The First Reformed Church

  After considering the desirability of having a church edifice of their own, the people of Reformed Church background, began to hold meetings in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, just south of the present site.  The first service was conducted by Rev. A. Van Arendonk, the Classical Missionary of the Holland Classis.  He encouraged the members to organize, so on 5 Ma 1910, they formed a congregation.

    There were sixteen families who desired to unite as members in full communion by Letter of Transfer, and were accepted.  Three batptized members and sixteen others who made confession of faith and united with the newly organized church.

    Elders were elected.  They were: G. Hondelink and Mr. Abraham Berkompas, elders.  F. Smallegan and D. Smith, deacons.  These were ordained and installed on May 8.

    June 4, the Consistory elected Mr. P. DeWeerd as Sunday School Superintendent and the Sunday School was started the following day.

    June 13, the church was incorporated, using the name of "The First Reformed Church, " of Byron Center, Michigan.

    The congregation extended a call to Rev. A. VanDenBerg on July 7, however, he declined.

    Plans were made to build the parsonage and church.  The Building Committee consisted of the following: P. DeWeerd, P. Sprick, W. Sweers, A. Poutsma, J. Timmers, A. Arendsen and H. Buwalda.  Plans were completed 18 Feb 1911, and the work began as soon as the weather permitted.  The parsonage would be ready for the minister who was to arrive in July.

    Mr. W. C. Walvoord, Senior student at Western Theological Seminary, was called and he accepted.  They arrived on 12 Jul 1911, and he was ordained and installed July 13.

    The church was not finished, however, they held the service in the church.  The scaffolding was still up.  The service was held in the auditorium, instead of the small Seventh Day Adventist Church.  Improvised seats also were used.  In spite of these physical handicaps, this was a most impressive and memorable service.

    At the annual Congregational meeting, held 6 Dec 1951, a new church edifice was discussed.  The Congregation decided to build a Colonial Style structure.  Each family doing their part in getting the $40,00.00 together that was needed.

    Plans were completed and approved in the spring of 1952.  Ground breaking took place 21 Jun 1952.  The first spade of soil being turned up by a charter member, Mr. John Kraft, Sr.  The construction began 24 Jun 1952.  The new edifice gives added facilities for Sunday School work and will help carry on a more efficient, effective program for the Lord.

 


Transcriber: ES
Created: 18 January 2014
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/townships/byron/Churches/1stRef.html