrance and go left down the hallway and we are the last door on the right.
Since we have a lot smaller area, a lot of older items were donated to the Gratiot County Area Historical Museum, including the original stained glass windows from our first building.