Michigan Church Celebrates 100 Years

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Highland Christian Reformed Church in Marion, Mich., recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. The church, which underwent an extensive building renovation, hosted approximately 500 people, including former pastors and members who’d had a hand in Highland’s formation.

The church chose Psalm 100:5 as its theme verse for the year along with the hymn “One Generation Will Call to the Next.” On July 26 and 27 there were many festivities to enjoy, including bounce houses, a basketball court, and badminton for the children. Jean Venema, a committee member for the celebration, said that in the fellowship hall were pictures of charter families and other earlier families with a heritage chain of those still at Highland. “We also sold memorabilia as well as cookbooks and a historical directory,” Venema said. Participants enjoyed a meal under a large tent on the church’s grounds.

About 80 years ago, Highland purchased pews to replace the planks that had been used for seats in the sanctuary. At that time, a pastor’s chair was installed as well. Pastor Fred VanDyk, currently the oldest of the pastors who served Highland CRC, liked to sit in it during the services when he wasn’t preaching or singing. During Highland’s renovation, Jun Brinks, a now retired janitor of the church, reupholstered and refinished the chair to match the new pews. VanDyk asked to sit in the chair at least one last time during Highland’s celebrations.

The church was presented with a proclamation from the governor, Darwin Booher, for being in existence for 100 years.

About the Author

Callie Feyen is a writer living in Ann Arbor, Mich. She attends First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor. Callie writes news for The Banner and contributes to Coffee+Crumbs, and T.S. Poetry Press. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is the author of The Teacher Diaries: Romeo and Juliet, and Twirl: My Life in Stories, Writing, & Clothes.

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