Woodlawn Christian Reformed Church was organized in 1968 as the local churches and classis saw a great opportunity to minister to the Calvin College student body on the new Knollcrest campus. The Woodlawn congregation has always worshipped there.
Being in a growing area of the city and having a natural consituency in the college community, the church saw over 20 years of growth. This was short-circuited in 1989 when they moved from the spacious Fine Arts Center to the newly constructed, smaller, more intimate college chapel. Although the chapel has sufficient seating capacity for Woodlawn's members, most of the parking is 100 yards or more from the building.
- Calvin College Fine Arts Center, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, 1968-89
- Calvin College Chapel, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, 1989-
- Church office: 3130 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
- William K. Stob, 1968-70
- Dick M. Stravers, 1971-80
- Dr. John Timmer, 1980-95
- Peter M. Jonker, 1993-
- Michael Abma, 1998-
Green (lower) line shows membership in families; blue (middle), professing members; red (top), total members; and magenta (thin), non-professing members. Note the significant decline in membership since moving from the Fine Arts Center (seats 1,500 with lots of convenient parking) to the Calvin College Chapel (seats 700-800, but with very little convenient parking).
Red line shows nonprofessing members as a percentage of total membership. Note increase around 1990, possibly due to members without children leaving at a higher rate than families with children.
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. Woodlawn has seen large membership decline since moving to the Calvin College Chapel in 1989, so significant that the five-year growth rate dropped from 10.7% (1986-91) to -15.4% (1987-92) in a single year.
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.