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Pastor Tom Holloway to say goodbye to Cedar Springs


Pastor Tom Holloway is known to some as the “rock & roll” preacher. He will be leaving at the end of the month to take over a church in South Carolina.

Pastor Tom Holloway is known to some as the “rock & roll” preacher. He will be leaving at the end of the month to take over a church in South Carolina.

The congregation of the Solon Center Wesleyan Church will bid their pastor, Rev. Tom Holloway, farewell at the end of the month. He and his family will be moving to South Carolina to take charge of another Wesleyan church in the North Myrtle Beach area.

Pastor Tom, with his wife Kim, daughter Taylor and sons Christian and Jackson came to Solon Center Wesleyan Church in 2007, when Pastor Tom was hired as a part time youth pastor and worship leader. Under his direction, the youth program flourished and the worship music became more contemporary in style. Each year he and the praise band would ride a float in the Red Flannel Parade, representing the church and playing their favorite songs. Over time, he fondly became known by some in the community as the rock & roll preacher.

When the opening became available in 2011, Pastor Tom became the lead pastor of the church. Since then the church has grown both numerically and spiritually under Pastor Tom’s guidance and loving care. His vision statement of  “Reaching Up, Reaching Out & Reaching In” has become a reality, as the church has worshipped freely, made its presence known in the community, and the spiritual lives of individuals have deepened in their love for God through his teaching.

Pastor Tom has been instrumental in the community on a personal level as well. Some years ago, he and fellow youth pastor C.J. Mauer had a vision to start a youth center in Cedar Springs. From their vision and efforts, En Gedi, meaning “a place to be refreshed,” became a reality and now provides students in 6th-12th grades a safe place to get away from the burdens of life and be re-charged and energized.  Pastor Tom acted as the first executive director for the center until becoming the lead pastor at the church. Pastor Craig Owens is now directing the center located at Red Hawk Elementary School, which meets after school Mondays through Thursdays.

Said Owens, “The En Gedi Youth Center is an amazing after-school program. I am sometimes given kudos for the work we do, but if our program is successful, it is because I stand on the shoulders of Tom Holloway. If it were not for his vision for this program, and his tireless effort to make it work, we wouldn’t have the life-changing program that we now have. We owe a huge debt to Pastor Tom’s vision for Cedar Springs.”

After this change Pastor Tom remained involved as a board member of En Gedi and continued to support the center through helping with fund raising efforts and Friday night 5th quarter events.

In addition, Pastor Tom has also worked over the past two years as an officer for the Community Building Development Team of Cedar Springs. The team is working to advance the construction of buildings and spaces where the greater Cedar Springs Community can gather for cultural, educational, recreational, commercial, and family/community events. Pastor Tom’s recent work primarily involved research regarding the design and construction of an amphitheater for the city.

CBDT president Kurt Mabie said, “Tom has a passion and love for this city.  He will be missed.”

He has also consistently been an active member of the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association, which meets monthly and organizes ecumenical gatherings such as the upcoming “UNITED” Community Worship Service which is planned for August 23 in Morley Park. Pastor Tom was always instrumental in leading the praise and worship portion of the service, organizing band members, vocalists, and equipment.

Brett DeGraaf, Vice Chairman of the board at Solon Center recently shared his thoughts. “Pastor Tom has truly been a blessing to Solon Center Wesleyan Church and the Cedar Springs community. Through his music and unique ministry style, he was able to grow our church family and build a spirit of serving outside of the church walls. It will be very sad to see him go but we all know that God has plans for him and for the future of Solon Center Wesleyan Church. We wish him all the best.”

Pastor Tom’s last Sunday at Solon Center Wesleyan will be July 26. The service will begin at 10 a.m. It will be the last time the congregation and guests will hear his encouraging words of “Go Be the Church!” at the end of the service. The church, friends, and family will send the Holloways on to their new destination in South Carolina, with a farewell party at 1 p.m. the same day. The invitation is open to anyone in the community who may wish to attend. The church is located on Algoma Avenue, just north of 19 Mile Road.

Pastor Tom’s last “From the Pulpit” article ran in last week’s issue of the Post. You can read it online at www.cedarspringspost.com.

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Terrance Arthur Gage II

C-OBIT-gage-webTerrance Arthur Gage II 39 of Cedar Springs, passed away on Thursday, May 21, 2015 from accidental injuries. Terry is now walking with the Lord. Terry was met by his Grandpa and Grandma Middleton, Grandpa Gage, Aunt Laurie and Grandson Israel. He was born July 31, 1975 in Lakeview, MI. Following graduation from High School Terry enlisted in the U.S. Navy, he very proudly served his country for 20 years retiring in July of 2014. He traveled a lot while in the service and his daughters were able to travel with him. Terry loved to cook and was known as the chef. He was learning to make bowls from different kinds of wood, enjoyed auction sales and flea markets and loved to hunt. He was always helping people and spending time with his family and friends. He was looking forward to seeing his son Kevin graduate from high school and his daughter Ashley from business college in Virginia. He will be missed by his family and friends. Surviving are the love of his life, Marti; daughters, Mykenzie, Ashley (Danny) Lopez, Kayli (Warren) Armock; son, Kevin; two grandson and one granddaughter whom he loved very much; father, Terry (Judy) Gage; mother, Carol Rowe; grandmother, Carol Gage; Marti’s parents, Charlie (Reta) McKee; sisters, Debbie (Tim) Prins, Sue (Joe) Molyneux, Colleen Maycroft, Chris (John) Sweeny; brothers, Paul (Jane) Ringler, David (Cheryl) Finnila, Todd Finnila; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. The family greeted friends Wednesday, May 27 from 11:00 am until time of service at 1:00 pm at Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Avenue, Cedar Springs. Pastor Tom Holloway officiating.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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A March to Madness

Solon-Center-Wesleyan-webPastor Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs 

(just north of 19 Mile)



As I sit writing this article (which is late), I am wearing my Michigan State sweats and State Gymnastics t-shirt. I love March Madness, especially when my Spartans are playing as well as they are this year. But I don’t like madness in my life. I’m what you might describe as a control freak. I prefer to over-achieve, and I don’t like to fail.

I really don’t like to miss deadlines, and I stress out about letting other people down. Why is this article late? The first reason is the busyness of the Easter season. Throw in an auction for En Gedi on Friday, two weddings on Saturday, and my life is crazy busy. The second is an unforeseen tragedy.

The first is a matter of planning and stress control. For pastors the Easter season is one of both tremendous joy, and tremendous stress. Easter is the highlight of the Christian calendar, and the pinnacle of the church year. Some might call it Super Bowl Sunday for the church. When you plan ahead, it’s manageable. But tragedy strikes when you least expect it, and there is really no way to prepare yourself for it.

As we prepare for Easter, we are walking with Jesus as he approaches the cross. He tries to prepare His disciples for the tragedy that is about to befall them. I like to call it a March to Madness. Something is going to happen to them and it’s going to be devastating for a while (3 days to be exact). It’s going to test their resolve at the very core of their being. Though Jesus tried to prepare them for what was to come, they really didn’t get it. How could they?

This Sunday we will be celebrating “Palm Sunday,” where Jesus comes into Jerusalem triumphantly on a donkey and the people cheer and they love Him. They throw palm branches on the ground, and they shout, “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” But soon those triumphant shouts of joy will turn to jeers and calling for the authorities to release the criminal Barabbas, instead of the Son of God, Jesus. The disciples must have been dumbfounded. How could this be? Why is this happening? What is God doing? How could He let this happen?

Then Jesus does something in the garden of Gethsemane that I think is key to this whole thing. He’s praying to His Father, and asks Him, is there another way? Can you take this situation from me? Then Jesus says, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

I’ve found that in situations that I find myself in, especially the difficult ones, that there is something bigger in play. God is always trying to teach me something bigger than myself. We cannot avoid tragedy no matter what we do. Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” You are guaranteed trouble, but I think despite these tragedies God wants to teach you something, as he did Michigan State basketball player Travis Trice, when he became ill in 2012 with a virus that no doctor could diagnose. He was sick for 8 weeks and lost 20 lbs. Travis said that while he was sick, he got a newfound outlook on life, and every day had new meaning. He saw God’s hand on his life, and his healing. In his illness there was a greater thing at work.

I believe that God wants to work in your life and my life in the same way, though we don’t always understand it. You can take comfort in 1 Corinthians 13:12, which says: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

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“Could that Happen Here?”

Solon-Center-WesPastor Tom Holloway
Solon Center Wesleyan Church
15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs
(just north of 19 Mile)

As I look at the events that are taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, it makes me ask the question, “Could that happen in Cedar Springs?” Have you thought about that? Or do you just assume that something like that could never happen here? I think it would be foolish of us to think that something like that couldn’t happen here; but at the same time, I believe that the things our community is doing is building in safeguards so that those kinds of things won’t happen here.
What are the safeguards in our community? The first is that we are truly a community. We are a group of people that values a greater sense of purpose. The idea is that there is something larger than our own personal interests. The fact that 8 or 9 churches can come together on a Sunday morning and forego their own offerings and take one large offering and give it to the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association to help the hurt, and needy in our community is proof.  Think about that for a second–that’s like taking your family’s paychecks for the week and giving it away to someone or something other than your own needs.  Yet, the cell phone bill still comes, the groceries need to be bought, the lights need to stay on, the mortgage payment still needs to be paid, and for the churches the staff still needs to be paid.
That is enough to make church people and leaders squirm and to not get involved in something bigger. But after six years of doing “United,” the churches continue to close their doors to meet in the community. If you’ve never been a part of a church then you might not see that as a big deal, but it shows that there is a common unity and a trust in this community that isn’t prevalent in a lot of other communities.
The second safeguard that we have in our community is a sense of leaving Cedar Springs better than we found it. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave our community better off than it is now. I want to know that when I’m dead and gone that I helped make our little corner of the world better than I found it. Do you know that we have a Community Building Development Team? What is their goal? To make the community better by working together with the current resources, and to remember the past by honoring it, and also building community buildings that will be the highlight of the community.
Why are they doing that? Is it to put their name on a building, or to get a pat on the back? Not at all. They are doing it because they know that an investment in the community that builds community will enhance living in Cedar Springs, which will lead to more families choosing Cedar Springs over other communities.  Which also means more of a tax base, more resources to spend at the local stores, more students to help build more and better schools, and more and better athletes that will enhance our already great sports teams.
When many people are in a time in their life where they can just sit back and relax, those people are seeking to develop the place where we live. When we see that others truly care about a larger purpose, it builds trust when others would seek to divide us.
The final safeguard that I believe is in place is simply the Lord. In a time in the world when it’s not popular to claim the name of Jesus, I believe that our community is proud to claim His hand on us. I have seen so many times that God has had His hand on our community it blows my mind.
Jesus was asked what the most important law was and He told them that it was twofold. The first was to love God, and the second was equally important. Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. In other words, we need each other in order to be right with God. It’s more than just living your own life, and doing all of the right things. It’s much bigger than that. There is a larger purpose in mind.
The original question was, “Could what happened in Ferguson happen to us?”  I believe if we in Cedar Springs continue to love and serve our God, who has been so generous to us, and to put others ahead of ourselves, it can’t happen here.

But it’s up to us individually, and also collectively. So the next time you are tempted to think bad about someone or their actions, trust that they have your best interest at heart. It’s up to you!

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Turn around

Solon-Center-WesPastor Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs (just north of 19 Mile)


As I write this article I am coming off of preaching my “Mother’s Day” sermon, and trying to encourage the mothers in our church to turn around and take notice of the things around you that you might miss. Not the kinds of things like a spot on the carpet, or the dust on a ceiling fan. Instead we are talking about the things that aren’t obvious until you put on a new type of lens—a spiritual lens you might say.

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Corinth tells them this…

2 Corinthians 3:15-18 “15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

When we turn to the Lord, when we make a choice to follow after Jesus, we get a gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we receive that gift, the lens that we look through will change. That lens will allow us to see with new eyes, and we will then be able to see what God wants us to see, not only about ourselves (it does that in the form of encouragement when we need it, correction when we need it, and joy when we need it) but it also gives us a heart for others.

What I challenged the mothers in our congregation to do is the same thing I’m challenging you with today. Who needs your attention? Who needs encouragement? What or who have you been avoiding, even though you keep feeling this prodding to get involved? Turn around and get involved.

I think that once you see with new eyes, you will see a change in not only the things you see but the person you are becoming. You will not only affect the change in those around you, but the change will be in you. There are so many needs in the Cedar Springs community, so many hurting and needy families and children. What is God calling you to get involved in? How can you help? How can you be the change agent in those that God is putting in your path?  Turn around and look with new lenses!


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March Madness

Rev. Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church 

15671 Algoma Ave, Cedar Springs


As a sports fan, I love all kinds of sporting activities but most of all, “March Madness.” Though I don’t go in on any pools, my family all fills out their brackets and we battle each other for the title. I still can’t believe that my wife won last year after not knowing a single thing about college basketball, other than the fact that the best collegiate basketball team is the Michigan State Spartans!

The NCAA Tournament is the most exciting sporting event because of the opportunity for some unknown team to come up and make a huge run. We love to root for the Cinderella team. Why is that? We love to root for the underdog because we have it in our mind that the powerhouse is bad and the underdog is good. This goes back to the greatest underdog of all time, David vs. Goliath.

David, this young teenager with only a sling and a stone goes out against the 9-foot tall champion Goliath from Philistine. I’m taking some liberty here, but I would guess that down deep in their hearts, everyone was cheering for David (even the other Philistines). I believe it is just in us to root for the underdog because we all see ourselves as the underdog. So I think that everyone was rooting for David in this battle, except for one, and his name was Saul.

Saul was the King of Israel and had the most to gain from this victory, yet we see the first recorded “sarcasm” in the Bible. We find it in I Samuel 17:32–37. “32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” 33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”

“Go, and the LORD be with you.” In other words, “Good luck buddy!”

We know the rest of the story; David succeeds in defeating Goliath with his slingshot and a stone. But what gets sometimes lost is that David will go on to do great things and receive great honor for defeating Goliath, and this will make Saul extremely angry and jealous. In fact Saul will become increasingly miserable and bitter the rest of his life.

The ironic thing is that Saul had all of the things that people strive for. He was tall, dark, and handsome.  He had great power. He was the first King of Israel. He had God’s blessing. He had all of the tools to be successful. But he lacked one thing—humility.

When Jesus came to the earth, He was fully God and fully man. He was God’s Son, He had the knowledge, He could do all kinds of miracles, He had the right to demand and get anything He wanted. Yet we read in Philippians 2:5—11 that He chose to make himself nothing, He humbled himself.  When we humble ourselves, God will lift us up. In a few weeks we will celebrate the greatest story of all time—Jesus resurrection, where He defeated death. This is the ultimate comeback story. This is when “March Madness” turns to “April Gladness.”

Get out to your local church, or find one if you don’t have one, and celebrate the greatest spectacle, the power of Jesus’ resurrection. Join with me in praying for our community and our community leaders as we go through this great Easter season! And “Go State!” (Sorry, I had to do it!)


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Thank You

Thank you Solon Center Wesleyan Church, Pastor Tom Holloway, the committee members and all those who helped make our celebration of ministry such a great success and such a God-honoring day.  We would also like to thank the community for their love and support throughout these past 12 years.

Pastor Doug, Rhonda,
Stephen & Joshua DiBell

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