Thursday, October 30, 2014

Grand Havenders Unite to "Keep The Grand Haven Cross" With Facebook Page

Original photo via Rick Phillips

By Brandon Hall
(Email him at

Yesterday, WMP wrote that Grand Haven isn't divided, and this isn't about equal access. Cross Critics are also frequently wrong about the Constitution.

Nowhere is the unity of Grand Haven more visible than on the "Keep The Grand Haven Cross" Facebook page.

The page, with almost 10,000 likes, has been the epicenter for Pro-Cross Grand Havenders to fight for the Cross and vent about frustrations with Anti-Cross antagonist Mitch Kahle, exposed by West Michigan Politics as a bully who profits off of bullying Christians.

The page is run by Jeff Grunow, a Grand Haven native currently living Arizona. 

He, like a number of Grand Havenders, are extremely passionate about the issue.

"The cross to me is a sign of HOPE for the community-NOT just christian values-but human values."

Grunow wanted the Grand Haven City Council to know what the tradition of raising the Cross on Dewey Hill means to people around the City, and to visitors. So he started a petition drive.

"The petitions are being circulated to tell the City Council that the citizens of the City and our friends across the State and Country want them to defend the cross and support keeping it on Dewey Hill," Grunow said.


Grunow's Dad was part of the original grout that first displayed the Cross on Dewey Hill in 1962.

"My father, Otto Grunow, was part of the group of friends and citizens that planned the Dewey Hill projects back in the 60s," Grunow said. "My 92 yr old mother tells stories of the time, "when all the "men would be in the basement at our house on the east side of Grand Haven, making their plans.""

Grunow is troubled by Kahle's tactics.

"I don't think it's just christian values he is going after," Grunow said. "He seems to pick out "easy" locations, places where they might not "fight" his demands...And his tactics are very nasty, no requests, only demands.That does not sit well with anyone anywhere, even the atheist community.

 Grunow thinks Kahle's views on the Constitution are questionable.

"He twists words to suit his mind set-the interpretations of the constitution he has are convoluted at best."

Residents have expressed thanks to Grunow for his efforts.

"Keep up the fight - we needed someone like you to stand up," wrote Jenny Forner.

"It's always hard being the leader or a fight," wrote Rhonda Terpstra, an active Cross proponent. "Think about all those that went before you tackling issues that no one else wanted to. Keep strong. Call on your faith and know that no matter what the outcome, you stood side by side for the Lord and did not allow Satan to beat you down! Draw strength from that knowledge! Thank you for caring enough to get this going."

Grunow said he the debate is only beginning, and a presentation on the history of  Dewey Hill and the Cross, as well as the establishment clause and Separation of Church and State court cases from a local lawyer is in the works.

"Stay tuned," Grunow said. "We are just getting started!"

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
Email him at
Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

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