In the winter of 1855, Ebenezer Beardslee and a team of horses pulling a sled began a day long journey along snow laden dirt roads to the Lapeer Lumberyard to purchase material for the construction of a church, now known as Sashabaw Presbyterian. Guided by God, a handful of people built a church building that today stands as an example, not only of mid-19th century rural architecture, but also as a statement of their faith.
Sashabaw Presbyterian Church began in 1841 as a mission of the First Presbyterian Church in Pontiac. Between 1843-45, doctrine caused division and withdrawal of the Pastor, Rev. Hornell and the creation of the Church of Orion and Independence which held meetings in the Block and Sashabaw schools. In 1854, the Rev. S.A. Clayton was cllaed as Pastor. With the approval of a plan to build a building at Sashabaw Plains, the congregation became known as First Presbyterian of Independence Township. Adam Fisher in 1855 deeded the land to the church for $50. Building began in that summer and the church was dedicated in June of 1856. Total cost of construction and furnishings was $3,000.
The original heating system consisted of two round Round Oak stoves, one on each side of the front of the church with long stove pipes running to the chimney in the rear. These were still in use in the late 1940's. The original lighting consisted of a chandelier in the center and sidelights, all oil. The chandelier was converted to electricity in the 1950's. The old building has been literally lifted up twice in its history, in 1917 a new foundation was laid and in 1952 a basement was added allowing for a kitchen, fellowship hall and classroom space. A steeple and belfry were added in 1958 after the originals were removed in 1916.
In the 1960's a new building was built on property across the street. The new building was occupied in the 1970's. The "old church" located at 5331 Maybee Road served for years as "Independence House," a self help center providing counseling, and meeting space for local groups such as Boy Scouts, a food pantry, and Teen Center. In 1980, it was registered as a National Historic Site.