Mackinac Island

The Story of Mission Point

Mackinac Island

The Story of Mission Point

MRA on Mackinac Island

The Story of Mission Point: How this conference centre welcomed the world

From 1942 until 1965, Initiatives of Change, then known as Moral Re-Armament (MRA), had a significant presence on Mackinac Island in Lake Huron, Michigan USA. Summer conferences were held each year, leading to the construction of a purpose-built conference centre. Later, as MRA increasingly used plays and film to convey its message, a theatre and film studio were added.

This sub-section of the IofC website is drawn from an exhibition at the Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island, and from materials at the Mackinac City archives. It covers the history of MRA on Mackinac, the people whose lives were impacted and the buildings that were erected - many of them still standing.

An Informal History by Frances Roots Hadden

Willard Hunter and Vern Eriksson Conversation with Phil Porter at Fort Mackinac

Oral History with Basil Entwistle, Vern Eriksson and Phil Porter

Reminiscences of MRA taped on August 11, 1993 with Phil Porter, James Newton, Ellie Newton, Vern Eriksson and Meryl Eriksson

A History

Moral Re-Armament and Mackinac College On Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1942 to 1970

Each of the above documents is one of four that have been saved at the Mackinaw City archives of the Mackinac State Historic Parks. One of these is a typed document called “An Informal History”, created in 1973 by Frances Roots Hadden. The other three documents are transcripts of taped conversations with Phil Porter, Director of the Mackinac State Historic Parks. These conversations happened in 1992 and 1993 with, variously, Willard T. Hunter, Vern and Meryl Eriksson, Basil Entwistle, and James and Ellie Newton. These people were present when the events took place on Mackinac Island, and were often participants. As such they were able to speak with credibility. All except Phil Porter are now deceased.  

In 2009 the hardcopy source materials were converted to computer-based files using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and were then edited by Susan McGregor using Microsoft Word. The editor corrected verifiable errors in wording and in spelling but made no changes that would affect the meaning of the original document. To the extent possible, margins and paragraphs resemble the original document. The original had 13 pages which was reduced to 10 pages as a Word document, given the font and formatting used.

Contact Information:

Mackinaw City Archives
Brian S. Jaeschke
Mackinac State Historic Parks
P.O. Box 873
Mackinaw City, Michigan 49701
(231) 436 - 4100 Ext. 107
(231) 436 - 4210 Fax
Email here

Susan R. McGregor
154 Brixham Crescent
London, Ontario, Canada
N6K 1L2
(519) 472-0744

Email here