Christian Reformed Church

Christian Reformed Church


Christian Reformed Church – 1965
395 North Cedar Street

In the spring of 1923, three Holland families from Hudsonville moved to Imlay City to work in the celery fields of the Belle River Celery Company.  In 1922 the first celery was grown here.  In 1924 another family was hired by the celery company, making four families with seventeen children.

At that time, Rev. J. R. Brink, Home Missionary of Classis Grand Rapids East, was asked to come to Imlay City, and if possible, start a mission station.  This was done, and on March 29, 1925, the first service was held in the town hall.

In 1927 a new development was started for gardening and in the spring of 1928, twelve more families moved to Imlay City from Hudsonville, Kalamazoo, Grant, Zeeland and Byron Center, making a total of sixteen families, twenty-six confessing members, sixty-six members by baptism, and ninety-two souls in all.  Services were then held in the Congregational Church.  On March 28, preparations were made to organize, which took place on June 11, 1928.  Membership papers were filed, and a nomination was made for elders and deacons.  The Elders chosen were:  Mr. H. J. Steigenga, Mr. John Stryker, and for Deacons Mr. H. Ettema, Mr. J. Bax.  Rev. Van Halsema installed the officers and wished the congregation Godspeed.

Services were then held in the Methodist Church as the Congregational Church was being remodeled.  Housing of the pastor became a problem as rents were increasing and no vacant houses were to be found.  The congregation then decided to buy the property on Main Street, which extended to Cedar Street (M-53), the site of the present church building.

By 1938, the congregation numbered thirty-seven families and was continuing to grow, and yet they had no church building of their own.  It was then decided to purchase an old church building four miles northeast of town.  Realizing this could be only a temporary solution for a growing congregation, meetings were held and plans made to erect a new building on the M-53 site.  Work was begun in the fall of 1940 and completed the following summer.  Dedication services were held August 13-14, 1941.

In 1947, a need was felt for a better parsonage.  Plans were made to erect a new parsonage on the lot adjacent to the church property.  Work was begun in 1947 and completed in the spring of 1948.

By the early 1960s it again became apparent that the congregation was still growing as the sanctuary was filled to over-flowing and Sunday school facilities became inadequate.  It was then decided at a congregational meeting on June 22, 1965 to build a new church.

On August 2, 1965 a groundbreaking ceremony was held.  The contract had been awarded to Case Construction Company of Flint and the cornerstone was laid during a brief ceremony the following Thanksgiving Day.  This second structure completed in 1966 is still being used today.  More classrooms were added in 1992.  Located near the main entrance is a structure that houses the original bell that was in the bell tower of the 1941 building and rang before each morning and evening service.

Continuing on your tour...