“Don’t come to church here Sunday morning, December 26,” the Rev. Kenneth Tanner recently told his flock at Church of the Holy Redeemer on Grant Road in Rochester Hills.

“Instead, let’s all go to down to Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church (near 1-75 and Mack Ave.) in Detroit and worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ there.”

Holy Redeemer and Greater Shiloh are partner churches—part of Detroit Partnership which five years ago established credible, on-the-ground links between twelve suburban congregations and twelve Detroit congregations.

It didn’t take long for Father Tanner and Pastor Mark Gray, who leads
Greater Shiloh, to become enthusiastic about the two churches they serve worshiping together on Sunday, December 26, the day after Christmas.

“We have a genuine partnership going. The congregations from the suburbs are privileged to serve with our partner churches in the city. I and our congregation have a lot to learn from Greater Shiloh, which was founded in 1881 as the second oldest African-American Baptist congregation in Detroit. Our church was started just 17 years ago,” said Rev. Tanner.

The idea of a joint Sunday service comes naturally, after sharing efforts through the year in Vacation Bible School, food distribution, pulpit exchange, festivals of music and food, and other activities.

This will be the first time that both congregations will be in one place on a Sunday morning. Greater Shiloh’s facility is a registered Michigan Historical Site that can sit the estimated 250 attendees.

“As a liturgical church, we follow a different worship pattern, but are
united with Shiloh in a full commitment to Scripture and to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior,” says Tanner.

“There has long been talk about joining together on Sunday morning, in real-world reconciliation that’s tied to sitting in the same pew. Now is the time to bring this talk to fruition,” said Pastor Gray. “And what better time, than when we celebrate God taking on human flesh for all mankind.”

Everyone reading this article that would like to come at 11:00 am on Sunday, December 26, is warmly invited. The place is Greater Shiloh Church (557 Benton St, Detroit, 48201). For more information or questions, please call 248-852-4081 or visit

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