St. Martin De Porres


4010 W. Cleveland Rd.
Perrinton, MI 48871

Church History

In March of 1962 the Most Reverend Stephen Woznicki, Bishop of Saginaw Diocese, saw the need for a mission church in the southwest section of the Diocese. He asked Fr. Charles Ganley, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Ithaca to undertake this endeavor.

First, Fr. Ganley visited each Catholic family in the area and ask them to help spread the word of a new church in the area. After meeting with the local people he appointed committees to proceed with the business of locating a building to serve as a “House for the Lord”. An empty building on Main St. in Middleton, the “Lucas building”, (formally Troub’s Hardware) was rented and “soon to be parishioners” began work acquiring an alter, chairs, and other necessities for our church. Bishop Woznicki requested the first celebration of Mass to occur at least by June of 1962. Fr. Ganley and the Catholic people of the area were very busy March, April, and May preparing our building to meet this deadline.

The naming of our mission church was decided upon by Fr. Ganley with the approval of Bishop Woznicki. Fr. Ganley chose Martin de Porres as the patron saint for our mission church, a newly canonized saint in Rome on May 6, 1962. On June 10, 1962 in our “Store Front Church”, we celebrated our first Mass on Pentecost Sunday. The Holy Father, Pope John XXIII sent a special blessing and an estimated 200 people were in attendance. Danny Barrett, son of an early Catholic family (the Norton Barretts), instructed and trained Ronee Zyzelewski and Mark Daniels to be some of the first alter boys. Two babies were baptized at this first Mass. They were Lawrence James Lieby, son of Melvin and Sharon Lieby and Laurie Ann Zelinski, daughter of Robert and Shirley Zelinski. St. Martin de Porres first Mass celebration also coincided with the 10th anniversary of the first Mass at St. Paul’s in Ithaca.

Within a month, Fr. Ganley appointed the first church committee. A building committee was also appointed and was responsible for locating and securing property for our new church. A parcel of land was located at the northwest corner of M-57 and Luce Road. In 1963, St. Martin purchased this three acre parcel to build our new house of worship. Fr. Ganley immediately began the task of fund-raising money for the new church. His unique plan to raise money was for us to send letters to family, friends, and acquaintances asking for a donation. Father was very convincing and the letter drive was very successful. Almost all the money needed to build the church was raised through generous contributions of the parishioners and the letter drive.

Formal ground breaking for St. Martin de Porres mission church was July 14, 1963 and the $67,000 Church was raised the week of Jan. 12, 1964. Our first Mass was celebrated by Fr. Ganley on March 15, 1964. Terry Lee and Gary Dee Blair, twin sons of Bert and Rosalie Blair, were the first to be baptized in the new church. The first wedding celebrated was that of Fred Kirby and Dorothy Mazey.

Through the years our humble church has grown strong in faith and community. We are grateful for the leadership, guidance, and caring faith our priests, administrators and parishioners have shown us and our community.

Special thanks to our past priests and administrators.

Fr. Charles Ganley, Fr, Donald Eppenbrock, Fr. Joseph Frisky, Fr. John Hoogterp, Fr. Max Frego, Fr. John Ederer, Fr. Harry Sikorski, Fr. Julius Spleet

Sister Phyllis, Sister Ginny, Sister Margo, Carol Hale

In 2012, St. Martin De Porres celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary.