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Miami Presbyterian Church celebrates its Centennial year

The Miami Presbyterian Church turns one hundred this Fall. It has seen the history of two world wars, a Great Depression, nearly as many reverends, and many fluctuating fortunes as the price of copper went up – and then down – and then up, again.

And still, it has survived and flourished in those markers which signal success. A loyal congregation, some of whom have been going to the same church for nearly fifty years and a history of community service.

The first structure built in 1920 was a small frame building located just across the street from the present day church which stands on Hwy 60 and Miami. At the time, tending to the flock, involved a “motorcycle ministry” to outlying mining camps, and so a small frame church was a welcome addition. This church served the needs of a growing congregation until 1920 when the present-day church was constructed at a cost of $50,000. The architects were none-other than Trost and Trost, who had designed several of the more significant buildings in both Miami and Globe, including the Train Depot. 

The church was initially established with funds donated by Cleve Van Dyke, who developed much of Miami. A small frame church was built across the street. It would be approximately ten years before the congregation could build a bigger church and they were able to sell the land they were on and purchase the much larger lot and build a magnificent structure designed by the architectural firm of Trost & Trost (who also designed the old Train Depot in Globe, as well as other historic landmarks in the area).

Initially called the Community Presbyterian Church, the name was changed to Miami Presbyterian as more  Protestant churches were formed in the Miami area.

It reportedly cost $50,000 to build and much of the original workwork is still in tact – and in good repair. The Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 15,2005 and was on the Historic Homes and Building Tour in 1999.

Inside you can still see the cedar pews which were built  and brought from Mexico. The pews were  paid for by church members and small copper plates embedded into each pew commemorate the name of the donor. Then, in the Fellowship Hall is a mural, designed and painted by a former member, Lois Parker, in 1973. This mural, “Christ Among the Laborers”, represents the copper industry. There are skilled laborers on either side of Christ, the carpenter. Over His head, the end of a wire cable outlines a rose window.

The Spanish speaking Presbyterian congregation in Miami used a small frame church before building their own church, El Divino Salvador, in 1949 and in 1986 the two congregations joined together, closing El Divino Salvador and uniting under the dame of Divine Grace Presbyterian Church. The words, “Dios Es Amor”, God is Love, located at the front of the sanctuary came from El Divino, as well as the wooden baptismal font.

About Linda Gross

Writer, photographer. Passionate foodie, lover of good books and storytelling. Lives in Globe. Plays in the historic district. Travels when possible.

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