Historic Detroit Church Suffers Devastating Loss

St Philip Evangelical Lutheran Church is the first African American Lutheran Church in the State of Michigan. It was started in 1934. In its heyday, St. Philip’s opened the first Lutheran grade school for Blacks in the State of Michigan.  This enabled the growth of Detroit’s elite who later became the leaders in and around the Detroit area. Doctors, lawyers, councilmen and educators filled the pews for Sunday service and supported the school and church as it grew in membership and influence.
Due to a fledging community, urban blight and a decaying community, St Philip suffered a devastating loss in membership but remained a proud, strong and God-serving church for 87 years. Before and during COVID-19 and the pandemic of 2020, St Philip started a youth program that grew in membership, partnered with Gleaners for community outreach, organized a clothes closet for the community and mentored Detroit Middle School at-risk females.
Before a newly formed senior citizen program could be implemented, St Philip suffered a debilitating flood in June 2021 that destroyed the lower level of the church. It destroyed the kitchen, computer room, youth and adult choir room, the clothes closet, two bathrooms and the multi-purpose fellowship hall. The lower level had to be gutted and all equipment including oven, stove, freezer, cabinets, tables, chairs, piano, computers and other supplies and equipment had to be removed and discarded.
Because of this devastating flood that St Philip endured, we pray for your assistance in helping us to rehabilitate and rebuild the lower level of the church to
1. Continue the Outreach Program,
2. Develop and Implement a Comprehensive Senior
Citizen Program,
3. Strengthen and Increase the Youth Program and
4. Continue to Serve the Community.
Through prayer and financial support, we will rise from the devastation and become again a beacon of light for the community serving God’s children.
Thank you for your support.


Patricia Benjamin
Detroit, MI

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