Come and join with us every Sunday at 10:00am. Child care is provided and Sunday School is available for preK-5th grade.
We celebrate Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month. Communion is open to all who desire to live a life out of love as Jesus set the example. This is followed by Potluck which is a time of fellowship for the congregation and visitors. We feel that fellowship is one of the cornerstones of our church and this is enlivened by our many visitors.
Women’s Bible Study is available to all at the church at 10:00 a.m. on Monday mornings and Men’s Bible Study meets at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday mornings at the church.
Sunday School for children is held each Sunday morning during the service and a special Summer Children in Worship program June-August. A time designed just for kids at their level.
Choir Practice is currently on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.


Mission projects

For many years the Alice Nyland Memorial Fund has supported our world, national and local mission projects. It was a wonderful endowment and enabled us to support many missions.
This year we are offering the congregation an opportunity to be personally involved in the financial support of our many partners in the mission field. Each month a different mission will be supported by congregational contributions. “Minute for Missions” will be presented explaining the work of the monthly mission.

The mission for April is NACCC Congregational Churches Philippines – A church planting and church-edifying ministry. Their motto is “Faith honors God and God honors faith”

For the first time we are a home church sponsoring cross cultural workers. Maggy and Andrew Smith and their daughter Fern are going to be cross cultural workers in Thailand. We have pledged $10,000 of our Alice Nyland Memorial Fund annually to support them.
Dear Friends,

I’ve been wanting to write more about how we see God’s hand at work here. So I’ve been thinking on that. And I think partly this is why the last couple months have been hard. Sometimes it feels like we invest so much and we see so little. We spend late nights out in the community, hours helping in the café, time studying language, countless evenings teaching kids who end up licking us or shooting pop guns off in class. It feels sometimes like we are just flies on the wall. There are endless neighborhood events, and constantly places we feel like we should be. We put in time cleaning and working in the café and then it is closed for two weeks for various reasons. As much language as we learn, it doesn’t seem to be enough. Teaching some of these students sometimes feel like a brick wall would absorb more. But then we had a conversation with some mentors of ours and they just reminded us of a simple fact that we knew, but definitely needed to hear. We have no idea what kind of seeds God is planting through us. That people see our lives here and that we are a living testimony of God’s love. It was sure encouraging to be reminded of that. We don’t know who the Lord will draw out from the people and students we encounter, but we know we are supposed to be here, with these kids. So all we can do is trust that He’s got the rest covered. And trust me, he loves these leg lickers and pocket picking kids even more than we do!! We are currently planning our home assignment for this summer. We’d love to share at your church or small group, if that is something you are interested in. Our sharing is pretty real. The hardships, the joys, and putting one foot in front of the other when you can’t really see God’s plan, but you are trusting He sees the whole picture. Thank you for all of your love, prayers, cards, and encouragement. You guys got us here and are keeping us here

. – Maggy
If you would like to support Maggy. Andrew and Fern, go to:
You go toward the bottom and enter our name and account number: 3094
Or it can be mailed to:
TMS Global
Andrew and Maggy Smith
PO Box 922637
Norcross, GA 30010-2637

Our Team

Our Pastor, Gary Bekkering, is a graduate of Crossroads Theological seminary with a Masters of Divinity. He attended Wartburg Seminary completing the Youth Ministry program, attended University of Wisconsin – Madison, MATC, and Colorado University- Colorado Springs for a degree in Business Administration/Marketing. He served the Pecoatonica Lutheran Parish in Blanchardville, Wisconsin as Youth and Family Minister and Programs Director from 1998-2005. He moved to Elk Rapids in 2005 when he became the Director of Youth Minsitries at Frist Presbyterian Church and Lighthouse Ministry from 2005-2011. Gary and his wife Pam celebrated 25 years of marriage in 2008 and have two daughters.
Our Parish Nurse is Char Lundy. Char has lived in our area for 34 years. She helped start the ambulance service in Eastport and volunteered for 28 years. Char received her BA from Valparaiso University and her RN from Ft. Wayne Lutheran School of Nursing. Her experience in nursing includes staff and managerial positions in Public Health, Hospice, Wellness Programs, Discharge Planning, Safety Programs in hospitals and nursing homes, and Home Health. Char also is involved in teaching classes to professional health staff in the northwest region. The Parish Nurse program encompasses all of the experiences Char has in her nursing career.
Our Music Director, Michael LaBeau began music study at his parents’ upright piano at age eight, in Bellaire MI. Since then, he’s continued playing and learning, studying Music Education and Performance for three years at Western Michigan University, and eventually returning home to Central Lake and First Congregational Church in the early 90’s. His family roots at FCC go back three generations, to his maternal great-grandmother Flossie Drake, and he’s honored to provide musical direction “back home” in a beautiful town, for a beautiful church that’s been around for 127 years.
Our Church Secretary is Carol Hayton. Carol was born and raised in Detroit and moved to Central Lake in 1976. She retired from Central Lake Public Schools where she was the high school principal’s secretary for 20 years. Her background with bookkeeping and public service combined with the many hours she volunteered here at the church make her a good choice to manage our office.