What Others are Saying About "The Fort"

The Fort is an intensely inspiring read, especially for those who deeply desire better race relations. Vrieland tells his personal story of The Fort and Christian school of his youth in the all-white Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. He describes how the response of The Fort to the racial crises in the surrounding community and the peaceful integration of the student body of the Christian School helped mold his character. Delightfully and challengingly written, The Fort will strengthen your hope in the future of racial reconciliation.

-Duane VanderBrug, Urban African-American church pastor and Christian Reformed Home Missions Urban ministries director (Duane grew up in The Fort and attended the Grosse Pointe Christian Day School for eight years.)

When a pioneering group of sincere Christian Reformed church members aims to live out the tenets of their faith — bridging gaps between whites in the suburbs and blacks in the city — progress and lessons ensue. This account of Grosse Pointe/Detroit tension in the 1960s makes for good reading in a new era, as the search for interracial understanding surfaces anew in the 2020s.

-Dr. Kathy (Cosseboom) Groehn El-Messidi, Author of Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Race Against Race

The story of a suburban Detroit Christian school in dealing with race relations in the 1960s is a much-needed addition where the school administration, parents, and children did the right thing. Doug Vrieland takes the reader on a journey to hear the sounds and beats of Detroit coupled with the heart and soul of shoe-leathered Christians living out the gospel.

-Dr. Reginald Smith, Director of Diversity Christian Reformed Church in North America

During an era of racial and religious division, Doug’s childhood church aligned itself with a movement that refused to accept the world as it was and fought for what could be. It did so on the basis of its longstanding commitment to the Bible and its conviction that the God of the Bible is uniquely committed to the cause of the vulnerable and the marginalized. It participated in a movement that made the broader world better, and in the process made the narrower world of its congregation, communities, and constituents better.

-Ben Van Arragon, Pastor, First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit

Solidly researched and beautifully written.

-Lenore DePree, artist, Author of 99 Brothers and Sisters and 47 Houses-On the Long Journey Home

The Fort is the story of a church and school community molded by Jesus’ call to love our neighbors as ourselves.

-The Banner

In his beautiful, comprehensive book, The Fort: Growing Up in Grosse Pointe During the Civil Rights Movement, he connects the forgotten stories and shows how Americans can heal their divisions.

-Joseph Serwach

Purchase my book
The Fort: Growing Up In Grosee Pointe During the Civil Rights Movement