In 1833 the Basel Mission Institute of Switzerland sent Friedrick Schmid as its first missionary to the United States. Schmid is credited with founding some twenty churches in Michigan, including the Thomas Church. At first Thomas and Anna Roth hosted services in their home. In 1844 they sold land to the Thomas Church for a sanctuary. According to tradition the church was named for Thomas Roth. The present edifice comprises and 1874 church and 1965 additions. Services in German were held exclusively until 1935, then once per month until the late 1950s.