After more than 75 years in the Flint, Mich., area, Good Shepherd Christian Reformed Church is seeking a fresh start in a different town.
The small congregation left its location in Flushing, west of Flint, to start afresh in Burton, a larger community east of Flint.
The old location, chosen in the 1960s, was quite rural and not conducive to growth, said Rev. Adrian Eising. “We were kind of isolated and not reaching out where we were.”
The church’s membership dropped from 176 in the mid-1990s to 46 by 2002. First the congregation sold off some land to avoid closing but later it had to put its building up for sale as well.
A surprising offer in a weak real estate market left the church with replenished financial coffers but no home.
Then they found a former United Methodist church for sale in Burton. Though it meant a longer drive for many, the congregation decided to make the move and are praying that the church will grow.
“We view this as a chance to start anew,” Eising said, “to reach out to people and minister Christ’s love to them.”