History of Faith Reformed Church for the First 25 Years

The first services were held on November 15, 1953 at Lincoln Elementary School. Rev. A. Tellinghuizen conducted both services. Attendance was promising with 147 at the morning service and 175 at the evening service.

One week later a steering committee was chosen to expedite formal organization of the new congregation. Daniel Boone, Bruce De Pree, Max De Pree, Henry Helder, John Kaat and Earl Mulder were the original committee chosen. Several days later, Albert Luurtsema was also elected to the committee.

Dr. John Van Peursem conducted the first communion services on January 1, 1954, assisted by elders from First and Second Reformed Churches. One hundred persons were present of which 80 were communicants. Just three months later, attendance was over 200 persons.

On March 17, 1954,  Faith Reformed Church became an officially organized Reformed Church in America. Max De Pree, John Elfers, Henry Helder, Anthony Kooiman, Henry Lokers and Albert Luurtsema were elected elders. Deacons elected were: Bruce De Pree, Clarence Hoffman, Donald Kooiman, Earl Mulder, Jerald Timmer and Willard Van Koevering. The charter membership consisted of 70 families by transfer of membership, and by profession of faith, Darlene Berghorst, Glenn Bolman, Mr. & Mrs. David Boone, Sally Boone, Ron Dekker, Julius Glass, Marilyn Glass, Rosella Hoffman, Della Nykamp, Jan Van Peursem, Robert Wiersma, Roger Winkels and Nancy Winkels.

At a prayer service on March 24, 1954, the congregation decided to purchase the Ver Plank property as a building site for the church edifice.

The first infants were baptized in the spring of 1954. They were: Kelly Jon, son of Mr. & Mrs. Edward Bauder; Jeffrey David, son of Mr. & Mrs. David Boone; Lynne, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Bruce De Pree; and Barbara Jean, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Vruggink.

In November, 1954, Reverend Edward H. Tanis of Pella, Iowa, accepted the call as Faith’s first pastor and he began his ministry on January 21, 1955.

In late May, 1958, the church was completed and dedicated with appropriate ceremonies highlighted by a sermon of dedication by Rev. Joshua Hoogenboom and a Sunday morning service led by Dr. Jacob Prins. The first couple married in the new church was Robert Wiersma and Betty Van Omen on June 12, 1958.

Rev. John Hains became Faith’s second pastor on October 19, 1961. He and his family came from Beverly Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. He served until 1972. He would later some back to Faith.

The church called Rev. David Smits to become our first pastor of music and education in 1967. He served through 1975 when he accepted a call to the Knapp Street Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.

In 1973, Rev. Arnold Punt was installed as pastor. Twenty years had passed since the church formed and the membership had increased to 242 families.

In 1976, recent seminary graduate Darwin VanderWal became Minister of Youth and Parish Life after interning at Faith