Hmong Congregation in Michigan Gets a Home of Its Own after 35 Years

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After 35 years of using space provided by others, the members of Hmong Christian Ministry, a Christian Reformed Church in Lansing, Mich., finally have a place of their own.

It is a dream come true for this small congregation, which began in 1980 with a group of Hmong refugees. Over the years, church members saved and worked toward someday owning their own place of worship. They started out meeting with Covenant CRC and later moved with Covenant to Grand Ledge, Mich. They continued to use the Covenant building until that congregation dissolved. Since then, the Hmong congregation had been renting space from others.    

Recently, with funds left to them by the Covenant congregation, gifts from others, and money they have saved, the approximately 24 families of the Hmong congregation have purchased a church building in south Lansing. They have worked hard to make major repairs and ready their new building. Although much remains to be done, they began worshiping there this spring. They held a dedication service on April 12 with Rev. Kou Vang of Hmong CRC in Sheboygan, Wisc.

In recent years the church has relied on volunteer pastoral leadership, working closely with Pastor Sam Perry and the Hmong steering committee of River Terrace CRC of East Lansing, Mich. Having one part of their dream materialize, they are still working faithfully for the day that they can become an organized CRC congregation. (An unorganized congregation operates under the council of a neighboring church.)

Steering committee member Loren Lemmen noted that with this new building, “They are seeking God’s leading as they look for new opportunities to deepen their faith and grow their congregation.” 

About the Author

Anita Ensing Beem is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. Retired director of education and outreach at North Hills CRC in Troy, Mich., she now resides in Grand Rapids, Mich., and is a member of First CRC.

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