we began as an experiment
The Church of God Reformation movement began in the late 1800s as an experiment in Christian unity. Tired of religious division and prejudice, a group of men and women came together in agreement to: simply claim to be Christians; use the Bible as sole authority; and depend on God’s Holy Spirit to unify them with other Christians regardless of denomination.
First Church is one of over 2500 congregations who trace their roots to this “experiment” in Christian unity. We are affiliated with the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana.
First Church of God - St. Joseph Campus began in 1906 with a small local group meeting in homes. As the size grew, lots were purchased near the river (present site of the Berrien County courthouse) and construction began on Faith Home, the first church building.
Faith Home was built primarily by members of the congregation, opened in 1906, and included a pastor’s dwelling, dorm rooms, an auditorium seating 200 people and a kitchen in the basement. Its bi-lingual (English and German) staff lived as one large family.
Faith Home became a refuge for traveling ministers, speakers, guests and many immigrants from Germany and East Asia as well as a place of worship, teaching and distribution house for the Gospel Trumpet Company’s (Warner Press) literature until a new church building was constructed in 1952 at the present site on the corner of Niles and Botham Avenues. Since then, a number of wings and extensions have been added to the building as the church family has grown.
First Church is now served by lead pastor David Colp and eight associate pastors. It currently offers three campus locations (St. Joseph, Benton Heights, and Stevensville). We offer three service times with two styles, enabling First Church to be a unique multi-generational church as it continues to be a hub of activity for the church family and the community seven days a week.