Lamont Christian Reformed Church Celebrates Centennial

Advance Newspaper, November 20, 1979--For one hundred years the Lamont Christian Reformed Church has weathered changes-- changes to the structure of the church building and changes in church practice.

The congregation will commemorate the 100 years of existence by a day of special worship, ending a month long period of celebration.

When the church was officially established in 1879, it used part of an old house that already stood on the church property. In 1884 a new church was built and is still in use today.

Additions and improvements have been made to the original building. Two wings have been constructed, and a new parsonage, located next door to the church on Leonard St., was just completed.

A Lamont resident bought the old parsonage, built in 1911, and moved it a block away from the church. It is visible from the back door of the church.

The new parsonage is awaiting the arrival of a new pastor, the Rev. Lloyd Wolters. The congregation also awaits his arrival. Lamont has been without a regular pastor for the past two years. Wolters is due in December.

The physical changes of the church altered the appearance of the original building but the basic structure has remained the same. This is also true for the changes in the church's services and activities, according to church members who have been around long enough to observe the changes.

In 1879 the church was called the Lamont Holland Christian Reformed Church. Dutch was the official language of the church and it was used in all the services.

There are members of the church who recall the changes from Dutch to English.

"We changed to English because many of the young people couldn't understand the Dutch," explained Anna Kramer, a member of the church for more than 50 years,

"Some of the older people were ornery about it," Kramer remembered.

Kramer's husband, Andrew, 83, is a lifetime member of the church. He was born across the street from the building and now lives three doors away from the church. His father, Douwe Kramer, was one of the original members of the congregation.

I remember Andy's father saying, "Young people have to have a church too. The old people have to step aside," said Mrs. Kramer.

According to church records, the change to English was a gradual one. In 1916 the church began to hold an English service in the afternoon, every other Sunday. In 1941, the last Dutch service was performed.

Last Sunday the church held an old fashioned service to honor the traditions of the past 100 years. The women were seated on one side of the church, the men on the other.

Nest Sunday a service in Dutch will be given at 2 p. m. by the Rev. John Breuker and the Rev. Christian Vanden Heuvel, former pastors of the Lamont church.

Other activities the church has undertaken in honor of the centennial celebration include completion of a quilt by the Ladies Aid Society. Each square of the quilt is embroidered with an important event in the church's history.

Also a slide presentation of the church and local history was given to those interested. A booklet compiled by church members headed by Clarence Vredevoogd, dealing with church and local history, will be distributed at the services on November 25.

Members of the congregation have all joined in the celebration in one way of another. There are 115 families in the church compared with 13 originally.

Jennie Langeland, 77, a member of the church all her life, feels that over the years community atmosphere among church members has strengthened.

"The changes have brought people closer together. Now the church has different organizations, like for young people, and evening services help people get better acquainted," said Langeland.

Northeast Ottawa County People, Places and History, vol. 2, by Henry and Loekie Boersma

NOTE: Additions and improvements have been made to the original building.

Transcriber and photo by: Joan Van Spronsen
Created: 29 July 2013