On January 23, 1956, the first wedding was performed, uniting Marjorie Eleanor Arnold and Harold Waller. Later that year, the mission purchased 2.7 acres of land for a church and vicarage site. It had 258 feet of frontage on Old US 12, and extended 456 feet north.
In June, Bishop Emrich asked Jack Lee to direct the Boy’s Camp Chickagami and we were without his services for the two months the camp lasted. However, Jack had many friends at the Cathedral, and a number of them came out and took services for him. While he was there, he was ordained deacon in a small church near the camp. He did such a great job at the camp that he was offered a full-time job in boy’s work at the Cathedral, and after he was ordained a priest, was sent to St. Mark’s, Detroit. He left St. Barnabas in June, 1957.
In July of 1957, a new vicar came fresh from Pacific Seminary: Richard Cockrell. He was a full-time vicar, and so we finally had our wish for a leader to give us all his time. He was ordained a deacon at the Cathedral and ordained a priest at St. Barnabas. He left St. Barnabas in September, 1958 and went to Detroit.
In October of 1958, the Rev. Allan Reed came to us from Toledo, Ohio. He served as vicar until June, 1961. Under his leadership, a proposal was put to the mission members in 1960 to build a church building on our property. Building pledges and gifts were solicited and in February, 1961, we moved to our new building. It was bare outside and in, but the members began to meet the new challenge and soon it began to look better. Mr. and Mrs. John Rossiter of Dexter had an affiliation with St. Barnabas and were exceedingly generous in their gifts, which included a Hammond organ and most of the kitchen furnishings—two stoves, a refrigerator, cabinets and work table, divider curtains and tables and chairs for the Sunday School.
Allan Reed, who had served us for three years, had also become part of the chaplaincy program at the University Hospital in Ann Arbor, and was eventually offered a fine job as Chaplain of Massachusetts General Hospital, and he eventually came to head that program.
After being without a vicar for six months, John Smucker, who was serving in Detroit as an assistant to the Rector of St. Columba, came to us in January, 1962.