With the theme “Jesus, Our Rock,” Third Christian Reformed Church in Zeeland, Mich., is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
The congregation held its first service in March 1914 with 35 families and 12 individuals. It was the first English-speaking church in the city of Zeeland. The first time the congregation petitioned Classis Zeeland to start the church they were turned down, but a year later they tried again and were granted permission.
Church members recently invited neighbors to a birthday party that included lunch and children’s activities, drawing roughly 160 people.
Several former pastors are visiting throughout the summer. A family reunion Sunday is planned for former members to visit and join in the celebration.
Young people have enjoyed hearing stories about the church’s past, according to Lyle Ahrenholtz, chair of the anniversary committee. “They often marveled at how many things some of the long-time members could remember,” he said.
On September 7, the celebration will wrap up with a culmination celebration service followed by an outdoor luncheon.