It’s been about a month now since Whosoever Ministry United Church of Christ moved from their old space at the Detroit Ecumenical Theological Seminary in downtown Detroit to the Grosse Pointe Congregational Church in Grosse Pointe.
“We heard that ETS was going to go on the market,” said Rev. Dr. Selma Massey. “They told us we would have a year to consider that. I began putting out feelers and it just so happened that we went out to Grosse Pointe Congregational Church for a Pentecost celebration, where our praise team performed. So while we were there it just occurred to me that it might work to move there.”
The timing was perfect. The pastor at Grosse Pointe Congregational, Richard Yeager-Stiver, had recently asked the board to consider inviting another church in to share their space.
“Our space is large and it was a little underutilized,” said Ed Priebe, GPCC’s board moderator. “Our pastor thought bringing in another congregation and sharing the space would work out.
“I got lucky,” Priebe continued. “Somebody suggested Whosoever and I went down in July for one of their services and I fell in love with them. They’re very dynamic and they’re very outgoing. It was an easy fit right off the bat. I had couple of conversations with Selma and I put it to a vote before the board.”
Since making the move last month, Massey said she’s received nothing but affirmation that it was the right thing to do.
“It’s been an extravagant welcome,” said Massey. “I can’t believe how welcoming they’ve been to us. They’ve opened up their home for us to be there seven days a week, whatever type of activities we want to have. Whereas our former home at the Ecumenical Theological Society we had to buy the time for each of our events. Now we can have all kinds of activities. We have couples therapy that meets on Thursday, and Bible study on Wednesday. There are so many things that we are able to do. It gives us a chance to outreach to the community, to the broader community, and do the things a church is supposed to do.”
So far, Massey said the move has been without a single challenge.
“I initially thought that since it was going further east we might lose a number of people who wouldn’t follow us,” she said. “But as it turns out it looks like everyone has come. The ones who have transportation issues others have picked them up and everyone who wants to be there is able to be there. I didn’t want to leave anybody behind. I didn’t want to do that.”
Priebe agreed that it’s been a smooth transition.
“Everybody’s thrilled that they’re there here,” he said. “This is working out very well for both sides. We’ve actually had a couple of joint meetings with the board from both sides. There’s been very littles to discuss. Everyone’s been very cooperative and very positive.”
Whosoever Ministry United Church of Christ now meets at the Grosse Pointe Congregational Church, located at 240 Chalfonte Street in Grosse Pointe. Sunday services begin at 11:30 a.m.