1916 to 1966
October 8, 1916, was a glorious day in Midland’s Larkin township. After many years of praying, planning and preparation, a close-knit community of Slovak and Polish Catholics gathered with Bishop Michael Gallagher of the Grand Rapids Diocese on that Sunday for the dedication of their newly built “little white church” – given the name Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the early years, Mass was held only on the fifth Sunday and on Holy Days but eventually, Mass was held every Sunday. In 1952, the 36-yr-old church was remodeled. The ornate wooden altar and communion railing were replaced. Old statues were replaced with new ones along with other updates. From its beginning in 1916 up until 1966, Assumption was a mission church and was served over the years by the priests of St. Anthony of Fisherville, St. Brigid and Blessed Sacrament of Midland.
1966 to 2000
By the early 1960s, the little mission church became too small for the growing number of Catholic families in Larkin. It was time for a new church. A new generation of dedicated parishioners gathered together to obtain funding and make plans for the building of a new, larger church in the same location. In 1966, the second church was blessed by Bishop Stephen Woznicki of the Diocese of Saginaw. The first resident pastor was assigned to Assumption that same year and thus a new parish in the Midland area was formed. The parish flourished and was one of the fastest growing parishes of the Diocese. In the following years, additional adjacent property was purchased and a rectory was built. Church golf leagues and bowling leagues were created, and socials and banquets were held which helped build the parish community. To accommodate the influx of families to the Larkin area, the church expanded in 1979 with the building of a parish hall which included a kitchen and classrooms.
2000 to Present
The current church building, Assumption’s third, was dedicated in 2000 by Bishop Kenneth Untener. There are many active committees and groups in the parish today including a pastoral council, outreach groups, music ministry and a vibrant religious education program for both youth and adults. The Fr. Henry P. DuRussel Council 2141 Knights of Columbus puts on breakfasts to raise money for charities and sponsors blood drives. In 2017, a coffee area was created where people can gather, read, socialize and come together for small functions. Assumption is a member of the Midland Area Catholic Community along with Blessed Sacrament and St. Brigid of Kildare parishes in Midland and Our Lady of Grace parish in Sanford.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish has a long history of the community coming together to support the church. Some families are 4th, 5th and 6th generation members of the parish. It is interesting to note that the foundation of the current church touches the foundations of the previous two churches, thus joining the history of the three churches.
100th Anniversary Book
For a more in-depth history of the parish, contact the office to purchase a copy of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 100th Anniversary book. Read about the struggles of the first families and the building of all three churches, along with many pages of color photographs depicting the historical details of the parish (from the beginning up to the present). In 2016, the parish celebrated its 100th Anniversary with many celebrations and special events which are also depicted in the book.