EARLY HISTORY

PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH
1909-1976

HOLLAND, MICHIGAN

 

The Sixteenth Street Christian Reformed Church of Holland, Michigan was organized at a meeting on April 15, 1907, at the Central Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan.

The following ministers were appointed by Classis Holland during the February meeting in Zeeland, Michigan - Rev. Manni of the East Saugatuck church; Rev. W. DeGroot of the Graafschap church; and Elder Isaac Marsilje of the English speaking Fourteenth Street church.

Some neighboring churches objected to the planned location on Sixteenth Street and Maple Avenue of this new church. They did not feel that the location would be favorable for the development of church life in Holland.

The following were charter members:

Those from the Central Avenue church in Holland were -

Mr. & Mrs. W. Deur Mr. & Mrs. J. DeBoe

Mr. & Mrs. H. J. Derks Mr. & Mrs. T. Dykstra

Mr. & Mrs. E. Evenhuis Mr. & Mrs. J. Groters

Mr. & Mrs. J. Grasdyk Miss D. Grasdyk

Mr. & Mrs. D. Hoffman Mr & Mrs. F. Koning

Mr. A. Van der Gehugte Miss J. Van der Gehugte

Mr. & Mrs. J. Van Loosenoord Mr. & Mrs. H. Tuls

Mr. & Mrs. J. H. Tuls Miss H. Tuls

Mr. & Mrs. J. A. Prins Mr. & Mrs. J. Prins

Mr. & Mrs. J. Zuurhof Mr. & Mrs. Verhelst

Mr. & Mrs. R. Wiegmink

Those from the 9th Street church in Holland were -

Mr. & Mrs. W. A. Brondyk Mr. & Mrs. J. Cook

Mr. & Mrs. A. Eisen Mr. & Mrs. J. Hooyer

Mr. K. Mol Mr. & Mrs. H. Mol

Mr. & Mrs. Mannes Mr. & Mrs. L. T. Schaddelee

Mr. & Mrs. W. Sloothaak Mr. & Mrs. K. VanDyk

Mr. & Mrs. Van den Ende Mr. & Mrs. F. Visser

Mr & Mrs. Zagers

Those from the East Saugatuck church were _

Mr. & Mrs. H. Derks

The first Consistory members were:

J. Tuls, President J. DeBoe, Elder

A. Eisen, Clerk & Deacon G. Zagers, Elder

H. Mol, Deacon W. Deur, Deacon

The afternoon services were held in the Fourteenth St. church and a place for worship in the morning was found by Elder Zagers and Deacon Deur.

At the congregational meeting of May 1, 1907, it was decided to buy three lots on the northwest corner of Maple Avenue and 16th Street for the church and parsonage. A committee was appointed to attempt to raise funds for the new church.

Elders J. H. Tuls and G. Zagers represented Sixteenth Street for the first time at Classis Holland. The congregation made the request for $300 for support for one year. They were allotted $200 instead. Rev. D. Drukker of Fourteenth Street was appointed Counselor.

Arch DeHaan submitted drawings for the new church on May 27th, 1907 and they were accepted.

At the Council meeting of June 3, it was decided not to smoke at the meetings while they were held in the homes of the members.

On June 6, a gift from the Central Avenue church of $1,200 was received for the new church; Graafschap church donated a Communion Set; and the congregation itself and community's gifts totaled $2,920. The lowest bid for building the church was from Siersma & Dieters at $6,027.

Members of the Building Committee were Zagers, DeBoe and Mol from the Council and Prins, VanLoosenorrd and Derks from the congregation.

On July 7 the decision was made to call a pastor at a salary of $800 and on July 29, 1907, Rev. Van Vessen from Drenthe was called. It was the first of 17 calls before Rev. W. DeGroot accepted in 1909.

Rev. D. Drukker placed the cornerstone in the new building on Saturday, August 24, 1907.

Family visiting was begun. It was decided to hold two offerings a year for Christian Schools and that the church should have electric lights.

On May 21, 1908, the new church building was dedicated.

At the Consistory meeting of June 1, 1908, six young people professed their faith in the Lord.

At the Congregational meeting of August 16, 1909, Rev. W. DeGroot from Graafschap was called again. (He also received a call September 22, 1908.) Rev. DeGroot asked ten questions. Among them - when will you build a parsonage? Will the salary be paid every month or three months? and will we get a phone in the house? After receiving the replies, he accepted the call.

On Wednesday, October 13, 1909, a congregational reception took place and on October 17th, Rev. DeGroot preached his inaugural sermon.

At the end of 1909, a committee was appointed to study the possibility of building a parsonage. Those appointed were - Rev. DeGroot, Elder Vande Gehughte, Deacon Prins, G. Zagers and John Zuurhof and on February 21, 1910, the congregation approved plans for a parsonage. It was built in 1910 at a cost of $4,000.

In 1907 there were 27 voting members and in 1911 there were 57.

In May of 1911, the Council decided that financial support from Classis Holland was no longer needed.

In 1912 Rev. DeGroot visited the Netherlands on a vacation trip; the church building was loaned to the Fourth Reformed Church part of the year due to their building program.

Rev. DeGroot received a call in September of 1913 from the Classis of Pella, Iowa to serve as missionary among the Mormons at Ogden Utah and he accepted.

In October of 1914, Rev. J. Walkotten from the First Christian Reformed Church at Roseland Park, Chicago, Illinois accepted the call to labor at 16th Street.

It was decided in January, 1918, to accept the budget system. A horse stable for the pastor's horse was built during 1918 and an organ was purchased from the Fifth Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.

Mrs. Walkotten, the pastor's wife became ill and died early in 1918 and on February 25th, the Council met in special session to commemorate her death.

In 1916, combined services were held in the evening at Ninth Street in English and the Sixteenth Street services were Dutch.

Rev. Walkotten remarried in 1917 in our church. On April 6, World War I was declared and the following served their country -

John Kroll Marve Ver Hulst

Ed Zagers John De Boe

Jack De Bree Henry Piers

John De Vries John Volkema

Gerrit Nyboer Sam Kroll

Peter De Bree Bert De Haan

Henry Roberts John Piers

George Prins (Gold Star) Henry Geerds

In 1919, Rev. John Walkotten received and accepted a call from the First Christian Reformed Church at Paterson, New Jersey. The fourth call brought Rev. H. Keegstra of the First Fremont Church at Fremont, Michigan and he labored in our midst for nine years.

Rev. Bultema served during the period between Rev. Walkotten and Rev. Keegstra. Difficulties arose concerning his viewpoints and a number of families left the church.

Rev. Keegstra guided the congregation through the transition of the

language question.

In 1922, 18 chairs were purchased for the Sunday School; the carpet on the pulpit was repaired; the parsonage kitchen was furnished with new linoleum; six collection plates were ordered and two organists were reappointed at a yearly salary of $50.

In 1923 Rev. Keegstra received a call from Orange City, Iowa and declined the call.

In 1925 the pastor's salary was $2,000, and the janitor's $600; there were 145 families on the church rolls and a new roof was put on the church at a cost of $1,028.

In 1928 Rev. Keegstra received a call from the Allendale Church and accepted.

Rev. Peter Jonker was the next pastor and came from Lynden, Washington with his wife and five children. In November of 1929, the 2 1/2 year old daughter, Ruth Jeanne, of Rev. and Mrs. Jonker, died. Rev. Jonker remained for 16 years. In 1930 the pastor's salary was $2,400.

In 1932, requests were made for help from members for rent, coal, groceries, shoes and clothing. At that time a ton of coal cost $6.5o.

The Deacon's informed the Consistory that the poor fund was drained and the Consistory granted a sum of $541.49 for the poor fund. This amount had accumulated from 1907-1910 and was not used for the poor during that time. The Red Cross sent 3,650 pounds of flour to the city of Holland which was distributed to the poor. The pastor's salary was decreased to $2,200 this year.

In 1933 due to the depression, Rev. Jonker offered to have his salary decreased by $500 to $1700. It was decided that the Sunday School money should be kept in the church safe due to the bank moratorium. The cost of candy per pupil at the Christmas program was 8 1/2 to 9 cents per pound. A list of 24 needy families was given to the City Engineer's Office so they could receive a Christmas basket.

The Young Men's Society and Young Women's Society were active during these years. A committee, Fredricka DeJong and Geraldine Vogelzang, was appointed to investigate the expense of church bulletins.

In 1937 the pastor's salary was raised to $1,900. There were 170 families on the roll and the church budget was .75 cents a week.

In 1938 300 church directories were printed at a cost of $31.96 plus $2.00 for 100 extra copies.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941, marked the beginning of World War II. The following served -

Benjamin Keen (died in service)

John Visser Willard Bazuin

Marvin Marlink Stanley Hamburg

Albertus DeBoe Abraham DeLeeuw

Averet DeGraaf Harold Buter

Lawrence Koster Silas Dykstra

John Mulder Andrew Smeenge

Don Zoerhoff Graddus Scrotenboer

William Vogelzang Ernest Zoerhof

Julius Prins John Slenk

John Bazuin Laverne Nienhuis

Jerry Hop Harris Boes

Jason Roels Kenneth Mast

Melvin Shaarda Eugene Vander Sluis

Leonard Vogelzang Robert Bazuin

Fred Volkema Kenneth Volkema

Alvin Piers Robert Sloothaak

Melvin Vander Bie Russel Visser

Ralph Martinus Gerrit De Leeuw

Henry De Leeuw Joe Vander Leek

Lester Cnossen Edward Walters

Stanley Cnossen Floyd Hossink

Rev. Jonker wrote a letter to every service person during the war.

In 1945 with regret, the congregation received the news that Rev. Jonker had accepted a call to the Christian Reformed Church of Leota,

Minnesota. Rev. Vander Zwaag was the counselor during the time the pulpit was vacant.

A call was extended to Rev. A. Dusseljee who had just returned from serving as a chaplain in the Armed Forces. He labored for two years in our midst. A praise service was held in May of 1946 for our returned service men. Rev. Harold Dekker conducted the service.

A Radio Choir was organized in January of 1947 and in August of 1948 the church broadcast its "Religion for Today" progam.

Rev. Dusseljee surprised the congregation by accepting a call to the Milwood church in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

A call was extended in November to Rev. A. W. Hoogstrate of the Lamont church and was accepted. He served our church for five years. A new addition to the church was built in 1949. J. P. Roels was the Building Committee president. Dedication was held on December 1, 1949.

There was an afternoon Dutch service in the afternoon. The church auditorium was remodeled and families were assigned to the basement for services. Rev. J. VanBruggen was called as our missionary at Crown Point, New Mexico.

Dutch services were discontinued in 1952. Transportation was provided to Central Avenue church for those wishing to attend.

Rev. A. W. Hoogstrate had received many calls but declined them until he received the call from the Alpine Avenue church in 1954. He left to labor their in the spring.

Rev. J. H. Brink was the seventh pastor and he was installed on September 19, 1954. Rev. Brink had been active in Presbyterian circles and this was his first Christian Reformed charge. He was a very able pastor.

A fiftieth anniversary of the church was held on April 16 and 17, 1957.

In 1959 a special congregational meeting was held to vote on building a new church instead of a major remodeling program. This was defeated. Dutch services were discontinued in Holland, Michigan.

In 1916, Rev. Van Bruggen retired and moved to Phoenix, Arizona.

In 1962 a motion was made and approved to allow the women to vote at the congregational meetings.

In 1963 the cost of education in Christian Schools was $244.08 in K through 8 and $291.09 for the high school. The proposed budget was $4.80 per family.

The question of where to build the new church was discussed. The

population was shifting and the Sixteenth Street area could not support two CRC churches. A decision was made to relocate and on February 12, 1964, a proposal was passed to relocate the church. The cost of the land was $40,000. The land purchased was on Ottawa Avenue south of 32nd Street in Holland. The last service in the Sixteenth Street Church was held December 31, 1965. The church building was sold to the First Baptist congregation for $20,000.

The new Building Committee included Wm. DeMots, Jack DeBoe, John Slenk, Roger VanWyk, Jerry Hop, John Vogelzang and Herm Jurries.

Church services were hled at Jefferson School.

A new name was chosen for the church at the March 15, 1966 meeting and PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH was the name chosen. The plans for the new church were approved on April 18.

Ground breaking ceremonies were held for the new church on Saturday, April 15, 1967. The cost of the church building itself was not to exceed $255,000.

Rev. J. Herbert Brink accepted a call to the East Lansing church and bade farewell to the congregation on May 14, 1968.

The dedication services were held on May 1 and 2, 1968. The first wedding in the new church was for David and Carolyn (Kort) Nienhuis.

On January 14 1969, Rev. J. Gunnink accepted our call and was installed on April 17, 1969.

A decision to switch from wine to grape juice for communion was made. Marcia Boerman became our volunteer secretary. A monthly bulletin "Providence Newsletter" was begun.

The new parsonage was completed at 409 W. 35th St. in 1975.

Rev. J. Gunnink accepted a call to the First Christian Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. In June, Rev. Terry Lapinsky declined our first call to him but accepted our second call in 1977.

In 1982 there were still nine charter members represented -

Mrs. Gertrude Nyhof (daughter of Mr. & Mrs. J. De Boe)

Mr. John Prins (son of Mr. & Mrs. J. Prins)

Mrs. Kathryn Meiste (daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Sloothaak)

Mr. Russel Visser (son of Mr. & Mrs. Fred Visser)

Mr. Hiram Wiegmink (son of Mr. & Mrs. P. Wiegmink)

Mrs. Jo Slenk (daughter of Mr. & Mrs. J. Zuurhof)

Mr. Don Zoerhof (son of Mr. & Mrs. J. Zuurhof)

Mr. Gerold Zoerhof (son of Mr. & Mrs. J. Zuurhof)

Mrs. Nell Zwiers (daughter of Mr. & Mrs. T. Dykstra)

Members of the Congregation who entered full time gospel work are -

Missionaries - Ms. Theresa Van Houw, R.N.

Mr. & Mrs. Gordon Vander Bie

Ministers -

John Breuker Gordon Spykman

Marinus Arnoys Edwin Roels

Edward Visser Earl Schipper

Cornelius De Boe Nickolas Vogelzang

Henry De Mots Robert Evenhuis

COUNCIL MEMBERS, 1907 - 1981

 

James Acterhof David Nienhuis

A. Alberda Fred Oldemulders

Kenneth Beelen Claus Oosting

Neal Berghoef Wesley Oosting

Henry Boerigter Cris Otten

Glen Boerman John Otten

G. J. Bonge Dr. Dale Peerbolte

W. Breukeer Andrew Plantinga

Rev. A. Bouma C. Plantinga

B. Bouwmaster Donald Plasman

Allen Busscher Edgar Prince

Kenneth Buter John Prins

Ronald Buter John Prins, Jr.

Otto Cnossen Edward Ribbens

Jack De Boe Douglas Ritsema

Johannes De Boe H. Roberts

Henry De Boe John P. Roels

G. De Groot L. Schaddelee

Gerrit De Haan C. Scuttenga

T. De Haan Richard Sharda

Gerrit De Leeuw Richard Sjaarda

John De Mots Arther Slenk

William De Mots John Slenk

A. Derks Richard Smith

H. Derks Harlan Sprik

Gordon De Vries Albert Spykman

John De Vries Allen Steenwyk

Leonard De Waard Warren Stuk

F. Dieleman Ronald Swart

E. Dyk Lester Swierenga

J. Dyk Milton Steketee

J. Dykstra Donald Vanden Bosch

M. Dykstra Lee Vander Ark

Willaim Dykstra Gordon Vander Bie

A. Eisen Melvin Vander Bie

Dr. Martin Essenburg A. Vander Gehugte

John Fonger Herman Vander Leek

Benjamin Frens Joe Vander Leek

Gerrit Frens Peter Vander Leek

Forrest J. Fynewever Adrian Vander Sluis

B. Geerts Henry Vander Veen

G. Geerts Ralph Vander Veen

A. Groendyke George Vander Wall

Jerry Gunnink Gerald Vande Vusse

A. Heerspink Donald Van Dyke

G. J. Heetderks John Van Iwarden

Herman Heetderks Henry Van Munster

David Hemmeke B. Van Putten

John Heyboer J. Van Tongeren

Calvin Hoffman Fred Van Tubergen

Henry Holtgeerts Roger Van Wyk

Jerold Hop Henry Veldheer

Alfred Hossink N. Veldman

J. Hooyer Kenneth Ver Meulen

Fred Jacobs Fred Visser

P. Jacobusse Russel Visser

George Jansen John Vogelzang, Jr.

Melvin Jousma Frank Volkema

Herman Jurries Claus Volkema

Robert Kalkman John H. Walters

John Katerburg Dr. Floyd Westendorp

Walter Kooyer F. Wierstra

Marvin Lemmen W. Wierstra

Robert Lenger Dr. Milton Wyngarden

Robert Lohr R. Zagers

Herschel Lubbers Donald Zoerhoff

Marvin Zoerhoff

LaVern Zoerhoff

Donald Zwier

Herman Zwiers

LIST OF PASTORS, 1909-1976

W. DeGroot, 1909-13 A. Dusseljee, 1946-48

J. Walkotten, 1914-19 A. W. Hoogstrate, 1948-54

H. Keegstra, 1919-28 J. H. Brink, 1954-68

P. Jonker, Jr., 1929-45 J. Gunnink, 1969-76


Transcriber: Evelyn Sawyer
Created: 4 August 2005
URL: http://ottawa.migenweb.net/churches/christianref/providencecrc.html