Adrian Monthly Meetinghouse / Raisin Valley Friends Church
Adrian Monthly Meetinghouse
The first pastor of the Adrian Friends Meetinghouse (1835 - 1841) was Daniel Smith, whose Quaker abolitionist daughter Laura Smith Haviland is interred in the church cemetery. The congregation was part of the New York Yearly Meeting until 1869 and then became part of the Ohio Yearly Meeting. Friends worshipped in this building for the first time on June 11, 1835. Until 1874 ministers and elders sat in the gallery facing the congregation during the service. The front row was called the "facing bench." In 1894 the Ladies Missionary Society began. "Friends" took their name from John 15:14 where Jesus says, "Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." This Raisin Valley congregation is Michigan's oldest surviving Friends organization.
Raisin Valley Friends Church
Quakers from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania settled in southeastern Michigan in the early nineteenth century. In June 1831 Adrian Quakers held their first meeting in the home of Darius Comstock. In 1834 David Baker donated six acres of land for a meetinghouse and cemetery. The building that was soon constructed typified nineteenth-century Friends meeting houses in the United States. The building had separate entrances for men and women on the east side leading into a sanctuary with a central movable partition. The original forty-by-fifty-six-foot structure, built at a cost of eight hundred dollars, has been incorporated into the present meetinghouse and is one of the oldest houses of worship in Michigan.