The former Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church on the corner of Woodrow Wilson and Taylor is a testament to changing times in Detroit.
In the early 1910's and 1920's, Detroit's Jewish population began moving from downtown to the northwest part of the city, around Dexter Avenue north of Grand Boulevard. Dozens of synagogues were built, ranging from small meeting halls to large temples. Congregation Beth Tefilo Emanuel built a synagogue on the corner of Woodrow Wilson and Taylor Streets in 1924, standing three stories tall with a large sanctuary and classrooms in the basement. The building was also known as the Taylor Shul.
By the 1960's most of Detroit's Jews had moved again to the suburbs, selling their old places of worship to black congregations that were being displaced by urban renewal just outside of downtown. The Taylor Shul closed around this time and probably moved, though the exact date isn't clear - records about the church are scarce. In 1961 or 1962 Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church, founded by Rev. Marion B. Terrell in 1951 moved from a storefront on Russell Street at Kirby into the former Taylor Shul.
For over 50 years Tried Stone called the corner of Taylor and Woodrow Wilson home, and grew as the congregation expanded. In 1982, a large addition was built onto the east side of the building, adding a gymnasium and classrooms. Some of the classrooms were converted into a neighborhood medical clinic in 1998, the first of it's type in the state. Rev. Marion B. Terrell retired from the church in 1993 and passed away in 2000.
By this time though the neighborhood was in decline. Many of the houses around the church became vacant, and were later demolished. The congregation continued to use the main sanctuary until at least 2007, when declining numbers made keeping it open impractical. Services then moved into the gymnasium, while the sanctuary deteriorated from water damage.
Tried Stone stopped filing with the State of Michigan in 2005, and was dissolved in 2008. But the church apparently kept holding services until at least the summer of 2012, when it was the victim of a string of burglaries and vandalism which forced the church to close. After closing, the building was abandoned, and sat vacant for three years as weather and vandalism took hold. The foundation of the 1982 addition settled, causing the east wall to separate from the rest of the building by a few centimeters.
In February of 2015, the old church was sold to Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation for $3,000. The CDC, which is involved in housing, education, economic development, and faith-based ministries plans on converting the church into the headquarters of their operation. Renovation of the church began over the summer of 2015, with much of the old sanctuary being gutted.
Tried Stone moved to a different location on Rosa Parks Boulevard in 2013 next to St. Agnes Church and reopened as New Greater Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church.