This building is the fourth home of the First Presbyterian Church, the continuing congregation of the First Protestant Society of Detroit, which was formally incorporated in 1821. The society was organized in 1816 by the Reverend John Monteith, a 28-year-old graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, who in 1817 helped found and became the first president of what is now the University of Michigan
. This Romanesque style edifice, designed by George D. Mason and Zachariah Rice, was dedicated in 1891. Its congregation, one of the oldest Protestant ones in the state, established Detroit's Harper Hospital in 1861. In 1911 the adjoining "church house" was completed for educational and social activities.