At the annual congregational meeting on January 18, 1987 the church’s name was changed to The Presbyterian Church of Okemos. On March 15, 1987, the Rev. Mark Ramsey was called as the fourth head pastor. He was installed on October 11, 1987.
The Fowler pipe organ was dedicated on January 24, 1988 with Ron Roderick leading the choir. Member Beth Weidenaar played a dedication recital.
Mary Vornholdt Groty, a member and elder of the congregation, was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament on August 21, 1988 in our sanctuary.
The 25th Anniversary of the church was an ongoing celebration, from September 18, 1988 through May 7, 1989. Each former pastor and his wife was invited to return for a weekend to preach and reminisce. The Rev. Howard Kehde, because of health problems, was unable to return, but his wife Betty joined us for worship on October 23, 1988. Rev. Ronald Byars and Susan came the first weekend in February, 1989. The Rev. Larry Farris and Pat came back the first weekend in April, 1989.
A 25th Anniversary pictorial church directory was printed. Anniversary Minutes for Mission were presented during the worship service each month. Historical Highlights, written as Jeopardy Answers and Questions, appeared in The Grapevine, the monthly church newsletter. A computer-printed time line adorned Fellowship Hall, and was later stored in a photo album. An anniversary quilt was created to depict the ministers and activities of the congregation. Of the 108 charter members, sixteen remained as active members, as of Sunday, May 7, 1989: Sam and June Cryderman; Rose Cheney; George Dike; Tom and Bobbi DuByne; Jan Foster; Les and Peg Horton; Rob Horton; Dorothy Keena; Brenda Lyon; Grace Rutherford; Jill Slocum Tribell; and Charles and Jean Willingham. Deb Borton, Choir Director, composed the 25th Anniversary anthem for May 7. An anniversary cake was served during coffee hour. The Anniversary Committee members were June Cryderman, Elaine Davis, Ron Dorr, Dorothy Keena, Gene Sherrod, Ruth Worthington, JoAnn Rinehart, chair and Mark Ramsey, pastor and ex-officio member.
Church membership now approached 500, so additional pastoral support was needed and desired. On April 30, 1989, the Rev. Catherine Rutledge-Gorman was called as the first Associate Pastor, and was installed on September 24, 1989.
In February, 1990, Kevin Bowling visited Central America as Chair of a Presbytery of Lake Michigan Task Force. In the spring, a group from our church started to build a Habitat for Humanity house, working with other churches in the area.
Several times throughout the years, STAT auctions were held at church. STAT means Service, Time, And Talent, and the auctions involved many members of the congregation, who made interesting donations which were sold at auction. Baked items, knitting, child care, yard work, house cleaning, pool parties, tours to area places -- the list of donations was varied and a generous giving of self. Proceeds from the auctions, which amounted to thousands of dollars, were contributed to Habitat for Humanity.
Another mission project of the church going on during this period and continuing today, is the donation of used postage stamps. All kinds of stamps, ordinary and commemorative, are collected in a container at church, then sent to a church in Washington, D.C. There they are sorted for collectors, giving employment to handicapped people. In 1990 special projects included the recycling of foam cups to Dart Container, and white paper products to Allied. Many outside groups continued to use our church facilities.
Joy Arnold, who had been church secretary, retired in 1990. She was replaced by Jo Bartha, who did an excellent job for many years.
Catherine Gorman who had been serving as our first Associate Pastor left in July 1991. She and Mark Rutledge were married in 1990. From August 1991 until July 1992, Elliott Scott was with us as an intern. He came from Union Seminary in Virginia. He thanked the Okemos Presbyterians "for showing him much about being part of the body of Christ."
During this time period the church had undergone a building renovation and expansion. New offices were built, the sanctuary was renovated, and new classrooms were also constructed. The church library was moved from shelves in the back of the sanctuary to a special "home of its own." Located in the new education wing, the church library was made possible because of the Susan Lorenz Memorial Church Library Fund. Susan had been a part of the church all her life, and died unexpectedly at the age of 14.
As the congregation grew, a sense of friendship and community was maintained by social activities. Many of these became annual events - round robin dinners, church picnic, ice cream social, and the Christmas Wassail. The after-church coffee hour continued each week.