Three other church buildings preceded what we now call Grace Church, which became home to the parish in 1954. The group met at first in a remodeled schoolhouse on 10th Street, between River and Central Avenues. This was destroyed along with most of the town’s center in the fire of 1871.
The group then met over a saloon for a while, then in the town hall, but services were sporadic until a handsome new building was completed in the Carpenter Gothic style in 1873, on the corner of 11th and Pine. This was also destroyed by fire, in 1886. Graces third home was on 9th Street just west of River, the building now occupied by Holland’s Civic Theater. But by the early 1950s we had outgrown it, and the present church was built. Thirty years later more room was needed, so the church was expanded to the north and west and the St. Andrews Courtyard and Resurrection Garden were added to it.
The first thirty years were obviously a time of struggle but not only because of the two fires (plus another in 1886 that damaged the rectors home.) There were also the issues of the debt resulting from needing to rebuild, the frequent turnover of priests, and dwindling membership from the 70 enrolled at Grace’s inception. Services were held irregularly at times. But fortunately, during this time and to Grace’s favor, the ethnic and ecclesiastical prejudice that existed in earlier times was beginning to fade away.