Niekerk Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Mich., finished up a month-long celebration of its 150th anniversary on September 25.
Niekerk CRC was founded when its members decided that, at five miles away, the existing church in Holland was too far away to be easily attended. The church has remained in the same location ever since, through several building renovations and one complete reconstruction after a devastating fire.
The congregation still includes many families related to the charter members of Niekerk, and the anniversary has been an occasion for everyone to relive the church’s history. From the time the congregation hosted a Laotian refugee family to the time the church ceiling fell in, members have enjoyed sharing stories of life at Niekerk.
The 150th anniversary has included a celebration Sunday each month since March. Many former Niekerk pastors were invited to return to preach on these weeks. Since Niekerk has long considered itself “a singing church,” special music was a significant part of the celebrations. Some services featured family musical groups comprised of multiple generations of Niekerk members. The congregation chose a designated hymn and Scripture verse for the anniversary and created unique banners and a logo for the occasion.
It wasn’t only the current members in Holland who were able to celebrate Niekerk’s anniversary, thanks to a Facebook page set up especially for the celebrations. Shortly after the page was set up, a woman called from California to say that she was a former member of the congregation, and while she would not be able to make it back for the anniversary, she was very happy to be able to experience the celebrations via the Facebook page. Mementos from the anniversary are being collected in a special scrapbook so that members will be able to relive and remember this celebration of God’s faithfulness at Niekerk CRC over the years.