Our Story

In January 1839 twenty people organized the First Baptist Church of Royal Oak. Of those original members, ten were baptized in the Red Run Creek that February. One of those ten, Hamlet Harris, “a free colored person” according to the 1840 census, donated twenty-five dollars towards the construction of the first church. It was built in the summer of 1839 near Main and Third Streets.

All subsequent churches have stood on 309 North Main Street where the second church, known as the “Greek Cross Church,” was built in 1876. Athalinda Phelps donated the land, and the Reverend Silas Finn provided his labor and half of the money required for the building.

When membership was low at the turn of the century, Anna B. Quick held meetings to maintain the church charter. The Tabernacle followed in 1918, the first brick sanctuary in 1921 and the adjacent educational building in 1950. The present sanctuary dates from 1965.

In 2000, a group of young adults under the leadership of Steve Norman from Kensington Community Church in Troy felt led to establish Genesis: The Church in downtown Royal Oak. The church grew rapidly, meeting in various schools and other facilities throughout the community.

In response to a shared vision, the two churches merged on January 1, 2010. Drawing on the heritage of both churches, Genesis is now a non-denominational church affiliated with the American Baptist Churches of Michigan and other church organizations.