EARLY HISTORY OF FIRST REFORMED CHURCH OF SPRING LAKE
210 SUMMIT

Difficult travel between Spring Lake and Grand Haven caused sixteen families living in the village to separate from the First Reformed Church of Grand Haven and organize the First Dutch Reformed Church in Spring Lake.

On March 20, 1870, a small group gave notice to the classis that they planned to organize a congregation, and three days later nine men and seven women, representing eleven families carried out their plan.

The original group were Mr. and Mrs. Ate DeWitt (Egbertje Pruim), Reender Reenders, Mr. and Mrs. H. Oosterhof (Wilmtje Zwiers), Thys Stadt, R. Hovinga, W. Busje, Mr. and Mrs. Anne Mulder (Dirkje Dyke), Mr. and Mrs. Jan Langeland (Jenneke Nusson), Mr. and Mrs. Arend Hietebry (Geertje Stadt), Jantje Visser, and Dina Kuiper.

Intense activity marked the first six months of its history. In April the congregation began preparations for a church building, 32 x 50 feet in size, at 210 Summit Street. A pastor was called in May, the Sunday School was organized in July and the first pastor, Rev. James DeP)ree, was ordained and installed in August.

When the new Church building was dedicated on September 8, 1870 the scaffolding was still in place, and as there were no seats, boards for the new building were used for seats.

In 1875 the congregation purchased a parsonage.

This church has the distinction of keeping its first pastor nearly ten years, which is quite a contrast to the situation in the other village churches during their early years. Although the entire denomination was passing through a troublesome time, due to controversies of various kinds within itself, this congregation weathered the storm safely without suffering permanent harm. In the 1880's the church building was enlarged by an addition with a basement under the new part. When many families moved away following the closing of the mills, this church also suffered greatly, but was finally able to make gradual and steady growth.

The Year Book and Church Directory for 1928 refers to this as the Reformed Church, Spring Lake, Michigan, but it is now known as the First Reformed Church of Spring Lake, and occupies a beautiful sanctuary at 225 E. Exchange.

1938 DEDICATION SOUVENIR
OF THE
FIRST REFORMED CHURCH OF SPRING LAKE, MICHIGAN

OUR CHURCH HISTORY AND MEMBERS

On March 20, 1870, a small group of Reformed people of Spring Lake gave notice to a committee appointed by Classis that they were ready to organize a congregation and on March 23rd they met for that purpose. What remarkable ----- and courage were shown by those first sixteen charter members, nine men and 7 women, representing eleven families. They had hardly been organized and ----- tory members chosen, when they planned the erection of a church building. Two months after their organization they called their first pastor, Rev. De Pree, then a student at the Western Theological Seminary. One month later, on J---- the Sunday School was organized.

Our first pastor, Rev. De Pree, was ordained in August. This first so---- in the new building was held with the scaffolding still in place and there were no seats. Boards that were to be used in the new building were provided for use that day. The church was dedicated on September 8th. To help us real?:? ------ church's history again: organized on March 23rd; decided to build in April; ---- a pastor in May; organized a Sunday School in July; ordained the first pastor --- August, and dedicated the new church building in September. Of course, this ---- Spring Lake Reformed Church had the moral and spiritual support of the 1st Reformed Church of Grand Haven. Mr. Ball was present as their representative --- No history of our church would be complete without recording the names of the --- courageous and faithful charter members, who names were:

Ate DeWitt, Wilmpjo Zwiers, Oosterhof Anne Mulder
Egbertio Pruim DeWitt Thys Stadt Dirkje Dyke Mul
Reender Reenders R. Havinga Jan Langeland
H. Oosterhof W. Busjo Jenneke Nysson Lang Geertje Stadt Hietebry Jantje Visser Arend Hiotobry Dina Kuiper

The original church building was not as large as it is at present but ---- ed to about 3 or 4feet north of the first window and measured about 32 x 50 feet. The records of those first years of the growth of the congregation, etc. are not very complete. We do know that at the first annual election of officers, only fifteen votes were cast. For several years the congregation --- a house for the pastor, but in 1875 they bought a house opposite the church --- the present parsonage. After about ten years, Rev. DePree left for his new church at Sioux Center, Ioda.

In December of 1880, Rev. J. Zwemer, came as our second pastor. During his ministry the congregation became self-supporting. He left for another field in 1883.

In June, 1884, Rev. Joldersma was installed and because the church had become too small for the growing congregation about 20 feet were added to the south end of the building and a basement was put under the new part. The congregation at that time probably numbered between 130 & 140 families. Rev Joldersma left in April, 1886, and in September of that same year, Rev. Kolyn became our fourth pastor. He stayed nearly two years and left us in July of 1888.

Rev. Hekhuis was installed in September of that same year, and his ministry of two years was during the time when most of the sawmills either closed up or moved away, due to lack of timber. Our first authentic record of March, 1889 shows the congregation numbered 121 families and 134 communicants. The April, 1891 record shows 100/90 families and 131 communicants.

Rev. A. Zwemer came as our pastor in September, 1891. After a period of gloom and uncertainty, due to a congregation that at one time dwindled to about 70 families, and which had financial difficulties as well, there was a gradual, but noticeable change. Then Rev. Zwemer left in April, 1898, the number of families had increased to 82 and the communicants to 120.

Rev. B. Hoffman was installed in July, 1898. During his ministry the basement of the church was enlarged to its present size and many needed repairs were made. The church's growth was slow but steady, and when Rev. Hoffman left in May, 1902 we had 88 families and 140 communicants.

Rev. Nettinga was ordained in June of 1903. During his ministry the present parsonage was built and an ew furnace was installed in the church. In 1908, a Hinner--- organ was installed and during Rev. Nettinga's ministry the church again became self-supporting. In March, 1909, when he left, our families numbered 100 and communicants 168.

Rev. Frieling came in April, 1910, and left in August of 1911. Rev. VanderSchaaf came in Septemer, 1912. During his ministry, electric lights were put in the parsonage and the interior of the church decorated. An Adult Bible Class was organized. When Rev. VanderSchaaf left in December, 1915, the church debt contracted in previous years had all been cleared up.

Rev. Mollema arrived in July, 1917. A garage was immediately built to house the car he had brought with him. The Duplex Envelope System we are still using, was inaugurated in 1919. In the same year a new furnace was installed in the church and new Sunday School room was added in the basement.

In 1920 the Golden Anniversary, commemorating the fiftieth birthday of the beginning of this church was elaborately celebrated. The booklet that was published in connection with that event reveals that the societies connected with the church at that time were: Sunday School, Christian Endeavor (Senior) Society, Ladies' Missionary Society, Mission Circle, Dorcas Society, Intermediate Christian Endeavor and also a Junior C. E. Society. Many of us probably recall those days, as well as subsequent happenings. It was during this period that action was taken to start a separate fund for a new building. A system of weekly "blue" envelopes was used. Rev. Mollema left for his new field in Wisconsin in April, 1925.

After our longest period of vacancy Rev. C. Lepeltak, Jr., was installed as our twelfth pastor in December, 1926. During this ministry, the congregation began to give serious thought to the construction of a new church building. Shortly thereafter the congregation purchased the Verplanke lots on Exchange St., the location of this new church building we are dedicating now. In 1929 a drive for funds was inaugurated which substantially increased this fund, and had it been possible to collect all pledges our new church building could have been built considerably sooner than 1938. After due deliberation, the congregation decided against going ahead at that time, and we believe that God's providential will guided us in that decision. Certainly the debt and interest burden would have been extremely difficult for us to carry during the depression years of 1932 and 1933. Throughout these years, our building fund continued to grow, the Church Aid Society being instrumental in collecting considerable money for it. In May of 1936, Rev. Lepeltak left for his new field in New York.

Our present pastor, Rev. S. C. DeJong was installed in October, 1936 and has very efficiently guided the congregation and coordinated all committees and workers through the period of preparation and construction. In 1937, the congregation decided to proceed with the new church, also determining to build on present lots. Another drive was put on for funds and more than $5,000.00 was pledged, more than 90 per cent of which has been paid at the present time.

The above is a short history of the church but we must certainly remember God's guiding hand throughout and give thanks ot Him for the many blessings that have been ours. Mary we continue to grow in number, but above all, let us pray that we may grow spiritually and continue to work together for the advancement of God's kingdom on earth.

*************************************************

The Sunday School was organized 16 July 1870 with Reender Reenders as the first superintendent.
OFFICERS -
Superintendent - Richard J. Kruizenga
Assistant Superintendent - Claude Bolthouse
Secretary-Treasurer - Frederick Workman, Jr.

The young Ladies' Mission Circle was organized in February, 1890 by Mrs. Hekhuis with fifteen charter members.
The first officers were:
President - Mrs. Hekhuis
Vice-President - Kate Mulder
Secretary - Nellie Dowlyn
Treasurer - Barbara Brongersma

The Ladies' Missionary Society was organized 2 December 1897. Officers at that time were:
President - Mrs. A. Mulder
Vice-President - Miss Maud Zwemer
Secretary - Mrs. John Mulder
Treaturer - Mrs. C. Klouw

The Church Aid Society was organized 15 November 1927 with 17 charter members. The purpose of this organization is to promote earnest Christian life among its members; to increase their mutual acquaintance and to inspire them to a more useful life and in the service of God. Also to aid in the support of the church. The first officers were:

President - Mrs. C. Lepeltak, Jr.
Vice-President - Mrs. R. Dykema
Secretary - Mrs. F. Scholten

MEMBERS

BAPTIZED MEMBERS

BAKER, JACOB

HENRIETTA*, RUTH*

BAKER, MRS. JACOB

BALGOOYEN, EDWIN

DONNA*

BALGOOYEN, MRS. EDWIN

BELTER, ARTHUR

ARTHUR*

BELTER, MRS. ARTHUR

BISHOP, EARL

ROBERT*

BISHOP, MRS. EARL

BOLTEN, HARRY

HAROLD*, RUSSEL*, ALBERT*, IRENE+

BOLTEN, MRS. HARRY

BOLTHOUSE, ADRIAN

ELAINE*

BOLTHOUSE, CLAUDE

JULIA, ADRIAN

BOLTHOUSE, HAZEL

BOLTHOUSE, JOHN H.

BOLTHOUSE, MARIE

BOLTHOUSE, MRS. ADRIAN

BOLTHOUSE, MRS. ANNA

BOLTHOUSE, MRS. CLAUDE

BORGMAN, ANTHONY

BORGMAN, MRS. ANTHONY

BOTTEMA, FRED

STEPHEN*, DORIS

BOTTEMA, GERRIT

MARVIN*, GERALD*

BOTTEMA, JOHN

BOTTEMA, MRS. FRED

BOTTEMA, MRS. GERRIT

BROWN, ARCHIE

BROWN, MRS. ARCHIE

BUSHMAN, ALBERT

BUSHMAN, MRS. ALBERT

DE BOER, FRED (SON-MRS. C.)

DE BOER, MRS. C.

LEWIS*

DE GRAAF, EDWARD

PETER*, BARNEY*, KATHRYN*, BETTY*

DE GRAAF, MRS. EDWARD

DE GRAAF, MRS. ORRIS

DE GRAAF, ORRIS

DE HAAN, MRS. ANNA

JACK*

DE JONG, MRS. S. C.

DE JONG, REV. S. C.

DOUGLAS

DE WITT, KLAAS

DE WITT, MRS. EVERETT

DE WITT, MRS. KLAAS

DE WITT, MRS. P. E.

DE WITT, MRS. PETER C.

DE WITT, P. E.

DE WITT, PETER C.

HAZEL, JEAN, PAUL*, CHARLES*, NANCY*

DE YOUNG, HANS

MARILYN*, ROBERT

DE YOUNG, JOHN

MARTIN*

DE YOUNG, MRS. HANS

DE YOUNG, MRS. JOHN

DOBB, MISS KATE

DOBB, MRS. F.

DROPPERS, LESTER

DROPPERS, MRS. LESTER

DYKEMA, JOHN

DYKEMA, MRS. RICHARD

DYKEMA, RICHARD

HARRY*, RAYMOND*, STEPHEN*, ANNA, ALICE

ECKELKAMP, JOE

ECKELKAMP, MRS. JOE

FISHER, JAMES

JANE*, LA VERNE*

FISHER, MRS. JAMES

GEERLING, GEORGE

ALMA*

GEERLING, JAY

HARRY*, BARBARA*

GEERLING, MISS ANNA

GEERLING, MRS. GEORGE

GEERLING, MRS. JAY

GREVEL, JOHN

GREVEL, LOUIS

GREVEL, MRS. JOHN

GREVEL, MRS. LOUIS

GUSTAFSON, EDWIN

BEVERLY*

GUSTAFSON, MRS. EDWIN

HELDER, JOHN

JAMES*

HINKLO, GLEN

MARY*, ELEANOR*

HINKLO, MRS. GLENN

HOEKJE, MRS. GERTRUDE

HONHOLT, JOHN

MINNIE

HONHOLT, MRS. JOHN

KAMMERAAD, BERNARD

ELLIS*, KEITH*, CRAIG*

KAMMERAAD, MRS. BERNARD

KAMPER, DR. R. J.

KAMPER, MRS. R. J.

KATT, HAROLD

KATT, JOHN P.

CLARISSA, JEANNE, JACK(, HOWARD*

KATT, MRS. JOHN P.

KATT, MRS. KLAAS

KLOW,

KLOW, GERRIT*

KLOW, CORNELIUS

BARNEY*, MENNO+

KLOW, DICK

KLOW, GERRIT B.

KLOW, GERRIT C.

FLOYD*

KLOW, MENNO

FLORENCE, MILTON

KLOW, MISS JENNIE

KLOW, MRS. DICK

KLOW, MRS. GERRIT B.

KLOW, MRS. GERRIT C.

KLOW, MRS. MENNO

KRAUSE, MRS. WILLIAM

KRAUSE, WILLIAM

BARBARA*, ROGER*

KRUIZENGA, JOHN

MARVIN, STELLA

KRUIZENGA, MRS. JOHN

KRUIZENGA, MRS. RICHARD

KRUIZENGA, PETER

KRUIZENGA, RICHARD

DOROTHY*, RICHARD*, GEORGIA*

KUCK, LYNN

LAWRENCE*

KUCK, MRS. LYNN

LEPELTAK, MRS. EFFIE

LUBEN, MR. B.

ELAINE, BERTRAM

LUBEN, MRS. B.

MULDER ANSON

JANNE*

MULDER, DR. C. D.

MULDER, GEORGE

DELLA

MULDER, JOHN

FRED, GERTRUDE

MULDER, MISS CORA

MULDER, MISS ELLA

MULDER, MISS MARY

MULDER, MRS. ANSON*

MULDER, MRS. C. D.

MULDER, MRS. JOHN

NEINHOUSE, HARRY

WALTER

NEINHOUSE, JOHN

LOUIS, MARVIN*, JOHN*, WILLIAM*

NEINHOUSE, MR. SABO

NEINHOUSE, MRS. HARRY

NEINHOUSE, MRS. L.

NEINHOUSE, MRS. RICHARD

NEINHOUSE, RICHARD

PAUL*, LEON*, MARGARET*, ROBERT*, RICHARD

NIXON, ELLIS

ELLIS*, EDWARD*

NIXON, MRS. ELLIA

PRINCE, GEORGE

WILLIAM*

PRINCE, MRS. GEORGE

PRINCE, MRS. WILLIAM

PRINCE, WILLIAM

SCHIPPER, MRS. POPKE

JOHN*, ANTHONY*

SCHIPPER, MRS. RAYMOND

SCHIPPER, RAYMOND

DONALD*

SCHLUKIBIR, JOHN

RUSSELL

SCHLUKIBIR, MRS. JOHN

SCHOLTEN, FRANK

HARVEY, MARJORIE

SCHOLTEN, MRS. FRANK

SCHREUR, MR. KLAAS*

SCHRIER, JACK

RAYMOND*, BETTY*

SCHRIER, MRS. JACK

SCHRIER, MRS. ORRIS

SCHRIER, ORRIS

ELEANOR*

SEITSEMA, MARTIN

RUTH*, MARY*, MARILYNN*

SEITSEMA, MRS. MARTIN

START, JERRY

GEORGE*, DONALD*, JANET*

START, MARTIN

RUTH, BERNICE, MARTIN, JR.+, MILTONi, ROBERT+

START, MRS. JERRY

START, MRS. MARTIN

STEGENGA, ALLE

STEGENGA, MRS. ALLE

STEGENGA, MRS. WILLIAM

STOPPLES, ANTHONY

DOLOROS*

STOPPLES, MRS. ANTHONY

STROOTING, MRS. WALTER

STROOTING, WALTER

JAMES*, BETTY ANN*

VAN DOORN, ARTHUR

VAN DOORN, GEORGE

RICHARD*, DONALD*

VAN DOORN, MRS. ARTHUR

VAN DOORN, MRS. GEORGE

VAN LEEUWEN, MRS. NEAL

VAN LEEUWEN, NEAL

MARGARET*, OLLIE*, THELMA*, NELSON*

VAN OORDT, ALLAN

ALLEN+, HAROLD+

VAN OORDT, CORNELIUS

CAROL*

VAN OORDT, HENRY JAY

VAN OORDT, JOHN

HELENA*, NELLA*, GEORGE*, JOHN, MILDRED*

VAN OORDT, MRS. ALLAN

VAN OORDT, MRS. CORNELIUA

VAN OORDT, MRS. GERRIT

VAN OORDT, MRS. HENRY JAY+

VAN OORDT, MRS. JOHN

VANDEN BOSCH, ANDREW

RUTH

VANDEN BOSCH, MRS. ANDREW

VANDER KLOY, MR. ANDREW

VANDER WAGON, MRS. A.

VANDER WAL, MRS. DON

VANDER WALL, DON

LOIS ANN*

VANDER WALL, JELTA

DELWIN, EUNICE*

VANDER WALL, MRS. JELTA

VANDER WALL, MRS. JOHN

VANDER WALL, MRS. PETER

VANDER WALL, PETER

ALICE, LESLEY*, RAYMOND*, ANNA*

VINK, KLAAS

HERMAN, FLORENCE, JANET, CHESTER*

VINK, MRS. KLAAS

VOSS, MRS. MAGGIE

WAGNER, MRS. ADAM

WAGNER, MRS. WILLIAM

WAGNER, WILLIAM

PATRICIA+, DONNA_, JACK_

WARNKE, MRS. WALTER

WARNKE, WALTER

WEIRENGA, JACOB

JACOB*, RUTH*, DORIS*, KENNETH*, ROBERT*

WEIRENGA, MRS. JACOB

WEIRENGA, MRS. JOHN

MIENDERT*, MARENIUS*, JOHN*

WELMERS, MRS. A.

WORKMAN, MRS. FRED, SR.


Transcriber: ES
Created: 8 May 2012:
URL: http://ottawa.migenweb.net/churches/1stRefSpringLk.html