With Founding Pastor, G. Patrick White, a group of 70 friends met on December 7, 1993 and discussed the possibility of gathering a new congregation in the Allegan area. The major focus of this group was to develop a non-traditional and culturally relevant Christian fellowship for the many in our community and surrounding area who were seeking to focus energy and resources on ministry and missions and who wanted to share the story of Jesus Christ with family and friends. A free-flowing contemporary worship style was to be developed which would include: chancel drama, mix of praise music and traditional music and a greater level of congregational participation. This group also indicated a need to develop small study and prayer groups which would emphasize and encourage a high level of personal piety, we wanted to “walk the talk”.
In a flurry of activity, following the initial December gathering, plans were made for the group’s first worship service set for Sunday, January 23, 1994 at the Allegan County Development Center (currently Hillside Learning and Behavior Center). This was truly a day of celebrating God’s faithfulness as over 200 interested friends gathered for the church’s very first Sunday worship.
In November of 1994 the congregational, then less than a year old, contracted to purchase 20 acres of prime land on the southwest outskirts of Allegan (3370 113th Avenue) for future building site. Through the sacrificial giving of the church family and a $25,000 gift received from the Great Lakes Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), the ten year land contract was paid off, in a mere 9 months!
In June of 1995 after much prayerful research and study, entered into fellowship with the Evangelical Covenant Churches of America, where we remain today.
March of 1996 in the midst of one of Michigan’s snowstorms, the congregation along with Covenant Church and community leaders gathered at the building site for a ground breaking ceremony. During the next 9 months members of the congregation along with friends from Mobil Ministries Assistance Program (retired Christian buildings) provided most of the labor on the project. The new meetinghouse includes a sanctuary that seats 350, a fellowship hall, kitchen, office suite, library, several restrooms, spacious nursery and toddler areas, Sunday School class space, as well as a youth building with restrooms and an amphitheater that would eventually seat several hundred.
On Christmas Eve 1996 the congregation celebrated their first worship service in their new facility!!! This was truly an evening to remember. In the years that have followed, members of the congregation worked to complete the landscaping of the church grounds and add a building to house our food pantry ministry, “The Vine”.