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Our Story

Vriesland’s Story

The Reformed Church of Vriesland, Michigan was organized on November 19, 1846 by a group of Friesians in the Netherlands who were planning to immigrate to the US. Rev. Martin Ypma was called to accompany them. 20 families and 13 single persons chose Vriesland, Michigan for their future home where they could worship the Lord freely, according to the orders of their own conscience. They arrived in Holland, Michigan in June of 1847, at roughly the same time as emigrants from Zeeland. A mutual agreement was made that neither party would interfere with the other in picking a settlement location. The Zeelanders decided to stay on the west side of the swamp, so the Friesians went a few miles to the east and named their settlement “Vriesland” after their native province in the Netherlands.

The Church’s first meetings took place outdoors on what is now the corner of 72nd and Gordon Street. Worship was held in the First Log School House and Church 1848-1860. The Steeple Church on the corner of 64th & Byron Road was built in 1869, and became Vriesland Reformed’s home until 1973. In November, 1979 that building was declared an historical building by the State of Michigan. That same year, Vriesland built a new facility about a quarter of a mile west of the steeple church, which is the present location of the church. An expansion and new youth building were completed in 2001.

In all, twenty-five pastors have served this church.