Community Ministries

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Saturday Food Program

The Eastern Ave. Saturday Food Program was begun over 30 years ago and continues today because the God of love asks that we love each other and help to provide for each other’s needs. Every Saturday, neighborhood and church volunteers prepare, sell and distribute a large variety of produce, breads and baked goods, plus rice and beans to hundreds of people. A token amount is charged our customers to help preserve self esteem and fund the program. For more information, refer to the Saturday Food Program page, found here. For information on volunteering please contact DeMarco Wilkinson ([email protected]).

Food Pantry

Eastern Avenue operates a food pantry, under the supervision of Phyllis Haverkamp, providing several days of groceries for families referred by the Baxter Community Center’s marketplace. Food is obtained by donations from church members as well as from Feeding America, area food drives, and some of the organizations that use our church building for meetings during the week. Clients receiving assistance typically live within a four block radius of Eastern Avenue church, and in addition to food are given access to information about the church’s programs. To obtain a referral from Baxter, call 616-456-8593 to set up an appointment.

Worship at Kent County Jail

Every other month we join inmates at Kent County Jail for worship led by David LaGrand. Arrival time is 2 pm and services start at 2:30 pm. Upcoming services: July 1, September 2, October 7, November 4, December 2. For more information, contact David at [email protected]

Peniel House

The Peniel House is a part of Calvin College’s “Project Neighborhood”. It is an off-campus housing option for sophomore, junior and senior students. A select co-ed group of students live together in the Peniel House with mentors Joel and Hailey Altena. Housemates invest in the community, share responsibilities for food preparation and maintenance, participate in service to a community ministry, and take a one-credit seminar course, which can fulfill Calvin’s cross-cultural engagement requirement. More information can be found here:

Stephen Ministry

If you are facing personal struggles or experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment you might want to connect with a Stephen Minister – a layperson – trained to provide confidential, one-to-one care and support through your journey. For more information download the Stephen Ministry brochure (.pdf). Please contact Pastor Thea if you feel this might benefit you.

W.E.B. Tutoring

Designed to minister to the needs of K – 12 students living in the community surrounding Eastern Avenue church the W.E.B. Tutoring program is held most Thursday nights during the school year from 6:00 – 7:30. There are also summer programs that vary each year. Students at W.E.B. Tutoring come to eat dinner, work on homework, specific needs, healthy living skills and other assignments one-on-one with a volunteer tutor, and have Fun Nights throughout the year.

For further information or to sign up call Jessica Hannink – Educational Consultant – at 454-4888 extension #108 or e-mail [email protected]


A friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. Met in the Fall 2015 Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM, but is on break for the time being. Email the Spiritual Formation Coordinator if you are interested in more information.