Kent County (Michigan, USA)

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Kent County, Michigan. U.S. Census Bureau Map

Kent County, located in southern Michigan and including the city of Grand Rapids, has been the seat of two Mennonite (MC) churches -- Caledonia and Bowne. The Caledonia settlement was located some 12 miles (20 km) west of the Bowne settlement. The first settlers in the Caledonia area came in 1864. Those locating at Caledonia came partly from Ontario, and partly from such states as Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The first meetinghouse was erected in 1865 and replaced by another in 1881; the latter burned down in 1923. Only the cemetery remained to mark the location of the building. The congregation seemed to prosper at first, there being 40 members at Caledonia by 1867. But internal differences over religious practice led to the weakening of the congregation and its ultimate closure by1910. The Bowne settlers in Kent County in 1865 came from Somerset County, Pennsylvania and from Ontario. The first meetinghouse was a log structure and was erected jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonites (Mennonite Church) about 1870, being used for seven years on alternate Sundays by the two groups, after which the Brethren built their own separate house of worship. In 1957, the Bowne congregation (also called Elmdale) worshiped in a building erected in 1901. At that time the membership of the congregation was 104.

Author(s) John C Wenger
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wenger, John C. "Kent County (Michigan, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 12 May 2021.,_USA)&oldid=170584.

APA style

Wenger, John C. (1957). Kent County (Michigan, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 May 2021, from,_USA)&oldid=170584.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 166. All rights reserved.

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