The mission of The Bridge Youth Center is to provide a place where all kids are Safe, Loved, and Valued, surrounded by caring community members who introduce Christ’s love in all that they do.
In 1991, the Zeeland Action Coalition sponsored a Town Meeting to discuss the needs of youth in the Zeeland community. People came away from this meeting discussing the need to build a community youth center for the Zeeland community.
It was from this meeting that the vision for the Bridge Youth Center was born. Studies and other research were conducted and revealed some disturbing facts about the self-destructive behaviors among local teens. The study also unearthed a community-wide recognition of the need for a safe place for kids to congregate; a place that provides activities, structure, and security.
The members of First CRC responded to this vision, and during the course of 2000/2001 raised money for and built a 19,500 square foot facility for the Bridge Youth Center adjacent to the main church building on Main Street in downtown Zeeland. Our facility includes a full-size gym, recreational activities, big rooms to provide space for large numbers of youth, and separate private rooms for students to work on homework or meet quietly with friends or adults to discuss important issues.
The Bridge Youth Center is a youth center in downtown Zeeland, Michigan. We provide a variety of programs for youth, primarily geared toward middle school-aged kids. These programs are born from our vision of a community that values youth. Our vision is four-fold:
- To provide a place where youth will feel safe, loved, affirmed, and respected as a child of God and where they may engage in constructive programs and activities that will allow them to develop in healthy ways
- To share the good news of Jesus Christ with all the youth of the greater Zeeland community
- To reach out to the youth of the community–through relationships with adults and peers–to meet them at their point of need and to draw them into the church of Christ
- To be a ministry where brothers and sisters in Christ–regardless of denominational background–can come together in common cause, utilizing all the gifts that God has given to His people to pray for and minister to the youth of our community