On September 16, 2001, Rev. Mike Pitsenberger was installed as the seventh senior pastor of Christ Memorial.

Under Pastor Mike’s leadership, a “Vision Encounter” was undertaken. The effort engaged almost 300 members of the congregation during three summits which answered these questions: “Where have we been?” “Where are we going?” and “How will we get there?” The outcome of this effort was a new mission and vision for the church.

Christ Memorial continued and strengthened its DNA of engagement and encouragement. Growth in ethnic, generational, economic, and ability diversity followed. A Cross Cultural Ministry called “All God’s People” began in 2003. Gary Matthews was hired as the second full-time Minister of Worship upon John Bright’s retirement in 2005. Also in 2005 Rev. Steve Vander Molen was called to become the Pastor of Congregational Care.

At a congregational meeting on November 8, 2004, a “Way Beyond Us” three-year spiritual and stewardship journey was approved. The vision included constructing a new fellowship hall, space for youth, a prayer room, expanded adult education classrooms, a kitchen, an expanded library/resource center, a multipurpose worship/ chapel/education center, renovated space for children’s ministries, an expanded narthex, and consolidation of all staff offices into the two-story wing. The estimated cost was $13,000,000.

On May 22, 2005, a celebration of the ‘Way Beyond Us” campaign was held at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds under pouring rain.


On May 29, 2005, a ground-breaking ceremony was held at the site of the new construction, just east of the existing sanctuary. On April 29, 2007, the new facility was dedicated “To the Glory of God”.

A standing stone was set in the new narthex to commemorate the event. The new and refurbished facility was virtually debt free, thanks to the generosity of the congregation. In 2005 Christ Memorial had 2,700 active members, 3,800 baptized members, and an operating budget of $3,200,000.