In 1858, a group of concerned New Englanders living in Gambleville (now known as Somerset) chose to form a Congregational society. Under the encouragement of Rev. George Barnum, an enthusiastic and experienced leader, the group met at the schoolhouse on November 1st 1858, to plan for the proposed church. The following persons gave their name for membership at this first meeting: Ashter T. Strong, Harriet Strong, Joshua Davison, Azariel Smith, Mary Smith, George A. Smith, James A. Strong, Julia A. Strong, Catherine B. Smith, Daniel C. Crane, Lucy Crane, Matilda Davison, Charles H. Lewis, Orril Choate, Jane McKnight, James M. Torrance, Margaret B. Torrance, and Rebecca Gamble.
Those who desired membership in the church in 1858 were examined "as to the genuineness of their Christian hope." The church kept a close watch on its members, and they were subject to dismissal if they committed designated offenses such as being a practitioner of the evil of slavery.
In January of 1859, it was reported that Mr. G.A. Smith had offered the land north-east of the "corners" for the meeting house and the Church stands there today. The sum of $1,500 was subscribed from members and construction began later that year. The new church was completed and dedicated "to Almighty God" in December, 1860. See the Architectural History for a more in-depth history of our church building.
In 1922, the church was incorporated and a new group of trustees was elected. Mrs. Loyal Gray was elected as the first woman trustee in 1923.
The early choir, under the direction of Miss Elizabeth Smith, from 1927-1936, won first prize in the Michigan Rural Choir contest in Lansing in 1929, 30, 31, and 32. The choir members included Marion Lane, Wavah Fitts, Emma Smith, Grace Rickard, Maxine McCormick, Dorothea Leutheuser, Kathleen Miller, Elsie Pullen, Margaret Leutheuser, Howard Smith, Charles Pullen, Vern Carlton and Steward Smith. Descendants of some of these original members are singing in the choir today!
Throughout the past century and a half, the Ladies Benevolent Society - now the Women's Fellowship - has helped to "Promote the cause of religion, to relieve the wants and necessities of the needy, and promote the interests of our church and congregation under the proper parliamentary organization."
- The first Baptism was in 1858; however, no name was recorded.
- The church bell was rung to announce the end of World War II.
- Only four organists have been recorded - Catherine Smith, Helen Hawkins, Joyce Foster and Diane Smith (who plays currently).
- Several descendants of the original members are members of the church today.
- In 1862, Rev. Bross left our church when President Lincoln called for volunteers.
- The first hymnals were purchased in 1861.
- In the early 1940's, the minister took a 2 week vacation and no Sunday services were held.