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Tag Archive | "Ensley Baptist Church"


Brian D. VanEnk, 50, of Sand Lake, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at his home. Brian was born June 10, 1965 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Robert and Joan (Zwak) VanEnk. He was a software engineer at Burke Porter Machinery for 26 years and was a member of Ensley Baptist Church. Surviving are his wife, Susan (Fagerman) whom he married on October 24, 1992; children, Steven, Grace, and Annalise; mother, Joan VanEnk; sister, Carla (Ted) Ooyevaar; parents-in-law, Gus and Norma Fagerman; sisters-in-law, Karen (Tom) Knorps, Julie (Gary) Turner, Janice (Rob) Smith, and Karen Fagerman; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert VanEnk and a brother-in-law, Mark Fagerman. The family will greet friends Wednesday from 5-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be held Thursday 11:00 am at Ensley Baptist Church, 7077 E. 120th St., Sand Lake. The family will greet friends starting a 10:00 am. Pastor Timothy Decker officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Ensley Baptist Church.
Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Frank Eugene Gilbert


Frank Eugene Gilbert, 94, of Grant, passed away on June 19, 2015 with his wife by his side. Frank served his country in the United States Army.  He worked for Van’s Plumbing and Heating until his retirement. Frank was preceded in death by his first wife Hazel.  He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Frieda Gilbert (VanderMeulen), children, Janet Tindel,  Gordon (Pat) Gilbert, Kathy Gilbert, Frank (Lori) Gilbert, Jr. stepchildren,  Gary (Cathy) VanderMeulen, Cheri (Monte) Shears, John (Barb) VanderMeulen,   14 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren.  Visitation will be held  Sunday, June 21, 2015 at Fields-McKinley Funeral and Cremation Services Grant – Chapel and one hour prior to the service at the church. Services will be held 2:00 pm  Monday, June 22, 2015 at Ensley Baptist Church with Rev. John Fields officiating.  Burial will follow at Crandell Cemetery with full military honors.  Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Michigan or Ensley Baptist Church.  Please share your memories of Frank with his family at www.fieldsmckinley.com

Arrangements by  Fields-McKinley Funeral and Cremation Services Grant – Chapel

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Ensley Baptist Church celebrates 150 years

The original Ensley Baptist Church

The original Ensley Baptist Church

On July 13 and 14, Ensley Baptist Church will be celebrating their 150th anniversary as an established Bible-believing and preaching church in Ensley Center, Michigan. The theme for the celebration is “150 Years of Serving God and Loving People.”

In May of 1863, Ensley Baptist Church was organized with a core of about 15 baptized members. Meetings were held in the local schoolhouse and baptisms took place in Baptist Lake. Among the early members was William Bruce, a former slave. At his death he left everything to the church, and the proceeds were used to purchase the land on which the original church was built in 1884. A bell, which is still used to call the people to worship today, was purchased for $92.24 after a cash payment discount.

In 1917 a basement was added to accommodate a furnace and Sunday School classes. But, as the membership grew, the need for more room was evident.

In 1949 the church was remodeled. Additions were added on the west side and east side. Before long, yet more room was needed, so the east side addition was removed and replaced with a sizable addition, which doubled the size of the auditorium. With this addition, there was also more space in the basement for Sunday School rooms. An upper floor provided for a balcony, office and nursery. In 1959 a new parsonage was built.

The Ensley Baptist Church today.

The Ensley Baptist Church today.

In 1971, a sanctuary with a seating capacity for 470 was erected across the road. Ten years later, on May 17, 1981 a ground-breaking ceremony was held for a new addition to that facility, which provided for Sunday School rooms and a library in the basement, and, for the main floor, offices, a nursery, a kitchen and an all-purpose room. In 2006, a new gymnasium was built on the east side of the all-purpose room, and its dedication was held on June 10, 2007.

Over the past 150 years, Ensley Baptist Church has been served by 40 senior and interim pastors. Over the years others have served as youth pastors.

The church, which is located at 7077 E 120th St  Sand Lake, welcomes the community to join in the celebration on July 13 and 14.  On Saturday, July 13, they will have a pig roast and potluck at noon. People are encouraged to bring a dish to pass and lawn chairs. Several former pastors will share about their time at Ensley Baptist Church, starting at around 1p.m. There will also be activities for children throughout the afternoon.

The current Sr. Pastor, Rev. Timothy R. Decker, will be sharing during the Sunday morning service, which starts at 10:45 am.

“The Lord has blessed us and we give Him all the glory for keeping us here all these years as a lighthouse in this community,” said a church spokesperson.

You can discover more about Ensley Baptist Church at www.EnsleyBaptist.com or on Facebook ® at https://www.facebook.com/EnsleyBaptistChurch.


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