History of Greensky UMC

greenskyOver the past two Sundays, I have talked about and shown pictures of the Greensky United Methodist Church, Charle-voix, Michigan, near Petoskey.  Here is the information that I gave in a more complete format.

Greensky United Methodist Church was founded by Peter Greensky (1807-1866). He was also identified as Shagasokicki, an Ojibwa chief converted to Christianity and serving as a Methodist preacher. He was converted under the preaching of John Sunday (Shahwundais) in 1833. Sunday, also an Ojibwa chief, was noted as a hard case before his conversion. It was said he knew only three English words—pint, quart, and whisky. He became an influential preacher in upper Minnesota, and was a leader of his tribe in negotiations with the Canadian government. Following his ordination, Greensky came to Michigan to reach out to his people and other tribes in the area.

Greensky started the Church in 1844.  A building was erected in the early 1850’s.  Timber was brought from Traverse City across Traverse Bay in canoes.  The building was erected close to areas that had been used for inter-tribal councils.  The congregation continues to worship in the building erected in the 1850’s.

Today, Greensky identifies itself as an interracial congregation, with both native and European members.  They also continue to use traditional Ojibwa language and native customs as part of their congregational life.  They are dedicated to maintaining a high respect for the grandfathers and grandmothers of the Church, by which they mean all who have gone before.  Their ministry of memory is a ministry of respect, including respect for those buried on both sides of the Church, including Peter Greensky and his wife.

Trinity is a mere babe of a Church compared to Greensky.  Our ministry is vibrant and full of God’s Spirit.  Like Greensky, we are a Church that does well what God has called us to do.  Re-markably, we are both part of the same denomination, and seek to be faithful to God’s call on our lives and ministry.  Though we are different in age, composition, location, and activities, we are part of God’s great Church.

Thanks be to God.

Pastor Dan



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