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Excerpts from
Centennial History of the Fourteenth Street Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan, 1902-2000
by Jacob E. Nyenhuis

The history of Fourteenth Street Church is an account of the people who shaped the story of the first English-speaking congregation of the Christian Reformed Church in Holland. Because of the elevated position enjoyed by the pastor in the CRC, particularly in the early decades of the 20th century, it is natural to think of the history of the church in terms of each pastor’s tenure. But the story of the church is much more than the story of the fifteen pastors who have served during the past century. It is first and foremost the story of the members who gather together each week to worship at the corner of 14th Street and Central Avenue.

The history of this congregation was shaped by the people who banded together to start a new congregation, but it was repeatedly reshaped over the years as new members and new pastors came and old ones left. There are many fascinating stories to be told about this special group of believers. But at its most basic level, the key theme of our history is the story of God working in and through individual believers to accomplish his purposes. It is a story of grace and glory, of struggle and victory, of joy and sadness. It is at once a very personal story of a congregation and, at the same time, a universal story of faith and hope.

…As we look forward to our celebration and to the second century of our congregation’s existence, we do so fully aware that our past is but the prologue to the Lord’s plan for our future. We do not know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future. At the 25th Anniversary, an article in The Banner of July 8, 1927, declared: “Truly, as a congregation we can say, ‘Hitherto hath the Lord helped us,’ and He is still ‘Our hope for years to come.’” That confident assertion is as relevant at our centennial as it was in 1927. May we always be able to make such a claim, as long as our Lord tarries. And may we also dare to say, “Maranatha: Come, Lord Jesus, Come Quickly.”