Category Archives: Meridian Charter Township

Meridian TV Hosts Show on Police Activities

Local police and other safety organizations are using local television to keep the Meridian public informed on just what their jobs entail and methods to stay safe.

Meridian’s local government access channel, HOM-TV, has a program in its line-up that aims to inform local residents about the activity of local safety providers. The show, entitled “Beyond the Badge,” features members of the Meridian Township’s police and fire departments. It details training activities the two departments engage in, and covers topics that the Web site lists like, “…Internet Safety, Sexual Assault Awareness and Video Game Violence.”

Gaylord Mankowski, a police officer since the age of 19 and with the Meridian Township Police since 1990, offered insight into what “Beyond the Badge” does for the department.

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Online Resources Important Part of Meridian Schools

Two library officials are making an effort to keep the public aware of the electronic resources at its disposal.

Sandy Fields, the Library Media Director at Okemos High School, and Cyndi Webster, Library Media Director at Chippewa and Kinawa middle schools, recently spoke at a school board meeting in an effort to make both board members and the parents and students that are a part of the Okemos school district aware of the available online resources.

“The presentation to the board was to let them know what this information is, why it is important, and how instruction to use it takes place,” Fields said. “After all, they are the ones who create the budget that allows us to purchase the membership to REMC.”

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Developer seeks approval for new Okemos housing development

Development of land in northern Okemos was one of three main topics discussed by the Meridian Township Planning Commission Monday, Jan. 28.

Burton-Katzman Development Co., Inc. represented by Charles DiMaggio at Monday night’s Planning Commission meeting, is seeking recommendation from the Planning Commission to rezone Mobile Home Manor, located off of East Grand River Avenue. Provided the company gets approval, it plans to develop the rezoned land into a housing development called the Meridian 4 Seasons, creating new residential opportunities.

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Meridian Township pastor balances church and family

The First Baptist Church of Okemos’ motto is “real people finding real answers.” According to the church’s senior pastor, Joe Dabrowski, that motto rings true for the 240-member congregation.

“They people look to the pastor for guidance,” said Dabrowski. “Whether it’s financial issues or family issues, people want guidance. They look up to me and it’s my role to lead this church.”

Dabrowski has been the senior pastor at First Baptist since 2003 after seven years as associate pastor. Since then, Dabrowski has dedicated his life to serving his congregation to develop a closer relationship with Christianity.

“His transition to the Senior Pastorate has resulted in renewed excitement and a dedicated vision for our church,” said the church’s music director Teressa Lewandowski.

Since being appointed senior pastor, church membership has increased by 100 members since 2003.

“My primary issue as senior pastor is delivering sermons for the Sunday morning and evening services, casting a vision and setting goals for the church,” said Dabrowski.

Dabrowksi’s journey began in Dover, New Hampshire, where he grew up. “I grew up in the Baptist faith and in the church,” said Dabrowski.

“I was baptized when I was three years old and it’s been apart of my life ever since.”

He said that his calling into the ministry came when he was in his late teens and a student at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

“I was 17 years old, a freshman in college,” said Dabrowski. “The Lord gave me a prompt in my heart to become a pastor. I enrolled in the school’s Christian program and it challenged us, but it was something I wanted to do.”

He earned an associate’s degree in Bible Studies and a Bachelor’s in Pastoral Ministries. After graduating from Liberty, he moved to Grand Rapids, Mich. He earned a master’s of Divinity Degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. Yet, it was at Liberty University that Dabrowski met an accounting student named Jody.

That friendship would turn into more than 17 years of marriage. “It will be 18 years of marriage in August, “ said Dabrowski.

“She is truly amazing. I’m a lucky man.”

They currently have three children, Seph, 14; Jillian, 12; and Caleigh, 2. The couple also has another child on the way, literally. The family is anticipating the arrival of their adopted daughter, 3-year-old Chloe Faith, from China.

Their other daughter, Caleigh, was also adopted from China. The oldest two are their biological children. Dabrowski said it was his wife’s idea and he was glad they did it. Both children came from orphanages in China.

“It was by my wife’s prompting,” said Dabrowski. “In America we’ve been given so much. We just wanted to give these children hope and give them the same opportunities that we have.”

According to Dabrowski, India, Africa and China have the largest orphan populations in the world. The process of adopting a child from another country could take years and the adoption of their first child was no different.

“We adopted a special needs child. There was a lot involved, paperwork and regulations,” said Dabrowski. “However, my wife’s very organized. It took about 18 months, but we have her now. For our second adoption, it took about 11 months.”

Friends and family can see their journey of adopting another child at

“It’s not uncommon for people to document their journey,” said Dabrowski. “It’s also good for people who want to adopt to see how the process goes.”

Despite the busy life as a pastor and father, Dabrowski enjoys every minute of it.

“I love spending time with my family,” said Dabrowski. “I like to play sports and going to the beach. But the most important thing I like to do in my spare time is be with my family.”

It’s been nice Meridian

Over the course of this semester, I have covered Meridian Township. From education to religion to politics, I tried my best to inform the community and others who live outside Meridian’s boundaries.

It has truly been a privilege and experience to meet different people and report on the issues that have had an impact on the town. I just want to say thank you to all the politicians, school administrators, pastors and the everyday people who have helped me write these various stories about your town.

You all have made my job as a reporter/journalist worth the hectic days and nail-biting deadlines. May you all have much success in your future endeavors and look out for me in a magazine in the mere future!


Help Relay for Life

Meridian Township’s Relay for Life will take place May 16-17 behind Chippewa Middle School starting at 3 pm Friday to 3 pm Saturday.

Meridian Community Church, the Kiwanis Club of Okemos, numerous businesses and volunteer groups/organizations will be involved. This is all an effort to find a cure for cancer and raise awareness for the disease that kills millions every year. This event is personal for me because my younger sister had cancer.

I attended a Relay For Life event a few years ago and it was definitely worthwhile. Getting together with people who had common ground and fighting the same struggle is powerful. These relays happen all over the country in just about every city. Just call your local American Cancer Society chapter if you want to donate money or attend Relay for Life in a town near you.

Welcome to Meridian Township

The town of Meridian Township is a suburban town right next to East Lansing. It is a municipality, comprised of Okemos and Haslett. The town received its name from Michigan Meridian, the prime north and south line that all townships in Michigan are measured by. It is home to Lake Lansing, the largest lake within the Lansing area and 1,250 acres of parkland.
Walking around Meridian Township, one notices that it is a middle-class area.

The town has come along way since the days when it was just a rural area, with nothing more than a gas station and mom-and-pop stores. Today, with a population of more than 39,116, Meridian has developed into a true suburban town. There are many restaurants, including an Olive Garden and Ruby Tuesdays, Meridian Mall, dance studios and more.

While the urbanization of Meridian Township is evident, the town has still been able to preserve its natural beauty, through the Township Board’s effort to maintain greenspace. Another positive is the town’s school system. There is the Haslett school district and the Okemos school district. Both school districts have some of the highest test scores in the state. Okemos High School is the only high school in Okemos, looks more like a college campus than a high school and each year, ranks in the top of all Michigan high schools.