Overisel Reformed Church

Overisel Reformed Church Today

Description of Historic Site:  Escaping from religious persecution and wanting to have a better economic opportunity Rev. Seine Bolks and a congregation of about two dozen families left Hellendoorn, Province of Overisel, The Netherlands on August 18, 1847.  The group wintered in New York before heading to “Black Lake Country” (Lake Macatawa) Michigan.  The group settled in June 1848, they selected land and pooled their gold they had brought and purchased 2,000 acres from the government and speculators.  The settlers then established the village of Overisel.  The congregation first held services in various homes until a log church was built in 1849.  In 1850 the church affiliated with the Reformed Church in America and built a large church in 1851.  The present building was built in 1866 and is one of the oldest reformed buildings in Michigan.  The steeple was added 1868.  Education was very important to the Overisel congregation with unusually high number of members becoming ministers, missionaries, educators, scientists, and other professions.  One notable person was Gerrit J. Kollen, who became president of Hope College from 1893-1911.

Address:  4760 142nd Ave Overisel, MI

Website:  http://www.orcministries.org