a family of faith
seeking to boldly proclaim Jesus Christ
by loving God and serving our neighbors.

Who We Are

WE ARE a family of faith seeking to boldly proclaim Jesus Christ in Royal Oak by loving God and serving our neighbors.

WE ARE a small church with a big vision. See our mission and vision statements below.

WE ARE proud of our history of serving God in this place. See our church history here.

WE ARE a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Presbytery of Detroit, governed by six session members, who, together with the Pastor, seek to discern God’s will for our congregation.

pastor marianne

 Pastor Marianne Grano is our pastor. A graduate of the University of Michigan and McCormick Seminary, Pastor Marianne previously served at University Presbyterian Church of Rochester Hills. She’s also wife to Dan and mom to Diana and JP. She writes,

If I could use one word to describe myself, it would be passionate–about life, ministry, and most of all about my faith.  I believe that Jesus offers an alternative to the materialism of our culture.  I believe that serving others cures our own souls.  I believe that God wants to engage our minds as well as our hearts.  I believe that every person, of every age, has a part to play in God’s work of changing the world. I love the caring church family of Starr and our invigorating worship together. I hope you will come visit our church and experience the love of Christ in our midst. If you need prayer, or want to talk, or have questions about our church, please feel free to contact me at m.grano@yahoo.com.

What we believe

The Eye of God, one of the biblical pew carvings in our sanctuary
The Eye of God, one of the biblical pew carvings in our sanctuary

We believe in God:

Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.

We believe in Jesus Christ:

God comes to us in free and undeserved favor in the person of Jesus Christ who lived, died, and rose for us that we might belong to God and serve Christ in the world. Following Jesus, we are engaged in the world and in seeking thoughtful solutions to the challenges of our time.

We believe in the Holy Spirit:

God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, giving us the energy, intelligence, imagination, and love to be Christ’s faithful disciples in the world. As Christ’s disciples, called to ministry in his name, we seek to continue his mission of teaching the truth, feeding the hungry, healing the broken, and welcoming strangers.

why we exist

Starr Church exists to proclaim Jesus Christ in our community through loving God and serving our neighbors. Our mission statement is:

Starr Presbyterian Church intentionally seeks to welcome all God’s children, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, class or other worldly conditions, into full participation in the life of our church.  Striving to be Christ-centered, we commit ourselves, our building and our resources to actively promote God’s justice, mercy and reconciliation in our community.  Led by the Spirit through worship, we are called forth to love and to serve our neighbors as ourselves.

Adopted by The Session – April 2011

Our vision is:

To be a vibrant church, growing deep roots in Christ, bearing rich fruits for Christ.

Adopted by The Session – March 2016

where we came from

In 1850 a few families who had come from Ireland to carve out small farms in what is now Royal Oak and Troy met together to worship as Associate Reformed Presbyterians.

In April, 1850, 32 people met together at what is now 15 Mile and Crooks to form an Associate Reformed Presbyterian congregation, under the leadership of Rev. James Bull. The church’s first name was The Troy Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. After meeting in homes and schools for over a year, the first church building was erected at what is now 13 Mile and Crooks Road. It was a one room wooden church in the style of many of the churches back in Ireland. For the first 75 years of its life, the church shared pastors, with a Southfield congregation and then with a Birmingham congregation. In 1858, the church changed its name to the Troy United Presbyterian Church, and then in 1927 the church changed its name to The First United Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak.

old starr church
The Old Wooden Church

In 1954 the church called its longest serving pastor, the Rev. Rodney Beal. Under his leadership, the current church building was constructed, and dedicated in 1956. In 1958 the old wooden church served the community one last time: it was used for a training controlled burn by the local fire department. When the United Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church united in 1983, there were two First Presbyterian Churches in Royal Oak, resulting in no little confusion. So the church voted to change its name to Starr Presbyterian Church, reflecting the history of the Starr family, Starr Road, Starr School, and the Starr neighborhood.

 stainedglass3 stainedglass4 Picture1

Stained Glass Windows Handmade By Members of Starr

After the death of their beloved pastor Rev. Beal, Starr called Rev. Craig Aue, who served as Pastor for nineteen years years. Rev. Aue was particularly gifted in pastoral care, music, and community outreach. He led Starr to greater outreach to the community, especially in the areas of poverty and homelessness, and was instrumental in the founding of StarrCross praise band.

 In 2014 Starr called Rev. Marianne Grano as its first installed female pastor. Through our “Seeds of Faith” projects, we are seeking new ways to reach out to the community and to improve our worship, fellowship, and service. In 2017 we will begin the “Year of the Bible” and commit to reading and studying the entire Bible as a church. We know God is at work among us.