Faith Presbyterian Church's History

We hope this short walk-through history might teach you the same thing that Nehemiah taught us. Nehemiah shares historical lessons with the Jews after returning home from a long exile (Nehemiah 7-10). His purpose was not just to share stories that predated these people by one hundred to one thousand years. His purpose was to remind the Jews, and us, of God's incredible faithfulness and provision for his people that lived in the fifteenth century BC, the fifth century BC, and the twenty-first century AD. Rejoice in what God has promised to do and as history shows—he is the God that fulfills his promises!  

October 2017. God planted the seeds for Faith Presbyterian Church (FPC) in the Naulty’s heart. The incredible increase of unchurched and dechurched people in West Michigan, coupled with a lack of churches that adhered to a biblical, confessionally reformed theology, a Presbyterian form of government, and churches that subscribe to a means of grace philosophy motivated their efforts. After inviting their neighbors to a Bible study, the Lord brought many to their Jenison home. After the completion of a couple of studies, Dan began discussing the idea of planting a church with a small group of these people that were looking for a church home. Dan talked to the Session at Covenant Presbyterian Church about being their mother church, and eventually, the idea was proposed to the Great Lakes Presbytery (GLP) of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).  

Before a church could be planted in the Jenison area, the GLP did its due diligence. Dan needed to transfer his ordination to the PCA and financial support needed to be raised. Over the next number of months, Dan began the process of transferring his ordination through interviews, and written and oral exams. At the same time, contact was made with churches around the denomination for the necessary financial support.  

April 2019. Dan was invited to Twin Lakes Fellowship (TLF). This is a fellowship of pastors within the PCA that support planting churches that focus on an ordinary means of grace philosophy of ministry. Dan shared that FPC would focus its efforts on the Word, sacraments, and prayer as the means that God Himself has personally appointed and promised to bless for the salvation, sanctification, and comfort of His people (c.f. Acts 2:42). It is through the Word, read and preached, sacraments, and prayer that God’s people are brought to a confession of faith, uniting them to Christ and, in Him, nourished and kept unto eternal life. 

The relationships made at TLF proved to be a great blessing to FPC’s efforts in raising the necessary financial support. The GLP requires a church plant within its Presbytery to raise half of its three-year budget (the other half, in theory, is brought by the members of the church plant over that same three-year period). For FPC, that was $250,000. There was little headway made before TLF, but following Dan’s time there, Briarwood Presbyterian Church (AL), Covenant Presbyterian Church (MI), Faith Presbyterian Church (WA), Independent Presbyterian Church (GA), Knox Presbyterian Church (MI), Midway Presbyterian Church (GA), Providence Presbyterian Church (IL), and Trinity Presbyterian Church (IN) all made pledges. In a very short time, it was apparent that Faith Presbyterian Church would soon begin worshipping.  

September 1, 2019. Dan contacted Trinity CRC as there were rumblings of their willingness to rent part of their facility. Shortly after contacting Trinity, Dan met with their Council. Trinity offered to rent their lower-level space (100 x 75) to FPC. On September 1, 2019, FPC held its first public worship service.  

May 22, 2022. After two-plus years of navigating the trials of Covid that hit W. Michigan in 2020, FPC fulfilled all it needed to become a particular church in the PCA. The particularization service was a great blessing. Gordy Peterson and Ángel Rodriguez were ordained as Ruling elders. Kirby Comeaux, Javier Jirón, and Jim Popma were ordained as deacons. Dan Naulty was installed as FPC’s pastor. Many families and friends were present, and pastors of GLP participated in the service, including Rev. Ken Klett (pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Holland, MI), Rev. Walter Lorenz (Pastor at Large of GLP), and Rev. Jeremy Visser (pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Hudsonville, MI).  

God was just getting started.  

February 2022. Rev. Naulty was contacted by Hope CRC’s pastor Dale Fopma. Hope indicated they were interested in selling their property to FPC which was located just about 1 mi from FPC’s location at Trinity CRC. Rev. Naulty was informed that FPC was second in line behind an Orthodox Presbyterian Church in the area. The chances of getting this property were slim at best. Who would turn down what Hope was offering? Hope CRC, in its extreme generosity, was offering the property for approximately half its value. Of course, there was a desire to own a property, but the Lord had been so abundantly gracious to FPC, that the body knew that He would provide, yet again, even if it wasn't this property.  

Rev. Naulty contacted the churches that supported the beginning of FPC and shared this possibility with them. Again, God provides! PCA churches and individuals provided the bulk of the support, while FPC’s congregation did it best to build the necessary funds to purchase the property. By September 2022, the Lord provided enough money for FPC to buy Hope CRC. He provided so much that FPC paid the full amount and move into the future without a mortgage on the property!  

December 11, 2022. FPC holds its first service as the new owner of 3110 Barrett Ave. Grandville, MI. After many months of prayer, God—again—provides for FPC. Hope CRC and FPC spend much time in dialogue and prayer about the possibility of FPC buying their property. Hope CRC wanted the next church that owned the property to be a church that adhered to something similar to the historic CRC. FPC ticked all the boxes—biblical and confessionally reformed, a desire for means of grace ministry and not entertainment-driven, rich theological music, etc.  

To FPC’s surprise, an even bigger blessing than the building came with the purchase of the property. Many from Hope CRC wanted to see if FPC was a good fit for them. Not only did FPC get the property—but approximately 50 members from Hope CRC have been attending FPC’s Sunday morning services, trying to determine if Faith PCA will become their new home.  It’s hard to put into words what God has done at FPC in three short years.

This is just a short description of God's incredible provision for those he loves. Like we said at the beginning, God has historically been providing for his people. FPC is one more example of his promise and provision. It’s also an example of how God works in the hearts of his people, and how they respond with their love for him and their abundant care for one another. 

To God be the glory!