Fifth Avenue Christian Reformed Church
25th Anniversary
(later known as Franklin Avenue Christian Reformed Church)

(From an article in the Grandville Ave. Record, 8 March 1912, page 2)

Today, Friday, March 8th, marks the completion of a quarter of a century of service by the Fifth Avenue Christian Reformed Church Society. It was first organized in 1887 with a small membership. It has gradually grown larger and the observance today is made one long to be remembered.

Rev. W. R. Smidt was the first pastor, and he was here to greet his members who still live. During his pastorship of fourteen years the congregation more than doubled in membership. He too delivered an address on this occasion.

Following him came Rev. W. VanderWerp, who remained a little over three years, when he was called to Zeeland. He is also present and made an address.

Then a call was extended to the present pastor, Rev. L. Veltkamp, five years ago. A great period of prosperity and spiritual growth is the result.

The church stands today as a monument to all who contributed to its growth. The church and the parsonage are valued at several thousand dollars and there is no indebtedness upon either.

Rev. L. Veltkamp delivered addresses both afternoon and evening. In his afternoon talk the text chosen was based on the words found in I Sam. 7: 12th verse, first part.

In the evening his address was based on a connection with the church history; he chose as a text words found in Gen. 32: 10th verse.

Rev. P. Ekster, representing the mother church, Rev. H. Beets, representing the sister church and Rev. G. Broene delivered addresses.

Rev. E. Breen of the daughter church…

This history of the church as previously stated dates back to March 8th, 1887, when after some previous gatherings it was decided to build and that is now the north front wing of the edifice. It was then adequate for the forty families that worshiped there. This was used until 1889, when the congregation had grown so that more room was needed and the addition 40 x 60, the east and west addition, was built, at a cost of several hundred dollars, giving a seating capacity of 900 as at present. The auditorium and gallery was four years ago neatly grained and the interior nicely redecorated. This cost quite a sum but the effect was appreciated. Later on the members felt the need of a new organ and today a $2,000 pipe organ is in place. In order to find room for this they had to buy a parcel of land of Mrs. Smith and there in this annex stands the organ back of the pulpit.

Two years ago the parsonage received a redecoration. It’s a fine home and well located on the corner of Grandville and Fifth avenues. Then came the need of a bell and a generous donor soon had one in place.

The present enrollment of families is 270.

The Consistory is as follows: Elders: J. Ballast, J. Boerema, H. Boit, J. Botting, J. Penning, D. Wolthuis and B. Kuiper.

The Deacons are: K. Kuiper, J. Tel, J. Heetderks, J. Bulthuis, J. Bruss and J. Polderman.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 23 April 2006