Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 17, 1956

Holland, Michigan


We give herewith a regular monthly report sent to churches who are helping maintain Brother Richard A. Robinson in the very promising work in II Holland, Michigan. We pass this report on to the readers of the Gospel Guardian because of the interest they all have in the furtherance of the gospel of Christ — and certain unique features connected with this work in Holland.

First. Holland, Michigan is one of the most unusual cities in the nation. A city of about 20,000 people, about 150 miles north of Chicago and 200 miles west of Detroit, the town was built by a group of Dutch people looking for religious freedom, and fleeing the domination of the state church in the Netherlands. This is the home of the Reformed Church of America, an extremely conservative group (Calvinists) who pride themselves on their knowledge of the Bible and their strict adherence to its teachings. The general average of Bible knowledge among these people is far, far above the level of most Americans; and would not compare unfavorably with that of many graduates of our Bible colleges.

Second. The church in Holland was started by a native Michigander (Richard A. Robinson), who grew up in the Christian Church, moved to Texas in 1946, was converted to the truth by D. W. Nichol (at South Park Church in Beaumont), graduated from A.C.C. in 1952, and came back to his own native state to preach the gospel Brother Robinson and his family were disgusted with the modernism and ultra-liberalism of the Christian Church, and left that body for the simple truth of the gospel. Marrying a Texas girl (Shirley Yvonne Mathis of Dallas) Robinson taught school for one year in Texas before returning to Michigan. He worked for a few months with the little church at Paw Paw, Michigan, then learned that there were three members of the body of Christ in Holland, who were driving each Sunday to Grand Rapids, thirty miles distant, to worship.

Starting with these three members as a nucleus, a congregation of nine members was established in Holland in October 1954. They had grown to fifteen members by last June, and now number 23.

Third. The spirit of sacrifice found in these faithful people might well be imitated by others. Having only seven male members in the congregation, their average weekly contribution compares favorably with many Texas churches numbering a hundred or more members. In addition to this, each man recently gave a full week's pay (in addition to his regular contribution) toward the building fund. Richard Robinson has largely supported himself (and his wife and two children) since he went back to Michigan; and his support now from the churches is only $50.00 a week. He has spent his entire legacy from his father's estate (about $2500.00) these past two years getting the church started in Holland.

Fourth. Robinson and the Holland Church are determined that they will not be "sponsored" by any other congregation. Robinson has been assured of adequate financial support personally, and full backing of another church for the Holland work if he will let this other congregation "sponsor" him and have the oversight of his work. He declined. He says he came out of the Christian Church, and has not the remotest idea of heading back toward it.

We believe Holland, Michigan presents a great opportunity for the development of a strong congregation. They need help. Fifty dollars a week simply is not enough for a family of four. His own resources have now been exhausted. Surely there are some congregations among us who will help. Here is his report for March:

330 West Sixteenth Holland,

Michigan, March 17, 1956

Dear Fellow Christians:

Again I am able to give you a favorable report of the work in Holland, Michigan. We are sure that both your prayers and ours are being answered.

The growth in numbers and in faith has been bountiful. Our membership has jumped from fifteen to twenty three in the last four months. To those in large congregations this may sound small, but in a field such as Holland this is good. Our regular attendance is from sixty-five to seventy-five or about three times our membership. We have every capable person teaching a Bible school class. The longer we work and worship together, the closer we feel to each other and to the Lord.

We have found others of the Christian Church who are dissatisfied and there is an excellent possibility of their being added to us in the near future. I am now teaching four cottage Bible classes in people's homes and find that more people desire them than I can possibly teach. We are planning to put other members to work teaching such classes. We find it a most effective method for reaching non-Christians.

As most of you know we are meeting in a rented building at a cost of between $100 and $125 a month. We have been offered the opportunity of bidding on a local church building with eight class rooms and seating for one hundred and seventy. Our bid has been turned in for the total price of $12,000.00 with a down payment of $1,500.00 and monthly payments of $100.00. The seven working men here raised $900.00 in five weeks toward the down payment. These churches supplied the rest: Monette, Arkansas, $50; Lake City, Arkansas, $50; Preston Road, Dallas, Texas, $500. We ask for your prayers to the end that our bid be accepted.

During the month of February my family was privileged to go to Texas. Whale there we made reports to the supporting churches, attended the Abilene Christian College Lectures, and visited friends and relatives. We wish to thank all we saw for their hospitality. Truly we have brothers and sisters everywhere when we are in Christ. Asking for your continued prayers and support, I will close this report.

Yours, in Christ's service, Richard A. Robinson