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Niles, Michigan




Baptist, Episcopal & Presbyterian Churches

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First Baptist Church

Back of postcards reads:  "This church was organized Aug. 6th, 1841 and the present structure dates from 1878.  It was indirectly related to the work of the Carey Mission founded by Isaac McCoy for work among the Indians that lived in the Niles area along the St. Joseph River."

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Trinity Episcopal Church

This is the oldest existing church structure in Niles, located in the oldest Episcopal parish in the Diocese of Western Michigan. The first Episcopal service in Niles was conducted by Bishop Philander Chase in 1832. The parish was organized in 1834. In that year there were 14 houses in Niles. The first edifice, of frame construction, was built on this site in 1836 under the direction of Rev. James Selkrig, the first rector. The present church was completed in 1858. On May 7, 1876, the Rev. Robert McMurdy presented 308 persons for confirmation. This is said to have been one of the largest such classes in American church history.

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Presbyterian Church

Back of postcard reads:  "Niles is a city of many churches.  Most of the major Church denominations have strong, vital Church organizations and beautiful edifices.  The Presbyterian Church has been a spiritual force in this community for over a century.  The present building was erected in 1914 as a memorial to the Chapin family."

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Back of postcard reads:  "This is one of the many fine churches in Niles.  Churches of all denominations have important sites on the city's beautiful streets.  Their congregations are large and active.  'Churches Are Used in Niles.'"

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St. Mary's Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Church in Niles traces its origin to the Indian Mission established at nearby Fort St. Joseph in the late 1600's. Reestablished at Bertrand, three miles south of Niles, in the 1830s, the mission moved into town in 1849 and was renamed St. Francis's. In 1866 the cornerstone of the present building was laid and on December 11, 1870, the church was dedicated to St. Mary. Designed by Rufus Rose of Niles with later modifications by Father John Cappon, the church was completed in 1890 with the construction of the gothic tower. Father Cappon, known as the "parish's greatest benefactor," was a Belgian-born priest who served as pastor for over thirty years. He gave generously of his large personal estate for many parish improvements.

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Methodist Episcopal Church

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Evangelical Church & First Evangelical Church

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First Church of Christian Science

Back of postcard reads:  "First Church of Christ Scientist is a branch of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ Scientist, Boston, Mass.  This edifice was built in 1926."

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German Church

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