History[edit | edit source]
Seventh Reformed was organized in 1890 as a daughter of Fourth Reformed. It was the first Reformed Church congregation on the west side, although there were already two Christian Reformed congregations - Alpine Avenue founded in 1881 and West Leonard, begun in 1889.
The 1890 U.S. Census found just over 60,000 city residents, nearly twice as many as a decade earlier. The Dutch-born population had also increased, but for the first time at a rate well below that of the city. Now there were 8,275 Dutch-born in Grand Rapids, just 14% of the urban population. Although this was the end of a great decade for Dutch immigration, the key factor for the Dutch Reformed is that they had become primarily American-born by 1890.
Seventh held services exclusively in Dutch until 1905, when it began to offer an English evening service. The morning worship didn't switch to English until 1929, and even then it was preceded by a Dutch service. Dutch worship moved to the afternoon in 1942 and was finally discontinued in 1947.
Seventh was released from the RCA on March 7, 1995 after it refused to pay its denominational assessment because of perceived liberalism in the Reformed Church. It is now an independent Reformed church.
Historical Details[edit | edit source]
Locations[edit | edit source]
- 838 Leonard NW near Jennette, 1892-1952
- 950 Leonard NW, 1952-present, additions in 1969, 1989, and 1995.
Pastors[edit | edit source]
- John Lamar, 1891-93
- Teunis W. Muilenberg, 1894-98
- James F. Zwemer, 1898-1900
- Marinus E. Broekstra, 1900-05
- Frederick Lubbers, 1906-10
- John F. Heemstra, 1910-13
- Albert W. De Jonge, 1914-18
- A. J. Van Lummel, 1919-23
- Gradus Vander Linden, 1923-28
- John Steunenberg, 1928-31
- John Minnema, 1932-41
- William C. De Jong, 1942-48
- Morris G. Folkert, 1949-57
- Gordon H. Girod, 1958-80
- Jerome M. Julien, assistant, 1962-64, transfered to CRC 1963
- Arthur L. Scheid, assistant, 1964-67
- Morris G. Folkert, Minister of Visitation, 1980-1995
- Charles W. Krahe, 1980-90
- Dr. John R. de Witt, 1993-2000
- Zachary Anderson, 2002-06
- Dr. Tim J.R. Trumper, 2007-17
Daughter Churches[edit | edit source]
- Trinity Reformed, 1908
Membership Overview[edit | edit source]
Membership Data[edit | edit source]
Heavy lines: green (lower) shows membership in families; blue (middle), professing members; red (top), total members. Thin lines: magenta (middle), non-professing members; orange (lower), inactive members; black (top), average worship attendance.
Membership Ratios[edit | edit source]
Red line (middle) shows nonprofessing members as a percentage of total membership (inactive members exluded); green (lower), inactive members as percentage of total membership; and blue (higher) average worship attendance of total membership.
Five Year Growth Rate[edit | edit source]
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: Acts of Synod of the Reformed Church in America. Dates are year prior to publication date since data is gathered at the end of one year and published in the next.