Woodlawn - Belong

Woodlawn’s Story

The Woodlawn congregation first began worshiping together as a congregation in October of 1967 with thirty-nine families, and was officially organized on March 22, 1968. We derived our name from having received land on Woodlawn Avenue as a gift from classis. We worshiped in the Fine Arts Center on Calvin’s campus while plans were being drawn up to build a church of our own. After three proposals to build fell through it was decided to arrange a lease with Calvin College and to remain at the Fine Arts Center.

The first pastor of Woodlawn Church, William K. Stob, installed in 1969, only served briefly. He was succeeded in 1971 by Dick Stravers, Dr. John Timmer in 1980, Peter Jonker in 1993, Michael Abma in 1998 and Bryant DeKruyter in 2015. Woodlawn eventually moved from the FAC to the Calvin College Chapel, where we currently meet.

During the tenure of Peter Jonker and Mike Abma, the proposal to build arose once again. This time it passed and the Woodlawn Ministry Center was completed in September of 2006. Woodlawn has opened its doors to ESL classes, a “Friendship” ministry for the developmentally disabled, rental of our building to other denominations, and to Sudanese Christian services held every Sunday afternoon.

As we look toward the future we are encouraged by God’s faithfulness to us in the past. We are also excited by the gifts and resources God has given us and we continue to seek his Spirit’s leading as we do Christ’s work in the world.