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Rebuilding, Renewal Part of Michigan Church’s 100-Year History

Congregants in worship at Faith Community Christian Reformed Church.
Congregants in worship at Faith Community Christian Reformed Church.

Faith Community Christian Reformed Church in Wyoming, Mich., recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.

The congregation celebrated its centennial with a Saturday-night banquet attended by about 300 people, concluding with two worship services the following day with special music at both services. Ephesians 3:20-21 was the Scriptural theme: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.” (NIV)

“We’re asking, what do we do next? How do we reach our community for Jesus Christ? How do we reach our neighbors?” said Roger Groenboom, who has been senior pastor at Faith CRC for the past 12 years. “That’s been a big emphasis of late.”

Faith Community has participated in the Church Renewal Lab, a two-year process supported in part by the CRC, that seeks to help churches refresh their mission focus. The congregation’s outreach efforts include hosting a monthly worship service at Mel Trotter Ministries, a shelter for the homeless in Grand Rapids, Mich., as well as a program known as “Laundry Love.”

“We go to a local laundromat and just pass out quarters (so people can put them in the washing machines),” Groenboom said. “We hand out detergent, too.”

The congregation got its start in 1918 as Wyoming Park CRC, with nine families. In its early days, the church owned a Ford Model T that the pastor used for transportation. In 1928, a newly constructed building for the church was destroyed by fire and the congregation had to rebuild.

In 1993, the congregation decided to build a new worship center three miles to the south, in an area that was largely farmland at the time. The area has since been developed with subdivisions and shopping centers nearby. Construction took 10 months to complete, and the first service took place Easter Sunday, 1994. It was then that the church was renamed Faith Community CRC.

Along the way, Wyoming Park/Faith has generated four daughter churches.

“There’s still work to be done here,” Groenboom said. “We can’t rest on our laurels. We need to continue to find creative ways to reach out to our community.”

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