Posts tagged faith
First Latin American Baptist in Southwest Detroit

First Latin American Baptist church in Southwest Detroit hosted its final service on the corner of Fort St and Dragoon this week as demolition crews razed nearby structures across the street.

The church building was constructed in the early 1900’s and has been home to the congregation for the past 50 years. It was purchased by MDOT—along with hundreds of other parcels along W Fort St and throughout the Delray neighborhood in Southwest Detroit—to be demolished to clear land for the new Gordie Howe International Bridge to Canada.

The parish has a long, celebrated history in the neighborhood as it has served the Latino community in Detroit since its inception almost 90 years ago.

Elizabeth Valdez, a member of the congregation since XXXX, says she will miss the old building but that it will not dampen the spirit of the church.

Pastor Kevin Casillas and the First Latin American Baptist church of Southwest Detroit will be moving into their new home on Scotten between Vernor Hwy and Toledo after one final celebration at their current site next week for their annual children’s Christmas Party.

SNAPSHOT: Via Crucis at St Gabriel's Church

Photos by Gabriela Santiago-Romero

Via Crucis is a long standing tradition of the Catholic Church.  Each year on Easter weekend St. Gabriel's parish in Southwest Detroit hosts an elaborate presentation of the stations of the cross acted out by members of the church.  Hundreds of parishioners and local residents gather to view Via Crucis as it travels outside the church and through the community around Vernor and Springwells for the 2 hour event.

Food, Culture, And Community In Southwest Detroit

Written by Kelli Kavanaugh for Inside Southwest Detroit

If Southwest Detroit were a food, what would it be? Take your pick: pierogi filled with potato and cheese, tamales brimming with shredded pork, cheese-filled papusas or doughy gnocci topped with pesto?  And I'm sure I'm missing some kind of cuisine - for my money, one of the best things about living in the area - and I'm on its bleeding eastern edge, Corktown - is the food.  And its not just the restaurants, it's the mercados with produce and meats sometimes fresher than Eastern Market, it's the parking lot taco stands and the bicycle-propelled ice cream "trucks."  It's bakeries and barbeque and cerveza and ceviche and even falafel.

And if food represents anything, it is culture—and Southwest Detroit is blessed with that in spades. Consistently regarded as Detroit's most diverse area and comprised of several distinct neighborhoods, it is boisterous and prayerful, religious and sporting, a late-night party and an early-morning tree planting all at once. Its Anglo, Latino, African-American and Middle Eastern mix make its high school halls look like none other in the city.  And Southwest Detroit would not have it any other way. All the way to the east, in Corktown, you'll find Irish pubs and old wooden homes proudly preserved and in Hubbard Richard, the city's oldest church and a brand-new State of Michigan welcome center and marketplace.  Hubbard Farms has stately homes and a strong reputation for activism. The Michigan Avenue Corridor presents snippets of its Polish past evolving into a new Latino future and Delray, a snapshot of post-industrial history alongside a remarkable military artifact, Fort Wayne.  Where else can you, in a three-block walk, find halal meat and hear bells calling faithful Muslims to prayer, stroll past a historic cemetery, pop into a brand-new Detroit Public Library and finally, slide into a taqueria? That would be W. Vernor near Patton Park.

It is an urban community with many issues, including homelessness, poor air quality, crime and blight.  But is politically active and growing - it was the only area of Detroit to grow in population between the 1990 and 2000 census. And that growth brings hope and a reason to continue to strive for a new Southwest Detroit that exists in solidarity with the old.