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First Netherlands Reformed Congregation, Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Over the years, congregations in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (1906),; Paterson, New Jersey (1907); and Kalamazoo, Michigan (1909) would join the small denomination.
 
Over the years, congregations in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (1906),; Paterson, New Jersey (1907); and Kalamazoo, Michigan (1909) would join the small denomination.
   
The Grand Rapids church began its own Christian school in 1908. The school moved to its current Plymouth Ave. NW location in 1955.
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The Grand Rapids church began its own Christian school in 1908.
   
 
West of the Grand River was another congregation with similar beliefs, the [[Covell Avenue Netherlands Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan|Turner Avenue]] church. It had organized for worship in 1876 and as a congregation in 1887. At a joint meeting of the consistories of both Grand Rapids congregations on January 3, 1918, the Turner Ave. church joined the Netherlands Reformed denomination.
 
West of the Grand River was another congregation with similar beliefs, the [[Covell Avenue Netherlands Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan|Turner Avenue]] church. It had organized for worship in 1876 and as a congregation in 1887. At a joint meeting of the consistories of both Grand Rapids congregations on January 3, 1918, the Turner Ave. church joined the Netherlands Reformed denomination.
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It soon became imperative that these churches offer English-language worship, especially for the sake of the youth. The two churches united in offering English services, then sponsoring a third Netherlands Reformed congregation, known as the Ottawa Avenue church due to of its location at 337 Ottawa Ave. NW. The Ottawa Ave. congregation was organized on April 6, 1923.
 
It soon became imperative that these churches offer English-language worship, especially for the sake of the youth. The two churches united in offering English services, then sponsoring a third Netherlands Reformed congregation, known as the Ottawa Avenue church due to of its location at 337 Ottawa Ave. NW. The Ottawa Ave. congregation was organized on April 6, 1923.
   
In 1946, the Division Ave. and Ottawa Ave. congregations jointly called Rev. William Cornelius Lamain as their pastor. His acceptance ended twenty-five years without a pastor. Shortly after Rev. Lamain's arrival, the two churches united as the First Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Grand Rapids. It was about this time that the Turner Ave. church left the denomination; it returned in 1987 and is now known as the Netherlands Reformed Church of Grand Rapids or [[Covell Avenue Netherlands Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan|the Covell Ave. church]].
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In 1946, the Division Ave. and Ottawa Ave. congregations jointly called Rev. William Cornelius Lamain as their pastor. His acceptance ended twenty-five years without a pastor. Shortly after Rev. Lamain's arrival, the two churches united as the First Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Grand Rapids. It was about this time that the Turner Ave. church left the denomination; it returned in 1987 and is now known as the Netherlands Reformed Church of Grand Rapids or the Covell Ave. church.
   
 
The Dutch-speaking and English-speaking congregations continued to worship in separate facilities until the Ottawa Ave. congregation grew too large. For Sunday evening (English) services, the group rented the Fountain Street Church until a new structure was built on Crescent Street. The new building was dedicated on May 9, 1951. Growth continued and membership exceeded 1,300 in the late 1960s.
 
The Dutch-speaking and English-speaking congregations continued to worship in separate facilities until the Ottawa Ave. congregation grew too large. For Sunday evening (English) services, the group rented the Fountain Street Church until a new structure was built on Crescent Street. The new building was dedicated on May 9, 1951. Growth continued and membership exceeded 1,300 in the late 1960s.
   
Rev. Joel R. Beeke was installed on Dec. 9, 1986. During the following years, the First Netherlands Reformed Congregation was torn by internal struggles. This was resolved in July 1993, when the church was dissolved and two new congregations emerged: a continuing First Netherlands Reformed Congregation (now located on Beckwith Ave. and affiliated with the Netherlands Reformed denomination) and the Heritage Reformed Church, which formed the core of a new denomination.
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Rev. Joel R. Beeke was installed on Dec. 9, 1986. During the following years, the First Netherlands Reformed Congregation was torn by internal struggles. This was resolved in July 1993, when the church was dissolved and two new congregations emerged: a continuing First Netherlands Reformed Congregation (now located on Beckwith Ave. and affiliated with the Netherlands Reformed denomination) and the [file:///hnrc/mi/gr/index.shtml Heritage Reformed Church], which formed the core of a new denomination.
   
 
==Historical Details==
 
==Historical Details==
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