A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MICHIGAN DISTRICT
Michigan was formerly a part of the Central District of the Assemblies of God incorporating Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Steps were taken in 1944 to bring about a division of the territory so that Michigan could function as a separated District. This was consummated in the Council Meeting in 1945, held at Woodward Avenue Baptist Church, Detroit, when the Council in session authorized the formation of the new District.
The ministers and delegates of the Michigan area met in a separate session, electing Charles W. H. Scott as Superintendent, and Bernard L. Bresson as Assistant Superintendent. Mrs. Everett D. Cooley was appointed Secretary/Treasurer. Originally the geographical area of the District was confined to the lower peninsula of the State of Michigan. In 1966 the counties of Luce, Chippewa and Mackinac, originally part of the Wisconsin-Northern Michigan District, were added to the Michigan District.
Starting with 156 ministers, 90 churches, $2,000.00 in cash, and an old desk and file inherited from the Central District, the newly formed Michigan District was on its way. The first District Office was established at 404 West Saratoga, Ferndale. Later the office operated in Ypsilanti and also at Dearborn Gospel Tabernacle. In 1954 the District Office moved to 6053 Chase Road, Dearborn, Michigan. The offices were subsequently enlarged on two occasions. In November 1993, the District purchased an office building at 31500 West Thirteen Mile Road in Farmington Hills and took occupancy of one wing or 9,626 square feet. The remaining space of 24,495 square feet is leased. Total square footage of the building, including common areas, is 40,301 square feet.
Charles W. H. Scott ministered as District Superintendent until he was elected in 1957 to serve as one of the Assistant General Superintendents at the National Headquarters. In a special business meeting held at Brightmoor Tabernacle in October 1957, Everett Cooley, then serving as District Secretary, was elected the new Superintendent of the District. Since then several other Brethren have served as Superintendent of the Michigan District.
The history of the Michigan District reveals a strong emphasis on World Missions and Michigan Missions and Church Planting. In the first year, the District gave $69,537 to World Missions. In 2015, the Assemblies of God, Michigan District, gave $6,411,657.35 to World Missions, with an overall Missions giving of $8,953,615.64.
The Michigan District currently has 865 ministers and 255 churches. The Michigan District is divided into twelve fellowship Sections with an elected Presbyter and Secretary-Treasurer for each Section. The District conducts an annual council preceded by Sectional Councils at which Sectional officers are elected.
FaHoLo Camp and Conference Center, Grass Lake, Michigan, has been the site of the State’s camp programs even before the inception of the District. A second camp site, Lost Valley Bible Camp, located east of Gaylord, was acquired in 1963.
As the work in the District developed, new departments were added. In addition to the Christian Education and Michigan Youth Ministries (formerly called Christ’s Ambassadors) Departments, the Women’s Ministries (formerly called Women’s Missionary Council), Men’s Ministries (formerly called Men’s Fellowship), Teen Challenge, and other departments were established.
Central Bible College – Michigan, an extension of Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, was instituted in 1964. Michigan Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, the District’s College Evangelism program, has been ministering to students on secular campuses in Michigan since 1968. Other departments currently functioning are World Missions, Michigan Missions & Church Planting, Deaf Ministries, District Camps and Music.
Originally, the District’s corporate name was the Michigan District Council; however, in 1962 the District overwhelmingly voted to change its name to Assemblies of God, Michigan District.
To God be the glory for growth and development of the District. Success in the Michigan District is attributed to God’s help and blessing, as well as the good fellowship and team work of all our ministers.
Members of the District Officiary who served the Michigan District:
Charles W.H. Scott Superintendents 1944-1957
Everett D. Cooley 1957-1969
P. Bond Bowman 4/69-9/69
Parvin C. Lee 1969-1973
Thomas E. Trask 1973-1976
Ivar A. Frick 1976-1988
William F. Leach 1988-2015
Jeff Hlavin 2015-
Bernard L. Bresson 1945-1950
P. Bond Bowman 1950-1952, 1956-1959
Parvin C. Lee 1952-1956, 1959-1969
Gene S. Hogan 1969-1980
Louie Callaway 1981-1985
Thomas E. Trask 1986-1988
M. Wayne Benson 1988-1990
Norman W. Muhling 1990-1994
M. Wayne Benson 1994-2000
David R. Williams 2000-2015
Bradley Trask 2015-
Mrs. E.D. Cooley 1945-1948
Donald G. Foote 1948-1952
Malachi R. Cook 1952-1953
Everett D. Cooley 1953-1957
Orie L. Robinson 1958-1963
Fred Smolchuck Sr. 1964-1982
Ernest W. Zilch 1983-1994
Norman W. Muhling 1994-2008
Jeff Hlavin 2008-2015
Curt Dalaba 2015-