Michigan Church Records

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Before 1900 the largest religious groups in Michigan were the Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic churches. Information about early churches, ministers, and circuits is in published histories of some of the churches of Michigan.

The availability of Michigan church records is described in the Summer 1973 issue of Family Trails (see the "Periodicals" section). Other inventories of the church archives of several denominations, such as the Protestant Episcopal and Evangelical, have been published and are at the Family History Library.

The Michigan Historical Records Survey, WPA, completed a series of denominational record lists called Inventory of the Church Archives of Michigan. Check for these records in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:


The library also has copies of a few small collections of original Michigan church records. Some original manuscripts and published abstracts are also in the Bentley Historical Collection at the University of Michigan (seeMichigan Archives and Libraries for the address).

Many denominations have gathered their records into central repositories. You can write to the following addresses to learn where their records are located:

Baptist[edit | edit source]

Kalamazoo College
Upjohn Library
1200 Academy Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Telephone: 616-337-7153
Fax: 616-337-7143
Web address:

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA Archives)
8765 West Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631-4198
Telephone: 312-380-2818
Fax: 312-380-2977
E-mail Address: archives@elca.org  
(Note: Please include a mailing address when using the E-mail address.)
Internet: http://www.elca.org

The records of Evangelical Lutheran churches in the United States that have been disbanded are located at the ELCA Archives in Chicago. If a church is still active, they will be able to help you locate their records.

The ELCA Archives has records of many congregations and those on microfilm can be borrowed for a small fee. A list of church records in its collection is given in:

ALC Archives. ALC Congregations on Microfilm. Dubuque, Iowa: The Archives, [197-?]. (FHL fiche 6330690–93.) Arranged by state and city of congregation. Fiche 6330690 includes Michigan. The ALC Archives are now part of the ELCA Archives.

Methodist[edit | edit source]

Shipman Library
Adrian College
110 South Madison Street
Adrian, MI 49221
Telephone: 517-265-5161
Fax: 517-264-3331
Internet: http://www.adrian.edu/library/resources/archive.php

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

Diocese of Marquette
444 South Fourth Street
P.O. Box 550
Marquette, MI 49855
Telephone: 906-225-1141
Fax: 906-225-0437
Internet: http://www.dioceseofmarquette.org/

Archdiocese of Detroit
1234 Washington Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48226
Telephone: 313-237-5800
Fax: 313-237-4642
Internet: http://www.aodonline.org/AODOnline/AODOnline.htm

Diocese of Saginaw
5800 Weiss Street
Saginaw, MI 48603-2799
Telephone: 517-799-7910
Fax: 517-797-6670
Internet: http://www.saginaw.org/

Diocese of Grand Rapids
660 Burton Street S.E.
Grand Rapids. MI 4950
Telephone: 616-243-0491
Fax: 616-243-4910
Internet: http://www.dioceseofgrandrapids.org/

Diocese of Lansing
300 West Ottawa
Lansing, MI 48933
Telephone: 517-342-2440
Fax: 517-343-2515
Internet: http://www.dioceseoflansing.org/

For information concerning Catholic records, see:

Inventory of the Church Archives of Michigan, The Roman Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Detroit. Detroit, Michigan: Michigan Historical Records Survey, 1941. (FHL book 977.4 K2hca; film 962282 item 1; fiche 6051290.)