Rockford Reformed Church has been a part of the Rockford, Michigan community since six families began meeting in the home of Ray & Thelma Kunst in 1957. One year later, RRC was officially organized by the Classis of North Grand Rapids as a congregation of the Reformed Church in America. Today, we are a vibrant congregation of people learning to love and serve like Jesus. It is our desire to be a living reflection of Christ’s hands, feet, and voice in the community.
Rockford Reformed Church is part of the Reformed Church in America (RCA). The “reformed” part of our name comes from the Protestant Reformation, which swept across Europe in the 1500s under the leadership of such men as Martin Luther and John Calvin. Calvin’s reformation at Geneva spread to many other countries, including Scotland, where it became the Presbyterian Church, and the Netherlands, where it became our ancestor, the Dutch Reformed Church.
The Reformed Church came to America with some of the earliest Dutch settlers in the 1600s. By 1628, the Dutch Reformed people in New Amsterdam (now New York City) were able to form a church there. James Michaelius came over from the Netherlands and took charge of the small congregation of about 50 members. From that time on, there has always been a Dutch Reformed Church in New York City. Thus, our Reformed Church is the oldest Protestant Church in America with an uninterrupted ministry.
Since that first congregation met almost 400 years ago in a small room above a grist mill, the church has grown into what is today called the Reformed Church in America, consisting of 1,000 churches and 300,000 members – people of diverse ethnicities and many cultures, growing and serving God together.
You can read a more detailed history of the RCA on their website: rca.org/about/history
Our building has grown over the years. Some parts are new, others are original. Although this can make the layout a bit confusing to those not familiar with it, it also adds character, charm, and even a bit of mystery! There is a stained-glass window visible from the outside of the building, but you won't be able to find it inside - it was covered up in one of the many renovations. What other interesting bits of history are hidden in our walls?
MEMORIAL PRAYER GARDEN
The Memorial Prayer Garden was created in 2011 to commemorate and memorialize the life of Audra Brownell. Its design is based on 1 Corinthians 13:13: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
The Memorial Prayer Garden is open to everyone - not just those that attend Rockford Reformed Church. Meant for prayer, meditation, and reflection, the garden is designed to be a place away from the cares of life - a refuge dedicated to the glory of God. It is a place to sit quietly, to pray and reflect on a lost loved one, or to just sit and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the surroundings. Learn more about the origin of the garden here.