The seeds of Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids have grown into something new! Thanks be to God! After 72 years of worship and service in the Eastgate neighborhood of Grand Rapids, the Eastminster Presbyterian Church of Grand Rapids held its final worship service on Sunday, November 19, 2023. On December 21, 2023, the Grand Rapids Matu Christian Church (GRMCC) closed on the Eastminster building at 1700 Woodward Avenue. On Christmas Eve day, more than 200 men, women and children filled the building to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and rejoice in their new building!
The Grand Rapids Matu Christian Church is predominantly composed of people from the Chin province of Myanmar. Their language is Matu. This Burmese congregation has been praying for and saving for a building for well over a decade. God has answered their prayers!
On Sunday, January 21, 2024, members from Eastminster were invited to worship with the Matu congregation. Elders Megan Wolenberg, Mike Moore, and Denise Martin, and Deacons Elizabeth Griffin, Terry Babins, and Kelly Bushbarber offered a special prayer of blessing for the congregation as they continue their vibrant worship and service in this new space. Rev. Laurie Hartzell preached a sermon entitled “Blessed, Broken and Enough” based on Mark 6:30 – 44. An interpreter was present to help the English speakers and Matu speakers understand each other. The worship and fellowship were rich, vibrant, and full of God’s gracious and loving Spirit! Alleluia!
Amid the feelings of loss, there is deep joy and gratitude among the Eastminster members as they see what God continues to do in their former church building! Please continue to hold them in your prayers as well as the faithful at the Grand Rapids Matu Christian Church!
“Do not remember the former things. . . . I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” — Isaiah 43:18-19