Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Weather Forces Demolition Of Landmark Grand Rapids Church

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
While many churches in the Great Lakes area had service cancellations due to the severe snowstorms which struck the area in mid-January, the weather dealt a much worse blow to one of the oldest Christian Reformed congregations in Grand Rapids. Like most area churches, Oakdale Park CRC didn't hold services on January 3. On January 10, church members noticed plaster on the sanctuary floor. Suspecting weather damage, they checked the attic É and discovered that two-thirds of the roof trusses had cracked under the weight of snow. Within days, the city government ordered the church closed, blocked off neighbouring streets, evacuated nearby houses, and gave the congregation 72 hours to either repair the building or make plans to tear it down. Engineers evaluating the situation deemed the structure beyond repair. Damage is so severe that even the landmark church's large pipe organ will have to be destroyed with the building. Organized in 1890 and rebuilt in 1905 and 1962, Oakdale Park CRC was known for years as a bulwark of Christian Reformed conservative preaching. Four of its former pastors, Louis Berkhof, Foppe Ten Hoor, William Hendriksen, and P.Y. DeJong, went on to become Calvin Seminary professors; other well-known conservative pastors included Y.P. DeJong and John Piersma. Two of those men are known far beyond the CRC for their scholarly work: Berkhof for his systematic theology and Hendriksen for his series of Bible commentaries. (From D.T. Maurina News Service)

Familiar names in our circles--although their place of work has to be destroyed, much of their works (books) may continue with us.

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