Our Story

What we believe

Since 1979, Thornapple Covenant Church has been called to help people find and follow Jesus Christ (John 1:35-51). We believe this to be our main task and by the power of the Holy Spirit we participate in God’s mission that all people come to faith and that all things be made right in and through Jesus our Lord.
But how should we live? What shape does our discipleship take in our daily lives? At Thornapple finding and following Jesus means we humbly commit ourselves to a way of daily living that honors Jesus and winsomely draws people to him. To that end we invite each person to practice the following missional habits.
  • Bless our neighbors with God’s love and the good news of Jesus (Witness).
  • Look to God in prayer at all times and seasons (Pray).
  • Learn Jesus through engagement with God’s word (Word).
  • Share our life with a small group of disciples (Community).
  • Care for the poor and vulnerable as we extend the compassion of Christ (Serve).

Read Thornapple’s full mission here.

always making room

Our mission is to make a lasting impact on the community around us with the gospel message of Jesus Christ. We believe that God has called us to invite every person to know Christ and grow as a follower of Christ.

Thornapple has always made room in our hearts and lives for those who are far from God. We have always been eager to welcome the visitor, befriend the stranger and reach out to the refugee. We do these things all in the name of Jesus Christ, who calls us to offer hope and life to people, no matter where they are on their spiritual journey. By the grace of God we have made room for others, opening our hearts and lives to embrace all those that God has sent our way.

The Always Making Room building initiative and capital campaign captured our desire to expand the impact of our mission to our community and beyond. The result was a new addition to our facility which includes the Thornapple Community Center – a space that we pray helps us further our mission to help people find and follow Jesus Christ and blesses our community beyond our wildest dreams.

Be a part of our story...

become a member

Becoming a member shows you are making a deeper commitment to the vitality and life of our church, you are calling Thornapple your place, your home. We are so excited for anyone considering taking this next step and joining us in the mission and life of our church.

Here are the steps to becoming a member of Thornapple:
  1. Attend our two-part, online Meaning of Membership Class.
  2. If you would like to join, but have not been baptized, please contact one of the pastoral staff to discuss and schedule a baptism.
  3. Complete a membership application and submit completed application to the church office.
  4. Meet with Elder(s) to share your faith story. An elder will contact you to schedule this.
  5. Applications are presented for approval at the next Elder meeting (3rd Thursdays of each month).
  6. New members are welcomed during a Sunday morning worship service. 

If you have questions about membership or the process, please contact Andrew Vanover.

About our denomination

Learn more about the Evangelical Covenant Church

We are a part of the Evangelical Covenant Church, a denomination of more than eight hundred churches in the United States and Canada. It was founded by Swedish immigrants in 1885 as a voluntary covenant of churches committed to working together to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Covenant churches emphasize the Bible’s witness to new life in Jesus Christ expressed in a day to day walk with the Lord.
For Covenant people, our essential beliefs are summed up in six “Covenant Affirmations.”
  • We affirm the centrality of the word of God.
  • We affirm the necessity of the new birth.
  • We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the Church.
  • We affirm the Church as a fellowship of believers.
  • We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.
  • We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ.