Dutch Reformed Wiki


LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church was organized with 36 charter members on February 24, 1887 under the sponsorship of First CRC as the first English-speaking Christian Reformed congregation. This was because a new generation was growing up that spoke English and didn't benefit from Dutch church services.

LaGrave was the fifth Christian Reformed congregation in Grand Rapids. The first sanctuary was built in 1888. It was replaced by a new building in 1960, with a major addition completed in 1996.

Historical Details[]


  1. Fourth
  2. LaGrave Avenue


107 LaGrave Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (built 1888, new building 1960, addition 1996)


  1. John Yeury De Baun, 1887-92
  2. Samuel I. Vander Beek, 1892-98
  3. Dr. Henry Beets, 1899-1915
  4. William Stuart, 1915-25
  5. Rienk Bouke Kuiper, 1925-29
  6. Herman Bel, 1932-40
  7. Edward Johann Masselink, 1940-44
  8. George Goris, 1945-53
  9. Jacob D. Eppinga, 1954-87
  10. Wayne Sanford Gritter, 1968-71
  11. Peter Donald Winkle, 1973-77
  12. John Jay Steigenga, 1978-2008
  13. Stanley Paul Mast, 1990-2012

Daughter Churches[]

  1. Burton Heights, 1905
  2. LaGrave Neighborhood, 1948-53
  3. Wayland, 1957
  4. Monroe Mall Ministries (Later: Monroe Community Church), 2004

Membership Overview[]

The drop in membership in the mid-1890s is likely due to the formation of Broadway CRC, the second English-language CRC congregation in Grand Rapids, in 1893. The smaller drop around 1905 corresponds to the organization of Burton Heights CRC, the third English-language CRC in Grand Rapids.

Membership Data[]


Membership data, LaGrave Ave. CRC, Grand Rapids, MI

Green (lower) line shows membership in families; blue (middle), professing members; red (top), total members; and magenta (thin), non-professing members.


Youth ratio, LaGrave Ave. CRC, Grand Rapids, MI

Youth Ratio[]

Red line shows nonprofessing members as a percentage of total membership.


Five year growth rate, LaGrave Ave. CRC, Grand Rapids, MI

Five Year Growth Rate[]

Red line shows five year growth rate. A five year growth rate between 10% and -10% is considered stable; greater than 10% indicates a growing congregation; one below -10% indicates a church in decline. This makes no allowance for daughter churches.

Data source: Yearbooks of the Christian Reformed Church. Dates are year prior to publication date since data is gathered at the end of one year and published in the next.