St. Mark's Church / The Reverend Darius Barker
St. Mark's Church
St. Mark's parish, organized at the county courthouse on February 22, 1851, is Paw Paw's oldest Episcopal congregation. The Reverend Voltaire Spaulding conducted the first service in a vacant store. The present church cornerstone was laid on the feast of St. Mark. On April 25, 1876, Joseph Davey built the church under the leadership of the Reverend Darius Barker. Bishop George Gillespie consecrated it on December 6, 1876. The bell tower with a bell donated by the Reverend George Scheltky and his family was added in 1882.
The Reverend Darius Barker
The Reverend Darius Barker was born in 1805 at Unity, New Hampshire. He came to Michigan in 1839, living in Lenawee and Jackson counties. In 1866, Barker became the first resident rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Barker used part of his house, located at the intersection of Oak and Van Buren streets, as a chapel until the present church was built in 1876. Barker extended his pastoral duties to include other Van Buren County communities. He died on May 29, 1892, and was buried in Prospect Cemetery in Paw Paw.