the History of Grand haven
church of the nazarene
The church began as a mission in a Spring Lake store building where Dewitt’s Market now sits. The Sunday School was organized on May 24, 1932 at the first business meeting of the Nazarene mission. After a few short months, they felt led by God to move to a larger city and become an organized church. They rented the store building at 409 Seventh St. (now occupied by Lake Upholstery). They moved in on July 28, 1932 and officially organized with charter members Andrew Linn, Hazel Linn, Leola Linn, B.H. Soule, Ruth Soule, Bob Soule, Virginia Soule, and Bertha Carter. Our first Pastor was George Johnston.
In July 1934, the congregation moved to the Congregational Church located on the corner of Washington and Sixth Streets. Soon after, the city decided to tear down the Congregational Church building, leaving the congregation no place to meet. The Berean Congregational Church was vacant and for sale. On August 5, 1936, Michigan District Superintendent R.V. Starr gave permission for the congregation to buy the building. The congregation had no funds, so Pastor William Rittenberg advanced the $100 down, which the church paid back. The building was purchased for $3,000. The building was paid off by March 27, 1944.
In 1955 it was evident that the facilities had reached their capacity and a new location became necessary. The present location of 1620 S. Beechtree St. was purchased in December of 1959 under the leadership of Pastor Paul Moore. The architectural firm of VanderMeeden, Katelen and Associates were hired to build the new building. It was dedicated to the Lord on February 2, 1964.
The Family Life Center with kitchen and classrooms was added in 1994 and dedicated on October 29, 1995.
As you can see, this local church has a rich history of sacrifice and faithfulness from our brothers and sisters who have walked with God before us. As we look back upon the last 100 years, we can give thanks to God for the many blessings He has poured out upon this body of believers and upon the ministry of Jesus Christ. Many lives have been touched with the gospel of Jesus Christ: families have been mended, marriages have been put back together, people have been set free from addictions. God has healed the hurt and pain of hundreds of people who have been part of this church.
We believe that God is ready to do a new thing once again! We look forward to the great opportunities that are before us in the 21st century; we have an incredible opportunity to reach out to the Tri-Cities area with the love and grace of God.
We have a great God and now God is calling us to walk with Him with the same kind of commitment and sacrifice as those who have gone before us!