Maplelawn Baptist Church was founded in 1929 by Henry and Jenny Koets. Their early efforts focused on beginning a Sunday afternoon School for children in the Godwin Heights district, just south of the Grand Rapids, MI city limits.
Others caught their vision, joined with them and the Sunday School program soon grew to a small church service. The Koets, retired at the time, mortgaged their home, borrowed money and built a small church in the neighborhood.
The “Godwin Heights Gospel Tabernacle,” as it was originally known, grew steadily over the years under the direction of Godly pastors. In 1946 the small congregation affiliated itself with the General Association of Regular Baptist Church and a few years later in 1951 they began a fund raising campaign. A new building, a new location and a new name came into being in 1957. Since then the Maplelawn facility has undergone two major building programs in order to accommodate numerous programs and activities.