The First Christian Reformed Church of Zeeland came into being fifteen years after the settlers founded their colony in Western Michigan.
Noordeloos, which was a part the new CRC, under Rev. K. VandenBosch, was to become the mother of the First CRC.
The distance between Noordeloos and Zeeland proved quite an obstacle to regular attendance at divine worship.
The language of the fathers lasted for a number of years.
We have worked, lived and loved with more than 20 different pastors and have been blessed that the true Word of God has been proclaimed from the pulpit for over 150 years. We give glory to God for the past, present and future.
300 souls crossed the Atlantic under the leadership of Revs. VanderMuelen and VanDerLuyster to found the city of Zeeland. Though devoted to the reformed faith, there had come a division regarding union with the Dutch Reformed Church.The Colony in Michigan wanted earnestly to maintain the Calvinistic convictions for which many had suffered in the secession of 1834 from the Hervormde Church in the Netherlands. Some did not break with the Dutch Reformed Church, but a small group decided to form the Christian Reformed Church.
There were members of Noordeloos living near Zeeland, and still others who wished to take a stand of the CRC, who joined the congregation. Soon a branch group was meeting in a block-house with Jan Robbers as lay leader by the fall of 1857. Twice every Sunday about 20 persons, all members of the Noordeloos congregation, met and listened to the reading of a sermon.
In December 1858, the group felt it should be organized as a Zeeland congregation. The request was refused by the Noordeloos Consistory. It took three years before permission was given until it was evident the church building was no longer in the center of the congregation. In January 1859, it was determined to also have a building in Zeeland. These members determined where the should be located, on the spot where our church now stands. Shortly afterward, the group in Zeeland was organized. Thus April 1, 1862 became the birthday of our congregation.
The final Dutch service was held December 27, 1953. We have two “daughter” churches in Zeeland: Third Christian Reformed Church (formed in 1914) and Bethel Christian Reformed Church (formed in December 1949). The highlight of our mission endeavors was begun in 1973 with Faith Promise giving, which has resulted in thousands of dollars for the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Our present building was dedicated in September of 1951.