The history of a church being located in this area goes back to the 1860's when this area was known as the Village of Hanley. It was named after a civil war hero, Charles Jacob Hanley, whose family lived in the area. The village, which was surrounded by farmland, consisted of a school, general store, cemetery, and a post office. A Methodist church met in the school until 1888 when it purchased land and built the first church building on this property. Services were conducted by circuit riding preachers for 37 years. The Methodist church closed in 1925 due to dwindling numbers.
That same year, Charles VanderLaan, a Sunday school teacher at First Jenison Christian Reformed Church, presented his church council with the idea of starting a Sunday school in the unused church building in Hanley. This was the beginning of what would become Hanley Christian Reformed Church. The Sunday school grew into a Chapel with Sunday school for the whole family and two services each Sunday. Weekday activities, which included Ladies Aid, Youth Group, Mr. & Mrs. Society, Couples Club, Boys Club, Choir, and VBS, were added as the chapel membership grew. Church picnics were held every year. On October 23, 1961 Hanley officially became a Christian Reformed Church. There were 133 professing members and 137 baptized children.
In the early 1970’s Hanley outgrew the white chapel building that had been rebuilt, due to a fire, and expanded and remodeled several times. More people were moving into the area, as the farmland was sold at reasonable prices, and joining Hanley. A new building was built to meet the needs of the congregation and was expanded in 2008.
Looking back over the past years, we see that God has blessed Hanley Christian Reformed Church with a rich legacy. Our prayers is that we remain faithful, and continue to preach the truth of God’s word and be a witness in our community.
Hanley CRC has been led by the following pastors: Evangelist Henry Hoekstra 1961-1962, Rev. Harvey Bultje 1963-1969, Rev. Allen Bultman 1970-1977, Rev. Wesley Timmer 1979-1988, Rev. Carl Bergman 1989-1995, Rev. Craig Cunningham 1998-2000, Rev. David Jolman 2001-2007, Rev. Douglas Fauble 2010-2016, and currently Rev. Joseph VandenAkker.