God in our Past

In the latter part of the 19th century, many Dutch immigrants differentiated between America—a good word, and Americanization—a bad word. The idea of conducting worship services in English was enough to divide neighbors, congregations, and families. That is exactly what happened when this congregation was established as the first English language Christian Reformed Church in the United States. LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church’s birth was divisive and painful.

God in our Present

As silly as the English language issue sounds, it shaped our congregation’s personality. Those early members held tight to sound Biblical doctrine and and worked to engage the world in meaningful ways. They played instrumental roles in establishing many of Grand Rapids’ current charitable organizations, other local churches, foreign mission organizations, and our network of Christian schools. Worship and reverence for a most holy God was at the center of every effort, and teaching their children to follow was a natural extension of every effort. This heart continues to beat.

God in our Future

In the 1950’s, our neighborhood began to die and most of the parishioners had moved out of the vicinity. Moving to a safer and more robust location was prayerfully considered. The congregation discerned God’s instruction to stay. They obeyed. And to this day, God has honored their obedience. He continues to bring an unending stream of new members with precisely the right spiritual gifting, passions, skill sets, and financial resources to build on and expand the work that the earliest members began.  We believe God intends to keep us busy here for a long time to come.