The Parsonage Inn, LLC
The Parsonage Inn is home to the Kosters and shared with the public as a Bed & Breakfast guest house. It offers a the charm of a grand home built in 1882. It exists to welcome the traveler to our rich and lovely downtown Heritage Hill neighborhood and the abundance of culture Grand Rapids has to offer. Experience a bit of history with us!
The parsons behind The Parsonage Inn are pastors Steven and Deb Koster. They love ministry and hospitality, and have a heart for healthy marriages and families. For decades they have encouraged families to stoke the Holy Spirit’s flame at home. That vision eventually developed in part into opening the Parsonage Inn.
Prior to ordained ministry, Steven’s career led him through two decades of technology, communications, and community building. Before attending seminary, he directed Calvin College’s media production and then launched online communities and products for Avid Technologies in Boston. After seminary, he joined Back to God Ministries International as the Director of ReFrame Media in 2006, bringing a wealth of media knowledge and experience, as well as a heart for outreach.
After over twenty years as a Registered Nurse, Deb founded Family Fire as a ministry of ReFrame Media. Following her passion for family ministry, she serves as the editor, writer, and speaker for Family Fire and has nearly completed her MDiv at Calvin Theological Seminary.
Deb and Steven enjoy leading marriage retreats and family seminars to encourage people in their most intimate relationships. They are the parents of three awesome young adults who also reside in Grand Rapids.
423 Madison Ave SE
The house at 423 Madison Ave SE was built in 1882 by Robert Corson and his wife Sarah Skelding Corson. Robert Corson was a salesman and executive in the furniture industry for which Grand Rapids was famous. They raised three children in the home and often had sisters-in-law, Sarah’s mother, and service staff living with them. Robert Corson died in 1917, and his wife died in 1929. After nearly fifty years, the family sold the house.
The house features three floors and at least six large bedrooms. It was built in a mix of styles, with a Queen Anne tower and a large sloped-roof wraparound porch. Built without indoor plumbing, bathrooms were added around 1900. The five washrooms were remodeled in the 1940s to feature brightly colored tile work on the floors, walls, and ceilings of the washrooms.
in 1930, William Wallace Sherwood and Virginia Mary Vevia Sherwood bought the house and lived in it for about forty years. At the beginning they had teenage daughters, Mary Alice and Ann Jeffry Sherwood, and a younger son, Wallace Frances Sherwood. the youngest, David Alfred followed soon after.
W.W. Sherwood died in 1948, after living in the house for about 18 years. His widow Virginia continued in the house for another 20 years or so. She divided the house into three apartments with some renovations, adding walls and doors for more security, including the side entrance. The current library was once part of the dining room, and was partitioned off to make a bedroom. The original butler’s pantry was converted to a bathroom. The main stairwell was enclosed on both floors with walls and doors. Kitchens were installed on the second and third floors. She died in 1975.
After the Sherwoods sold the house for $18,000, the home changed hands more frequently. The third floor continued to serve as a separate 2-bedroom apartment until 2017. Sometimes the house is referred to as 421-423 Madison because it technically remains a 2-unit home.
Around 1995, the house was owned by Jonathon Wege, the grandson of the founder of Steelcase. The Weges invested substantially in the house, remodeling the kitchen to gourmet standards and adding built-in bookshelves to the library.
In 1999, the house was purchased by lawyer Daniel R Gravelyn and Erin E Gravelyn. After Daniel died suddenly, the house was eventually sold in 2012 to John Scheid & Daniel Snyder, who filled it with a wide array of beautiful antiques.
The Kosters purchased the house in 2017 with the goal of opening The Parsonage Inn.