City on a Hill: A Story of Faith

The City on a Hill story begins with a small group of women praying about human needs during a hurting economy. Funding was tight for ministries at a time when community needs were increasing.

As these women prayed, God opened doors. Just when Zeeland Community Hospital planned to vacate a building, a team inspired by the women’s prayers was pursuing the idea of a ministry center – a shared facility where nonprofits could work more efficiently to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the community.

  • 10
    Years In service
  • 40+
    Tenant Ministries
  • 1 mil+

City On A Hill Story

Simple But Complicated

It was a simple concept: Repurpose the former hospital building into a ministry center that could provide space as well as heat, electric, phones, and other amenities at a relatively low cost. This would allow ministries to focus more of their money and energy on their individual missions.

Making the concept happen was more complicated: Creating a new organization, getting nonprofit status, presenting a purchase offer, funding the purchase, and finding tenants all presented challenges. And the clock was running – the hospital board had already received another bid for the building.

Watch: Tenant and Client Stories

Faith Confirmed

But God controlled the time clock. A local church congregation agreed to lead organizational efforts until the new nonprofit could be formed. The team made a bid for the 100,000 squarefoot building. It was lower than the other bid, but the vision of a ministry center touched the heart of hospital leadership. In September, 2005, the board accepted the ministry center proposal – a move the team saw as confirmation of God’s leading. More confirmation came with a $40,000 gift that made up a shortfall at the deadline for the down payment on bank financing.

City on a Hill opened May 31, 2006 with twelve ministries on site. As more ministries moved in over the years, we renovated the space. City on a Hill has provided and continues to provide free incubator space to help fledgling ministries – a number of which have grown into significant regional programs. Today, the more than forty ministries working at City on a Hill serve thousands of people in West Michigan, across the United States, and around the world.

Expanded Calling

In addition to “serving those who serve others,” City on a Hill felt called to develop four ministries of its own to meet community needs. The Health Clinic provides medical care to uninsured and underinsured people. The Café offers low-cost or free meals to those in need and serves as a gathering place for ministry staff, clients, and neighbors. ATLAS is an adult mentoring ministry for persons in crisis. And Leader Renewal is a retreat and reflection space for pastors and leaders.

Board of Trustees

Gary Ellens, Director
Mike Arendsen
Dave Ash
Miriam Barnes
Kyle Curtiss
Mark deRoo
James Donkersloot
Cindy Franco
Dan Klompmaker
Janelle Sievert