The Christian Family Centre in Adrian

Craig Anderson explains the impact The Centre has had on him and the community.


Craig Anderson explains the impact The Centre has had on him and the community.

One of the questions I often hear is, “Why have you chosen to live in Lenawee County?”  For many, this is the place where they’ve grown up. For me, as a transplant, not only from another State, but another country (Canada), the answer is because of the ministries that Orville and Ruth Merillat founded at the corner of US 223 and Wolf Creek Highway in Adrian, the Christian Family Centre. The reason I give this answer isn’t always obvious, so let me share a bit of the history behind how this local ministry has relocated this “maple leaf” to the maple city.The Christian Family Centre has been part of the community since 1988, when the Merillat family acted on a vision to provide a safe and wholesome environment for individuals and families.  Those early days boasted a bowling center, fitness center, gymnasium, racquetball courts, indoor pool, auditorium, a restaurant, athletic fields and parks shared with Lenawee Christian School.  The investment they made more than 25-years ago stands today as a beacon of hope to families as it continues to serve the community through a variety of creative, wholesome and Christ centered programs, services, and events.

In the last five years, The Centre has expanded its borders and services, standing as a Christian ministry and serving the community through various new initiatives.In 2009, The Centre became focused more clearly on fitness & wellness, serving the female fitness demographic with a fitness center and classes specifically designed to offer them a safe and comfortable workout experience.  During that same timeframe, a larger fitness center was created from existing space within the building to offer men and women a state of the art work out environment.  The bowling center was turned into a multi-purpose room, allowing for group fitness classes and a youth fitness gymnasium.  These added resources along with trained and certified personal trainers, engaged more people with the focus on fitness.  In addition, a safe, private and comfortable babysitting area was created along with the addition of the Centre Cafe and Catering which provides access to post workout snacks, family meals, business luncheons, or receptions with a full course meal.

In 2010, “The Centre”, as it’s often called, continued to intentionally serve the community by establishing Impact Sports.  As an instructional based youth sports program, it focuses basketball, volleyball, football, soccer, and dance.  Children from the age of 3 to 12 learn sport specific skills and character lessons based from biblical teaching. Impact Summer Camp was later established following a similar framework of these leagues, and now serves over 1500 children annually.

The Centre has become a community sensitive organization that has been willing to adapt and adjusts its strategies to strive to impact more of the community with vision to see the quality of life improved, families strengthened and the truth of Jesus proclaimed.  In 2011,The Centre created its own wellness service line called LiveWell.  This program has helped hundreds of people establish healthy fueling, hydration, and movement habits which has changed their energy and confidence levels, reduce medications, and positioned them to live a healthier (and lighter) life.

In the spring of 2014, The Centre is poised to launch another new venture, The Corner Park, with the intent of serving our community and creating an environment where families can actively be together and enjoy our Michigan summers. The Corner Park is a family activity park where visitors can get active through bouncing on the jumping pillow, climbing on the explorer dome, splashing water in the splash pad, and swimming in the zero-entry swimming pool.

We are excited that the Merillat family followed God’s call on their lives to invest in this community.  There have been thousands of lives impacted because of their choice.  The quality of my life is better now, my family has been strengthened, and my faith has grown because of my experience at this ministry.

With all these changes I have experienced in my life, I can’t imagine living anywhere else but Lenawee County.

I encourage you to check out the Christian Family Centre this summer. The campus is located on the corner of US 223 and Wolf Creek Highway in Adrian, MI.  When you stop in, ask one of the friendly staff members at the information desk to give you a tour of this ministry that has become a beacon of hope to our community.

About Craig Anderson

Craig Anderson is the Director of Community & Corporate Wellness at The Centre. Find out more onThe Centre’s website or Facebook page.