News and Information Archive1

News & Information Archive1










Fort Street’s “Rob” Jackson
Elected as President of the
Michigan Academy of Family Physicians


Jackson,RobMDRobert Jackson, MD, a family physician from Allen Park, Michigan, was installed as President of the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP), the largest medical specialty organization in the state. At the MAFP Annual Meeting, held July 12 in Bay City, Michigan, Dr. Jackson was elected by the membership to serve a one-year term as President of the Board of Directors.

Dr. Jackson (“Rob”) and his wife, Nancy Mottershaw Jackson, PhD, are longtime members and ruling elders of Fort Street Presbyterian Church, Detroit. More








Lew Rockwell Scholarship Application Deadline






For a downloadable copy of this article in PDF with live links, click here.


For a printable copy of this article in PDF format, click here.





Deacons’ Project: Thanksgiving Baskets

October 25 through November 22, 2015





Call for Shepherds of the Church




2015 Detroit Marathon & Role of FSPC



2015 Fort Street Chorale Messiah Rehearsal Announcement


September 4, 2015



For Messiah 2015 Concert Information, click here.
Click here for a printable copy of this announcement in PDF format.



Announcement of the Initial Sermon of Dr. Robert Agnew at FSPC


Sunday, June 7, 10:00 a.m.
Worship Service

The Rev. Dr. Robert L. Agnew
Temporary Stated Supply Pastor
Fort Street Presbyterian Church
Sermon: “Are We Listening?”
Psalm 63: 1-8
I Samuel 3: 1-10
Luke 11: 38
A Special Coffee Hour Welcoming Dr. and Mrs. Agnew
Hosted by the Church Session
Will follow the Worship Service in the Great Hall


Agnew,RevDrRobert1We’re pleased to welcome Robert L. Agnew to Fort Street’s life as our new Temporary Stated Supply Pastor. The Session, at its May meeting, approved an initial one-year agreement with Pastor Bob, and he began his duties with us on June 1.

Pastor Bob has an extensive dossier of pastoral service. He was ordained in 1969. He has just completed work as the Interim Pastor for Grosse Pointe Woods Presbyterian Church, having come to them in October 2012. Prior to that, he served as Interim Pastor for churches in Indianapolis and South Bend, Indiana, and in Hickory Hills, Illinois. His career includes substantial service as Pastor/Head of Staff for congregations in Ohio and Kentucky, as well as hospital chaplaincies.

He has a Doctor of Ministry degree with a focus on pastoral care from Eden Theological Seminary, and a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. His undergraduate degree was in business administration and sociology.

Pastor Bob also has extensive experience in supporting the work of the wider church. He was a member of the Worship Committee for last year’s General Assembly, has served as a council member and Moderator of the Association of Presbyterian Interim Ministry Specialists, and has served as a member and officer on many denominational committees and boards.

Continuing education has been a passion for him, and he and his wife have just completed a study trip that included travel to Egypt and the ancient Jordanian city of Petra.

Pastor Bob and his wife, Diane, reside in Grosse Pointe Farms and have been married five years. Diane has two grown daughters living in Dayton, Ohio, and Lexington, Kentucky, and Bob has two grown sons living in Lexington, Kentucky, and Ft. Myers, Florida. Diane has been hired recently as Hunger Action Coordinator for the Presbytery of Detroit and, previously, was the Executive Coordinator for the 221st General  Assembly held last year in Detroit. They enjoy traveling, boating, reading, gardening, and spending time together.

Pastor Bob says of himself that “The mainstays of my ministry are transitional ministry, pastoral care, nurturing young and old, strong biblical preaching and teaching, continual spiritual development, growing stewardship, and effective leadership.

—Submitted by Elder Tim Moran



Pastor’s Letter to Outgoing Elders and Deacons


June 4, 2015



Some Journals and Other Resources of and about Black Americans


February 2, 2015










From Harris-Perry, Melissa, “How Black History Month Came to Be,” MSNBC Video, February 7, 2015. [Click on Image to View Video]


Chorale and Worship Choir Rehearsals


January 12, 2015


Registration and rehearsals for the Fort Street Chorale‘s spring concert begin on Thursday, January 15. Registration begins at 6:45 p.m., followed by rehearsal at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $50, unless you already paid the registration fee for Messiah; you will not have to do this again. The Chorale’s spring performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass will be on Sunday, May 3, 2015, at 3:00 p.m.

You also are invited to join the Worship Choir, which rehearses and performs on the second and fourth Sundays in the Sanctuary Balcony. Rehearsals begin at 9:15 a.m., followed by Worship at 11:00 a.m. Everyone is welcome; no auditions are required.


The Rev. Dr. Sue Ellis Melrose
Begins Service as Fort Street’s
Temporary Supply Pastor
(January 4 to April 5, 2015) 


January 4, 2015



Dr. Sue Melrose

Sue Ellis Melrose has discovered that her retirement of six months is short-lived as she serves as the temporary pastor for the Fort Street congregation. This winter and into the early spring (January 4 to April 5, 2015), she will serve part-time, providing a regular presence in the pulpit and emergency pastoral care. She also will moderate Session, provide administrative leadership and serve as Head of Staff, while a search is conducted for a full-time supply pastor.




Jean L. Loup

A Moderator’s Farewell

Submitted to the Presbytery of Detroit’s Web Site
y Jean Loup
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 – 8:22 pm.


December 28, 2014


A farewell:

I Corinthians 16: 13-14 – Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

Romans 15: 13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

When I accepted the three-year term as Vice-moderator, Moderator and chair of the Coordinating Cabinet, I had two thoughts about what I wanted to accomplish over these three years.  For whatever reason, neither has come to pass.

I wanted to talk about race.  Let me tell you why I am committed to an improvement in the discussion of race or maybe diversity within the Presbytery of Detroit.  In the mid-1980s the new President of the University of Michigan, James Duderstadt, called an all-day meeting of all campus leaders for the day after Labor Day, during which he articulated his vision of the future of higher education – the need for increased attention to global outreach, to diversity in its broadest definition, and to interdisciplinary research.  As chair of the faculty Budget Priorities Committee, I was among those included.  I didn’t really like Jim Duderstadt, but by the end of the meeting I realized that his vision was mine and I was truly excited. Read more.


Fort Streeter Randy Commissaris is the
Senior Author of a Published Wayne State University
Research Report, Which Also is the Subject of an
Article in the Washington Post


December 24, 2014


Dr. Randall Commissaris in the Simulator at Wayne State University Associate Professor, in WSU simulator, texting while driving.

Dr. Randall L. Commissaris, Associate Professor at Wayne State University, in the WSU Research Simulator, Texting While Driving.
(Click on the picture for an enlarged view of it.)

Dr. Randall L. “Randy” Commissaris, a ruling elder and member of the Session of Fort Street Presbyterian Church, Detroit, is the senior author of the study, The Effects of Texting on Driving Performance in a Driving Simulator: The Influence of Driver Age, with colleagues at Wayne State University, where he is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. A report of the study appears in the professional journal, Accident Analysis and Prevention, Volume 74, January 2015, Pages 145-149, published by Elsevier Publishing Company, Ltd. In addition to Commissaris, the other Wayne State University researchers are Gordon Rumschlag, Theresa Palumbo and Amber Martin of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences as well as Doreen Head and Rajiv George of the Department of Health Care Sciences.

Notable, also, in the Washington Post, Tuesday, December 23, 2014, is the article by Elahe Izadi, “More experienced drivers are actually worse at texting and driving, study shows,” her title of which highlights a key finding of the WSU study. On December 18, in the Detroit Free Press, David Jesse offers a brief summary of the findings of the Commissaris study, titled “Study: Parents worse than teens at texting while driving.”


You’re on Randy’s
candid camera!

At Fort Street Church, Randy also is Chair of the Public Relations and Communications Committee, Co-chair of the Peace, Justice and Mission Committee and he serves as videographer of Church events.

Dr. Commissaris passes on the following words of wisdom, emphasized even more by his research study: “For many people, driving is a big part of the holiday season; it is my hope that every Fort Streeter will consider making a pre-New Year’s Resolution to NOT text and drive. Seriously, the text can wait.”


Marshall-Falzone Family
Birth Announcement


December 18, 2014




From PC(USA) . . .


November 29, 2014

PCUSALogo1Shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, Index
Prayer Following the Grand Jury Decision in Ferguson, Missouri

At the invitation of the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has been providing pastoral support to the church leadership in the community. Read:
 PC(USA) Stated Clerk responds to Ferguson grand jury decision and A Call to Presbyterians to Stand in Solidarity with the People of Ferguson by the Executive and Stated Clerk of the Synod of Mid-America.





Swift Memorial Organ

Dedicatory Recital
Renovated Swift Memorial Organ

Fort Street Presbyterian Church
Detroit, Michigan
Sunday, November 23, 2014





William Mathias
(1934 – 1992)

Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46
Morning Mood
Ase’s Death
Anitra’s Dance
In the Hall of the Mountain King
Edvard Grieg
(1843 – 1907)

“Tu Es Petra”  (from Equisses Byzantium)
Henri Mulet
(1878 – 1967)

End of Post-Worship Recital.
The following works were performed
during the earlier morning worship, the same day:

Trumpet Tune in D Major
John Stanley
(1712 – 1786)

Alec Rowley
(1892 – 1958)

John Cook
(1918 – 1984)

Prelude on Rhosymedre
Ralph Vaughan Williams
(1872 – 1958)

Prelude in G Major, BWV 541
 Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685 – 1750)


A copy of the program in PDF format, also with active links to videos,
may be viewed and downloaded here.


Dr. Dave Wagner

Dr. Dave Wagner

Dr. David Wagner is Program Director and Host at Detroit’s classical and jazz station, WRCJ-FM. He also is Professor of Music at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan. Previously, Dave was the morning host at WGUC, the classical music station in Cincinnati, and, for 17 years, he was the Afternoon Host and Program Director of WQRS-FM, the classical music station in Detroit. He also has been Program Director of KMZT in Los Angeles and KTIM in San Francisco.

Dave Wagner holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan. In addition to his work as a solo performer, he has been organist and harpsichordist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Wagner is the recipient of the Palmer Christian Award from the University of Michigan School of Music, for postdoctoral achievement in the field of music performance, and the Arts Achievement Award from Wayne State University. His compact disc recording, Bright and Clear, was named “Best Classical Recording of a Solo Artist” at the 1998 Motor City Music Awards. Dr. Wagner is the coeditor and author of the book The Omnibus Guide to Classical CD’s, published by G. Schirmer and Company.


Renovated Organ Console

On this Sunday of Thanksgiving, November 23, 2014, we re-dedicate our Newly Renovated Swift Memorial Organ, and we are delighted that Dr. Wagner is providing all of the worship music on this occasion. During our meal shared together after worship, he will describe briefly the major work that has been completed during the organ renovation, over the past many months. Following our meal and fellowship, all are invited back into the sanctuary for an organ “mini-recital” where we will have the opportunity to hear, and to gain a better understanding of, the results of this renovation.


Cornucopia of Natural Reds By Jean92 dit lee Comte

Cornucopia of Natural Reds
By Jean92 dit lee Comte

Deacons’ Annual Thanksgiving Baskets
Benefiting Harms Elementary and
Maybury Elementary Schools

October 25, 2014

Based on feedback from the schools, the FSPC Deacons’ Thanksgiving baskets will provide food for the longer break as well as a modest meal for Thanksgiving. Fort Streeters are asked to help by donating select items for the baskets. (The Deacons will take care of the turkeys.)

Items requested for the week (November 23-29) for each basket, include: 1 cereal, 1 peanut butter, 1 jelly, 2 pasta, 1 pasta sauce, 2 mac and cheese, 2 low sodium soup.

Items requested for Thanksgiving (November 27) for each basket, include: 2 boxed stuffing, 3 canned veggies, 2 Jello, 1 disposable roasting tin.

If you would like to support an entire family, please pickup a “turkey feather” for our bulletin board. Each feather represents one family’s basket of food or a donation of $25 for the Deacons to purchase the items on the shopping list. Please return one feather with your name on it for every family you are supporting to the offering plate.



Yukiko Akaba, London Marathon 2011, by SNappa2006

Yukiko Akaba, London Marathon 2011, by SNappa2006

2014 Marathon Weekend at
Fort Street Presbyterian Church

September 18, 2014

The 2014 Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon will affect Fort Street Presbyterian Church (FSPC) as follows on Sunday, October 19, 2014:

Sunrise Service: 6:00 – 6:20 a.m. (Only FSPC Service)
No 11:00 a.m. Worship Service
(Parking Will be Minimal)

For more information, contact Derek Sale, Loretta Stanton, Ben Ogden, or Pastor Sharon L. Mook, Ad Hoc Committee Co-Chairpersons.


FortStreetChoraleLogoRehearsals Begin Thursday, September 18, for
The Fort Street Chorale’s Messiah Performances,
Saturday, December 6, and Sunday, December 7.

September 18, 2014

Detroit’s historic Fort Street Chorale, directed by Edward Kingins, welcomes singers as it prepares its annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, December 6 and 7, 2014. Rehearsals begin on Thursday, September 18 at 7:00 p.m., at Fort Street Presbyterian Church, with registration starting at 6:30 p.m.

Registration will be open throughout September. Chorale membership fee is $50 for the entire season; scholarships are available.

No audition is required.

The Chorale rehearses at Fort Street Presbyterian Church, 631 W. Fort Street (At Third Street). Free, secure parking is available in the church parking lot, adjacent to the church. For more information, call (313) 961-4533.




Calling All Singers!
All are Invited to Join the Worship Choir;
All are Welcome!

September 18, 2014

The Worship Choir, directed by Edward Kingins, will rehearse on the second and fourth Sundays at 9:30 a.m. to sing for the 11:00 a.m. worship services of the same days.

No audition is required. For more information, call (313) 961-4533.




(Click on image to enlarge it)

FSPC Joins with Calvary Presbyterian Church and Others in Honoring the Rev. Kevin R. Johnson

September 12, 2014

Fort Street Presbyterian Church joins Calvary Presbyterian Church in recognizing the Rev. Kevin Johnson for his long pastoral service. Celebrated are his 30 years of ordination and 20 years as Pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church, Detroit. The FSPC Session approved $25.00 for a quarter-page advertisement in the souvenir program on the occasion honoring the Rev. Johnson.