A History of Faithfulness
to God and His Word
According to the Lapeer County Atlas of 1884, the first house of worship in Dryden Township was at Thornville. A primitive building was erected in 1843. In 1847 the congregation wanted a better edifice and built the present sanctuary. The existent structure has undergone many changes. Records show that in 1849 Benjamin Thorne sold the land on which the building sets to a Baptist group for five cents.
The church served the community for forty years, but little was done to keep the building in good repair. A major remodeling project was undertaken in 1885. Through generous donations money was raised to re-side the building, add a front entry, and purchase new pews, pulpit, pulpit Bible, and two beautiful kerosene lamps one with cranberry and one with turquoise colored globes. There were so few Baptists left in the community that at the dedication service for the building the church was named Union Church.
Throughout the church's history, lack of interest in the work caused the services to be discontinued at times. Except for an occasional funeral service, there is no record of the doors of the church remaining open between 1907 and 1928. A Sunday School program was run by Tina Church from 1928-1934, but then again the building was closed and services discontinued. In December of 1946 the building was again re-opened and service resumed under the name Community Church. In 1973, the name of the church was officially renamed Thornville Baptist Church.
Since 1946, modern conveniences were added - water, electricity, a basement, a baptistery, and an entire Sunday School addition which has doubled the size of the original building. Most recently, enlarged handicap-accessible rest rooms have been added, a new nursery with its own washroom, and new carpeting throughout the building. The stained glass windows which originally cost $25 each were restored in 1990 by Cathedral Crafts of Minnesota. The windows were recamed, restenciled and covered with a protective Lexan plastic at a total cost of $14,000.
Additional land was purchased to enlarge the parking facilities and, in the future, to provide recreational facilities for our youth program. It has been the intent of God's people here to utilize the building / property for the worship and honor of God whose promise has come true - "in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:6