5-8-15-Yamasaki-designed sanctuary and corridor 5-8-15-NorthminsterLabyrinth 5-8-15-First Church Building 1956 5-8-15-Congregation meets in Poppleton School 1955

Friday, May 8, 2015

In 1954, Reverend MacKay Taylor was called by the Presbytery of Detroit to canvass Troy and initiate the organization of a church. After initial meetings at Poppleton School, a small chapel and large church schoolroom were completed in May 1956 at Northminster’s current location of 3633 W. Big Beaver Road. A large fellowship hall, the current sanctuary, and the main corridor with classrooms were completed in October 1960. These were designed by famed architect Minoru Yamasaki.


The Northminster congregation has a history of being involved in social justice issues. The group supported non-discrimination in housing and civil rights in the 1960’s and 1970’s and today advocates LGBT rights and positive interfaith relations. From the mid-1980s to mid-1990s the Northminster members hosted Congregation Shir Tikvah, before that group’s synagogue on Northfield Parkway was built.


Rev. Taylor continued as pastor at Northminster until his retirement in 1992. Reverends Hank and Judy Borchardt then served as pastors from 1994 until 2002. Reverend Charlotte Sommers joined Northminster in 2004. She continued Northminster’s history of supporting social justice by serving as one of the founding members of the Troy-area Interfaith Group, and helping to establish an interfaith labyrinth. The Interfaith Group’s first event in 2005, Troy’s Interfaith National Day of Prayer, was hosted by Northminster. Reverends Ann and Bill Robertson began as Parish Associates in 2012.



Meeting in Poppleton School 1955

First church building 1956

Building designed by Minoru Yamasaki

Prayer Labyrinth

To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TroyHistoricVillage. You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at ed@thvmail.org.

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