Church remains removed

Now that the remains of the deceased have been removed from the columbarium at the former C3 Exchange building, pieces of the former final resting place are headed for the auction block. Employees of Byron Center-based Repocast removed the granite markers from the "Garden of Grace' on the south side of the building at 225 E. Exchange St. on Wednesday.
Marie Havenga
Apr 6, 2012


The markers covered plastic housings that once contained ashes. The housings, manufactured by Loz Art Industries in Grand Rapids, were stamped with the words “When forever matters.”

"Forever" took a short cut in February when C3 officials signed the deed for 225 E. Exchange St. over to Michigan Commerce Bank in lieu of foreclosure on a $1.2 million mortgage. C3 leaders at that time notified family members that they would have to relocate their loved ones' remains.

Repocast material handler Gene Felty said the 300-plus granite pieces, which weigh about 40 pounds each, will be auctioned online at

Repocast is a division of Miedema Auctioneering and is located at 601 Gordon Industrial Court. The company hosts online auctions every Thursday.

Felty said he's never before experienced disassembling a columbarium or dealing with what was presumed to be a final resting place.

“They told us all the remains were out of here,” said Felty, who unscrewed the approximately 1-by-3-foot granite slabs and loaded them in a cargo trailer. “I sure hope they're right.”

There were 18 names of deceased inscribed on the granite walls of the Garden of Grace, but not all of the niches held ashes. Some names were placed there as memorials only, according to C3 leaders. Others had already been relocated.

C3 Executive Minister Ian Lawton said C3's minister of care and community, Bob Kleinheksel, personally delivered some of the remains to family members several weeks ago.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



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