wELCOME TO piLLAR chURCH!
Pillar Church is a dual-affiliation congregation of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC). Pillar Church was the first church established by those who settled the city of Holland in 1847. It was originally established as an RCA congregation by Reverend Albertus Van Raalte, but in 1884, after significant tension and a painful split, became a CRC church. After 130 years of division, in the Fall of 2012 Pillar Church re-established itself around a vision of reconciliation. The church where two denominations once divided is now a symbol of unity.
RENEWING THE CHURCH
Alongside reconciling divisions, raising up leaders, and redeeming the city, Pillar is committed to renewing the church. We believe God has chosen the Church to carry out his purposes for the world, so the health and vibrancy of the local church is not a selfish endeavor, but God’s desire for us. Worship of Father, Son, and Spirit is central, a commitment to the Word is foundational, and a longing to grow all things into Christ is our objective.
RAISING UP LEADERS
We are blessed to be on the corner of 9th Street and College Avenue, essentially on the campus of Hope College and three blocks from Western Theological Seminary. We consider it a gift and take seriously the opportunity to join the Hope and Western communities in raising up students for leadership in the world. We are excited by the numbers of students who worship with us each Sunday, join us for Bible Study throughout the week, serve in ministry with us, and participate in the church mentor ministry. Raising up young men and women for leadership in the church is of highest importance to us.
REDEEMING THE CITY
Holland is another gift to us. It’s our heart’s desire and hope that as a church strategically located at the center of our downtown area we will share in the continued work of restoration in our community so: those who are hungry might receive food, those who are thirsty might be given something to drink, those who aren’t ready for school may be helped, and those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ would meet Him. Collaboratively working towards redeeming the city is a constant focus.
Why The Rooster?
The image of a rooster plays an important role in the life of the church. When the building was built in 1856 at the top of the largest building in the city at this strategic location the church founders hoisted a tin rooster and set it as a weather vane.
Throughout church history the rooster has been used, particularly in churches of the reformed tradition, to symbolize one of two things. First, the rooster reminds people of Peter’s denial of Christ and Christ’s subsequent reinstatement of Peter. The church is always made up of the broken and the blessed.
Secondly, the rooster rises before the sun and declares the coming of the light. In the same way the church is the herald to the world, the light is coming.
Looking to get involved in the life and ministries of Pillar Church? Pillar has multiple ways for people get involved.
If you would like to learn more about giving to Pillar through tithing, the building project, or the monthly offering, click below.
In 1847 a band of immigrants led by Albertus Van Raalte was invited by the state of Michigan to establish a community on the west side of the state. The first thing they did was to plant a church: a church for the community. After enduring a very harsh first winter, the community in Holland began to flourish. As did the church. Within 10 years, in 1856, they built the building in which we still worship. Members of the Pillar community helped to establish the Holland Charter Academy that became Hope College. It also played a crucial role in the establishment of Western Theological Seminary. There was a significant division that occurred in the church in 1882 that sent two denominations (The CRC and the RCA) spiraling in opposite directions. After 130 years of division Pillar re-established itself 2012. The intention of the reestablishment was to return to its first commitment to be a church for the city: reconciling divisions, raising up leaders, redeeming the city, renewing the church.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Pillar Church worships the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit who is revealed most fully in Jesus Christ. We are a confessional church and so we embrace three ecumenical creeds (Apostles' Creed, Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, and Athanasian Creed), and three Reformed Confessions (Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt), as well as the Belhar Confession.
We accept each of these as historic and faithful witness to the Word of God. They root us in the historic Christian Faith, and guide our contemporary confession of faith in our day and context.
Pillar Church is located in the dynamic nexus between the downtown Holland corridor on one side and the Hope College campus on the other. The 1856 Greek revival architecture building stands out in this strategic location. It survived the fire of 1871 and so remains the oldest building in the city of Holland. The six Pillars, built on site with a cedar beam in the center surrounded by tapered boards like barrel staves, welcome beautifully all who pass them and enter Pillar's doors.