Around 85 years ago, in 1935, a small group of believers calling themselves Wayside Mission stepped out in faith to establish a new church. God was at work in their hearts and their city, and soon they found a place to meet in a vacant "beer garden." C.M. Beerthuis was the leader of this new venture, and his passion for people and the truth's of God's Word was contagious. Wayside Mission was small, but through the faithfulness of the close-knit families and the faithful teaching of Pastor Beerthuis, it began to grow. A constitution was written, and the official title of Hudsonville Community Church was adopted.
Early Years (1937–52)
In 1937, we called our second pastor, John Douglas, who served for 15 years. It wasn't long after he began his ministry that World War II began. The church experienced a number of ups and downs including economic hardship, numerous forms of pain, and the war death of John Douglas's son. The 1950s brought about more stability, and there was a wave of renewal that brought some significant changes. A name change to Hudsonville Baptist Church and the planting of Baldwin Heights Baptist Church in Jenison were a couple of those changes.
Over the next few decades, Hudsonville Baptist Church was served by several pastors. Roger Walcott (pictured here) served for 13 years from 1971-1984, and during that time the church grew in their evangelistic fervor. Jamestown Baptist Church was planted as a result of a number of families wanting to reach another community for Christ closer to where they lived. After a year of being under Hudsonville Baptist Church's "sheltering wing," they became an independent church on June 11, 1978. It was also at the beginning of this time period that a new sanctuary was built and moved into (pictured below).
New Ventures ( 1985–2014)
In 1985, Dan (pictured here) and Lonette Cummings came to Hudsonville Baptist Church. This time period commenced a powerful transition in the church's history as the church began to understand more about grace, the depth of our depravity, and the power of Christ's forgiveness. This transition marked a decision to change the name to something that better represented its mission and focus: Grace Community Church. The church grew in leaps and bounds, broke ground (1994) with a new building at 3500 New Holland St which remains our building today, and began evolving from a close-knit family oriented church to a broader community more representative of the growing city around them. Dan served as senior pastor for about 15 years, then Steve Krogh served for roughly 15 years as well. The church deepened in its knowledge of the Word and community life.
Our Trajectory (2015 - Present)
God has continued to be faithful to Grace Community Church over the last several years, growing the congregation, leading pastors to Grace who are faithful to the Word, and helping the church move toward the communities around them. Our current lead pastor, Keoni Hughes, has been another gracious gift to this church. Along with his commitment to the truths of God's word and the strengthening of this body, he has led our current team of elders and the congregation to not lose heart in our calling to make disciples. We want to continue, in greater ways by the Lord's help, our history of multiplying our gospel presence throughout West Michigan and beyond that others may come to know our great Savior Jesus.
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