Roof of Worship Center Collapses at Christian Reformed Conference Grounds in Grand Haven

Posted at 8:01 PM, Feb 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-17 20:01:45-05

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (February 17, 2014) – It’s been a difficult few weeks for the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds (CRCG) in Grand Haven. The roof of their worship center collapsed Sunday afternoon because of heavy snow build-up. However, this isn’t the only disaster that struck this month: less than two weeks ago, February 6, a fire damaged the beach bath house not even a block away.

The CRCG community says that center was the heart and soul of their services, worship, Bible School and concerts for the past 60 years. “Lives get changed in that building and that’s the hard part. I know we can rebuild, but it’s 60 years of memories,” said Dawn Bouman, worship director with CRCG.

“It’s going to be a loss, fantastic memories, but at the same time we’re looking forward to what’s going to happen in the future, and what God is going to lead and guide and direct us for this ministry,” said Mike Perton, executive director with CRCG.

CRCG officials said no one was injured in the fire or roof collapse, but said they’re still in shock. “To God be the Lord, and I know he’s got a plan for this too, and I can’t wrap my hands around it,” said Bouman.

The ministry said snow build-up usually wasn’t a problem because most of the snow would blow off of the worship center’s curved roof.

Dykstra Landscape Management in Grand Haven says this winter they’ve had more calls for snow roof removal than the last 15 years. They say any time you get more than a few inches of snow on your roof, the more often you can clear it off the better you’ll be.

“Rake off the first four or five feet of the roof, and as that snow comes down off the roof, clear it away from your foundations. Make sure your gutter downspouts are clear so when the rain does come, the melting off the roof has a place to go,” said Mike Dykstra, owner of Dykstra Landscape Management.

Programs and worship begin at the Conference Grounds in May and run through October. This year the ministry says services will be held elsewhere on the grounds but they will re-build.

“Yes, we will continue to have worships here, we will continue to have concerts here and maybe in a temporary structure this summer but long term we will be blessed again,” added Perton.