"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."
We are a Christ-centered church, in the Reformed tradition that is convicted by our consciences, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, to place our faith in Christ alone. By God’s grace we desire to become a church continually made new by Jesus Christ, enthusiastic about the gospel, and serving our city and beyond.
Central Avenue Christian Reformed Church is a Christ-centered, Bible-believing church in the Reformed tradition. We are a congregation in the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA). We are convicted by our consciences, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, to believe in the Christian faith as summarized in the following ecumenical creeds:
In addition, Central Avenue CRC and its members agree with the following Reformed confessions organizing and faithfully summarizing the teaching of God's Word, the Bible:
Our commitments to worship, biblically-based preaching, genuine community, discipleship, and relational missions are summarized below.
Commitment to Worship. We believe that God is the audience in worship and that worship is a dialogue between believers and God. We believe that worship is an act of the whole church and follows a specific order guided by Scripture and sound preaching. It must build up the body of Christ as we are equipped, comforted and exhorted through worship, God’s Word and prayer. Our services follow a natural, engaging, and personally meaningful liturgy. We realize that worship is counter-cultural as it reminds us of our need for God through our confession, the joy of grace, the call to live a new life, and our service to others. Our worship music is not merely a blending of several styles of music. Instead, they are a collective response to God that unashamedly appreciates historic hymns and the traditions of the church…while also embracing current musical expressions of worship (the elders’ Worship Music Purpose Statement provides more specific guidance). Our desire is that all elements of our worship compliment the focus of the sermon and the scripture that serves as its foundation. To this end, the elders call the people of God to worship the morning and evening of each Lord’s Day, as well as special liturgical and national holidays.
Commitment to Preaching. We have a high view of God’s Word and believe specific care should be given to insure faithful and effective preaching. First, our belief is that God-centered worship requires faithful preaching. This would include specific care for scripture, sound doctrine and a Reformed confessional perspective. We expect that faithful preaching will be encouraging, challenging, appropriately convicting, and leaves us with a specific desire of how we will seek to serve God and others differently. It should build up the church while also naturally conveying the gospel to those who are not believers but whose hearts are being opened. Second, we also believe faithful preaching reveals careful preparation and appropriately paced guidance of the congregation through the passage’s context, theological realities & practical implications. God’s Spirit enables us to work through scripture as the sermon structure is evident and the Bible is necessary. Third, we believe effective preaching should prompt our hearts with examples that draw us into reflection about our relationship with God and others. Finally, we also believe effective preaching is interesting. Our pastors consider how a passage and context is relevant to the breadth of our congregational members.
Commitment to Church Community. Our desire is to be a welcoming church where faithful and effective worship never unintentionally stifles hospitality and friendship. We seek to welcome visitors and authentically convey what it means to be a member of the body of Christ. Community and fellowship should naturally be fostered through our worship, discipleship programs, evangelism and mission work as we serve and grow together encouraging one another and engaging God’s world. We also believe our relationships deepen informally in and beyond the walls of our local church into our homes and community. Our desire is also to care for those in the household of faith. Community and fellowship provide conduit for the congregation to extend this care to one another so that genuine community is realized in good and difficult times. As well, our pastors, elders, and deacons seek to shepherd and care for those in our church family who are elderly, sick, hurting, broken, and in times of special need so that God’s love and care is known. Finally, our desire is that our facilities themselves invite and inspire genuine fellowship and engagement with each other.
Commitment to Discipleship and Education. Our church has historically placed a high value on the education of our children, youth and adults so that they may know Jesus Christ more fully by faith through prayer and God’s Word. This includes a commitment to excellent programs and focused financial support. We have demonstrated a consistent passion and focus on providing a scriptural and confessional foundation for children, as well as partnering with parents as advocates for Christian day school education. We seek an age- and ability-appropriate development for our youth that shapes their understanding of their vocation and the ways in which they might engage the world from a scripturally relevant foundation. This requires a partnership with parents as current social issues emerge while also insuring our focus is not merely swayed by the world’s agenda. Our hope is that we prepare parents, equipping them to lead their family in faith formation. We provide stage-of-life discipleship and fellowship opportunities while also insuring cross-generational Bible studies, mission projects, and other programs as well. We are committed to the belief that we must continually grow. This includes our understanding of scripture, a grounded view of our sin and brokenness, a community of grace and truth, and a commitment to live the good life God’s Spirit enables us to pursue.
Commitment to Local and Global Mission Partnerships. Our commitment to missions reflects our desire to engage locally, nationally, and globally in personal ways which includes, but is not limited to, financial support. This requires a priority for active involvement of our members in local missions and prayerfully choosing where we can have deep but focused impact on specific long-term national and global partnerships.
If you would like to know more about Jesus Christ and how to have eternal life, either click here or contact one of our pastors. They would be more than happy to talk with you.
In regard to various contemporary issues, the CRCNA has made reports and statements over the years. In general, Central Avenue agrees with these statements. However, where room is given, Central Avenue Church has typically taken the historical, biblical position of the church (i.e. complementarianism, homosexuality, Biblical inerrancy, creation, etc.). Some of this is defined specifically in our "Statement of Conviction" which is adopted by each subsequent Council.
For information on our ministries and activities, please refer to our "Welcome" brochure.
INTERESTED IN BEING PART OF GOD'S FAMILY HERE AT CENTRAL AVENUE? Click here.
Certainly, what we believe defines more of who we are than our history. But looking back does give some perspective and insight into how we grew into what God has made us today.
Our roots extend all the way back before Creation when God, in His eternal decree, chose a people for Himself. As those called by God today, our roots extend through Old Testament Israel and the New Testament church, with the cross of Christ standing as the central and definitive point. The Protestant Reformation also strongly identifies who we are as God blew His Spirit through the church to draw it back to Him and His Word through that time.
As members of the Christian Reformed Church in North America we are one of about 1,000 congregations with a strong history of God's leading and faithfulness. 2007 marked the 150th anniversary of the CRCNA. To learn about our CRC roots, click here. We are members of a regional group of Christian Reformed congregations called Classis Holland. We meet several times a year to help foster broader local ministry for Christ’s Kingdom.
Central Avenue CRC itself was founded in 1865 as the first Christian Reformed congregation in the city of Holland, Michigan! God has faithfully grown us in many ways since then. Bob Swierenga’s book, A Faithful Witness, records the first 150 years of ministry through Central Avenue CRC. You can obtain by clicking here or contacting the church office. For more detailed information on any of this, please contact the church office.
We have been blessed with wonderful facilities in a beautiful setting - located in downtown Holland, across the street from Centennial Park. The main building, which houses the sanctuary, church offices, fellowship hall and several classrooms, was built between 1952-1953. The sanctuary is graced with many beautiful stained glass windows and a magnificent 33-rank Schantz pipe organ. In addition, the sanctuary is equipped with the hearing loop system. In 2004, the church purchased two buildings directly to its north; with the "Ministry Center" on the corner of 10th St and Central Ave and "The Connection" next to it. Both buildings are used for a variety of church and community activities. Our sister congregation, the Cambodian Fellowship CRC, worships in the Connection as well. In 2014, a building addition was completed to make the sanctuary more accessible and accommodating, adding a covered drop-off, elevator, restrooms and new nursery.
Please check the other sections of this web-site to see what the Lord is doing in and through this body of believers. Other areas of interest may be our city, or our historical marker.
Some Statistics (as of April 31, 2017)
Total Members = 452
- Chad M. Steenwyk (2002-2004 – became full-time pastor)
- Robert Gruessing (summer 2016)
- Darren Kornelis (summer 2017)
- Cornelius W. Doornbos (1913-1917)
- Nicholas Kammeraad (1918-1921)
- William Brouwer (1922-1927)
- John Veltkamp (1928-1929)
- John Ter Beek and Cornelius J. De Koster (1929-1930)
- Edward Van Harn (1931)
- James Ver Meulen (1931-1932)
- Marvin Baas (1932-1934)
- Henry P. Vander Linde (1954-1989
- David Nealssohn (1988-1997)
- Russell (Rusty) Floyd (1996-1999)
- David Schout (1999)
- Kelly Vander Laan (1999-2004)
- R. Richard Cory (2004-present)