Guru Nanak Sikh Temple

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 27 August 2015.

Phone: 734-420-2645
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Research Conducted by The University of Michigan-Dearborn Pluralism Project.

History and Description of the Center

The Guru Nanak Sikh Temple was founded in 1995. Among the founders were Dr. Tirlochan Singh, Sukhpal Dhillon, Paul Gill, Chan Sandhu, and Gary Grewal. In 1997, the members purchased a former Presbyterian church in Plymouth, a middle-and upper-middle-class suburb west of Detroit, in Wayne County. It is a modern modest brick structure, that still has its steeple. The Sikhs wanted to buy the church because it had already been established as a holy place, and they wanted to maintain this sense of spirituality. In addition, this site was the right location. It is conveniently located to the region's growing Sikh population in Washtenaw and western Wayne Counties, and distant from the other two Detroit-area gurdwaras, in Madison Heights and Rochester in Oakland County, where the members had worshiped. In addition to the prayer room on the first floor, there is in the basement a social hall, kitchen, five rooms that are used for classrooms, and a library. On the second floor, there are rooms for the priest.


Currently, the congregation of the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple consists entirely of Indian Sikh families, most from Punjab. There are a few white Americans who have converted from Christianity or who have married into the community. Language used in worship is Punjabi. It and English are the languages used in informal interaction before and after worship. The membership has doubled over the past five years, and now numbers approximately 1,500. There is a Board of Directors that makes most of the day-to-day decisions for the gurdwara; special committees are formed to make larger decisions.


There are usually not any social activities sponsored during the week, but occasionally there are weekday celebrations some of the major Sikh observances and secular national holidays. Such celebrations consist of special prayers or collections. There is a Sunday school for children, to teach them Punjabi and the basic Sikh beliefs, music, martial arts, history of Sikhism, and spirituality. In addition, there is a one-week summer program, Camp Khalsa, for youth. The camp provides an opportunity for young people to learn about the Sikh religion and enjoy opportunities for recreation.


Members of the center are active participants in area interfaith services, including the interfaith Thanksgiving Service sponsored by the National Conference for Community and Justice, and the World Sabbath. The center is open on a daily basis, but the major service is on Sundays at 11:00 A.M.