We've Come This Far by Faith
The beginning of Elim dates back to 1916 when several families came from McKeesport to Detroit. They were desirous to begin a mission in Detroit and the first meeting was held in the home of Edward Sundell with 8 present. This work grew and the meetings moved to the German Baptist Church. In July 1916 the group again moved to the Woodward Avenue Baptist Church where Sunday School and evening services were conducted in the Institute building on Winder and Woodward. Organization for the church was set for October 22, 1916 and Reverend E. Brodin from McKeesport was asked to serve as chairman of the council. The church was called the First Swedish Church of Detroit and settled at Bellevue and Gratiot.
A desire was expressed to branch out and a mission Sunday School was started in the Schultz School near Meyers Road and McNichols Road. A parsonage was purchased on Indiana in 1941.
While on the east side of Detroit, a need for a new building was great and much searching was done by Pastor C. Wallin. Property on Appoline was purchased and a building moved to the new site. The auditorium was built in the basement to seat 200 and Sunday School rooms were added upstairs. Here the work grew and membership increased. In January 1944, the mortgage was burned and the church rejoiced. Victory over Japan Day was a great day for many including the church. There were 16 blue stars on our service flag and only one had changed to gold. A Wurlitzer Organ was purchased and dedicated on Thanksgiving 1945. Detroit Bible Institute used our building to meet their needs during 1949 and 1950 while their new building was being built. A Sunday School bus was purchased in 1950. Missions were emphasized and Miss Elsie Funk was supported as our missionary to Japan. Our own Doris Denike was supported in schooling and training for work among the Navajo Indians. Reverend & Mrs. James Luckman also began to receive support at this time for their work in Ethiopia.
Once again a need for a larger quarters was felt and the building fund was again activated. A mission Sunday School was started on Lenore and Curtis in the fall of 1952. This property was later purchased and became the Curtis Baptist Chapel. This became a Conference Church.
A desire was expressed by the Hebrew Christian Mission to purchase the property on Appoline and so a new location was sought and found on Lahser and Vassar in northwest Detroit. Dedication of the new building at 19333 Lahser was held on July 11, 1954.
Today, almost 100 years later, Elim is still preaching and teaching the word of God.