Graafschap Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Mich., one of the oldest churches in the denomination, now also houses the Graafschap Heritage Center, showcasing the CRC’s history.
Finished in time for this year’s celebration of the CRC’s 150th anniversary, the Heritage Center features museum-quality galleries that tell the story of how the Christian Reformed Church in North America came to be.
In that space, one can read of being an immigrant in our denomination 150 years ago, when the ticket for a passenger to board a ship from Rotterdam to New York cost 25 pounds of biscuits, 30 pounds of potatoes, 12.5 pounds of peas and beans, 5 pounds of flour, and 15 pounds of rice.
Hefty beams that frame the doorways between the galleries are from the original 1847 Graafschap church building, which, stresses Bill Sytsma, is the “mother church of the denomination.”
“The present always stands on the shoulders of the past,” said Sytsma, who led the committee within the church that dreamed, crafted, and raised the funds for the project, which took four years and cost $100,000.
“We need to tell the next generation the story of God’s faithfulness to people who went through tremendous hardships,” Sytsma said.