Graafschap Christian Reformed Church Museum

(G. R. Press, Saturday, April 14, 2007)

April 8 was the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Christian Reformed church. Graafschap and three other West Michigan churches, the First Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, the Polkton Church, which later disbanded, and the Noordeloos Church, sent a letter to the Holland Classis of the Dutch Reformed Church (Reformed Church in America) informing them that they were seceding from that denomination.

They were known as the "seceders". The reasons for leaving the Dutch Reformed Church were: hymn selections, too relaxed view of who could take communion, their feeling that there was neglect in preaching and teaching the Christian faith as found in the Heidelberg Catechism. They felt a closer tie to the secessionist churches in the Netherlands which began in the 1930’s in protest of state control of the church.

Graafschap began with 113 members. The Dutch name Graafschap mean "county".

The new museum shows a timeline for how the Christian Reformed Church and Graafschap have grown since 1857. Approximately 100 settlers from Drenthe and Bentheim Provinces settled in the area in 1847. Bentheim now is a part of Germany. It also shows Graafschap’s role in new churches, outreach projects, etc. Nine churches have had their start from this church.

Rev. Douwe VanderWerp was the first pastor of the church and founder of the church’s publication, The Banner.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 23 November 2007
URL: graafschapmuseum.html