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PHOTOS: Royal Oak First United Methodist Church's 175th Anniversary Celebration

ROFUM is the oldest church community in Royal Oak.

Members of ROFUM bow their heads for a prayer of thanks before eating lunch at the church's 175th Anniversary Celebration. Credit: Judy Davids
Members of ROFUM bow their heads for a prayer of thanks before eating lunch at the church's 175th Anniversary Celebration. Credit: Judy Davids
Anniversaries are always a big deal, but Royal Oak First United Methodist Church's (ROFUM) festivities took on extra meaning as the church celebrated 175 years of service to the Royal Oak area.

Originally founded in 1838, ROFUM is the oldest church community in Royal Oak. As part of its year long celebration, the congregation had an official anniversary gathering on Sunday afternoon.

Rev. John Hice gave a prayer of thanks and Bishop Deborah Kiesey offered invocation and comments at a sold-out luncheon and musical program that was attended by more than 200 people.

Many local church and civic leaders were on hand to participate in the celebration, including former Mayor Pecky Lewis (1975-1981), Royal Oak Schools Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin and retired Judge Keith Leenhouts, who has attended the church since the 1930s. Former clergy attending the celebration included Rev. Steve Buck, Revs. Marshall and Susan Dunlap, Rev. Martin McCallum and Rev. Brent McCummons.

Earlier in the week the church was presented a proclamation from the city recognizing the congregation's commitment to local community service. 

The Methodists first gathered in a log school house in 1838, according to church records. ROFUM's present church building was constructed in 1928 at 320 W. Seventh St.

"When the original sanctuary was built, the city used it as an auditorium for a lot of their activities," said Dick LaCombe, a ROFUM historian, who has been a member of the church since 1964. "The original Royal Oak High School held their graduation ceremonies in our sanctuary. The schools didn't have gyms and auditoriums back in those days."

For a complete history of the church, click here.
Angela Doolin January 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM
Bishop Kiesey offered the "invocation," I think, not innovation. Nice article, though--I didn't know the church had been around that long!

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