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.

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

Our Mission:

We are a committed Christian congregation focused on serving God, our community and one  another. We strive to exemplify these values through:

  • Intentionally welcoming all God’s children regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, and  cultural backgrounds.
  • Growing in love by worshipping and studying God’s Word together.
  • Committing ourselves to the vision of Matthew 25 by sharing our resources and working to help our neighbors in need.

Our Vision:

  • We believe all people deserve housing and shelter. We will seek ways to partner with others in our community to be a place known for offering shelter, community, and hope to the unhoused.
  • We believe that all people have gifts to share. We will seek to build an inclusive community where all those who feel called by our mission/vision can use and develop their gifts to serve others.

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. of Detroit.  In 2017 we completed the “Year of the Bible” and committed to reading and studying the entire Bible as a church. In 2018 we completed “The Year of the Healthy Heart”. We “cast out” 170.2 lbs and walked 14,777,720 steps (6,777.1 miles) towards Jerusalem (our goal for the end of 2018)! In 2019 we completed “The Year of Prayer”. We committed to 10-30 minutes of prayer daily. We declared 2020 the “Year of Forgiveness”.

In 2020, Pastor Marianne was called to be the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Detroit.