Cross returns

A cross that was removed from a Spring Lake church nearly three years ago will come full circle on Good Friday.
Marie Havenga
Mar 27, 2013


That day seems like a logical time for the cross to go up, said David Wisen, pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel Spring Lake, which now owns the former C3 Exchange/Christ Community Church property.

“Good Friday is the day we remember the death of Jesus Christ on the cross," he said.

The cross will be reinstalled during a public open house between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the church, 225 E. Exchange St. The event includes a 20-minute documentary, tours of the newly remodeled building and refreshments.

To see a timeline of the journey of the Spring Lake church cross, download the PDF in the Related File at the bottom of this story.

“That cross has meant a lot to a lot of people in Spring Lake,” Wisen said. “I think there are a lot of people excited to see it go back up.”

The 45-foot structure has been stored outdoors and on blocks behind Advanced Signs in Ferrysburg for the past three years. It will arrive at the church on Friday on a flatbed truck.

Advanced Signs owner Bernie Wade said his company also took the cross down from the the Spring Lake church. He recently sanded and repainted it.

Installation of the 1,000-pound cross will take two cranes and up to four hours to complete.

“It doesn't go up with Velcro — they've got to weld it,” Wisen said.

Wisen said there is yet another connection for the cross to Holy Week. It was originally erected on the building during Easter weekend 1980 — when the church was known as Christ Community Church — after a new auditorium had been constructed three years earlier.

The cross was a memorial to Edwina Bylenga, donated by her husband, Cornelius. Both were Christ Community Church members. Edwina died in 1975, said her grandson, Eric Edelmayer of Grand Haven.

“I was very disappointed to see it come down,” Edelmayer said of the cross. “I think my grandparents would be thrilled to see it going back up where it belongs.”

Under the direction of Executive Minister Ian Lawton, Christ Community Church became C3 Exchange in 2010. C3 leaders desired to become an inclusive spiritual community, not solely focused on Christian beliefs and symbolism.

C3 removed the cross on June 22, 2010. That action sparked a local controversy and even generated national media attention.

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



While I don't subscribe to the biblical perspective that Harvest preaches, I am very happy to see the cross going back to my childhood church.


Congratulations on re-installing the Cross on your building. However, the timing is totally sensationalist, media oriented and driven by cost and not culture.

You guys suck.

Good Friday is recognized as being the day Christ DIED. It is an important day on the Christian Calendar. Many companies recognize this by shutting down for the day and giving their employees a company holiday to enable reflection on the sacrifice made by Christ and allow a day of quiet prayer and mourning.

Yet the Harvest Bible Chapel feel that erecting the Cross again on Good Friday makes sense.

Obviously Advanced Signs are also not a Christian oriented company.

The correct way to re-install the Cross would have been Easter Sunday - this is when Christ ROSE from the dead - is that not lost on you guys as being more appropriate??!!

The sign company would probably have charged double (or triple) for installation being done on a Sunday... but if they are willing to work on Good Friday, a Sunday morning should not be a problem.

The restored Cross has been ready for some time, why not erect it last weekend or during the week?

But aren't "Christian" pursuits really always about grandstanding and "holier than thou" attitudes?

Just sayin'


What Biblical perspective do you prescribe to? It's a Christian church, it may have some doctrinal differences, however just as we are all the body of Christ, with different ethnic and social uniquenesses....I found your comment insensitive.


What Biblical perspective do you prescribe to? It's a Christian church, it may have some doctrinal differences, however just as we are all the body of Christ, with different ethnic and social uniquenesses....I found your comment insensitive.


Good Friday is a perfect day! It is the day that Christ went to the cross for all us sinners, even insensitive people.
Easter is about Christ's victory over death.
Your comments are out of line.


I think it is wonderful that the cross is being put up again. I am not a member of this church but certainly plan to attend a service or two to share and worship with fellow Christians. I have extremely deep roots in a local church, but still find it so very gratifying to take the time to attend different denominational churches, and even different faiths on occasion. Life is our school, our teacher, we need to study and learn the lessons to be tolerant and successful in our own lives. What I don't understand is the bickering about when this organization has decided to replace their cross.


I'm not sure what I said that was insensitive; all I said is that I have a different view on the Bible. While I do believe that the Bible was inspired by God and written by man, I do not believe that it is "inerrant." Thus, I have a differing "Biblical Perspective." I respect and am grateful for the differences in people's opinions and beliefs. And I am glad to see the cross going back to it's home atop my childhood church (building).

I do realize that I used the word "subscribe" instead of "prescribe" though. Aaah, well :-)


Harvest Bible Chapel Family...welcome to the neighborhood! We were thrilled to see the traffic pouring into your parking lot on Sunday morning as we drove to worship at our home church, St. Mary's. You are a blessing and we are humbled to see how God has worked since the removed by C3. Good Friday couldn't be a better day to return it to it's rightful place! May God continue to pour His blessings out upon your congregation!
-In Christ, A St. Mary's Family


I am always very appreciative of the Tri-Cities; I have lived the world over and there really isn't anywhere I would rather be. We all love this area in the summer, sun, beaches, cars, walks, hiking, boating, etc.; it's just a wonderful place.

I am most grateful at this time of year for the blessing, which is the people, with all of our flaws and differences, that we are predominantly a God fearing community. Most people in the world could not even imagine, or comprehend, this depth of Christian unity in a community like ours.

My wish for you all is a very blessed and meaningful Easter weekend; God Bless, and thanks to each and every one of you for sharing “This Place” .


Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.