It is with great joy and thanksgiving to our heavenly Father that we can report the birth of a daughter congregation. The organizational worship service of Calvary Protestant Reformed Church was held on Thursday evening, October 11, 2007, at the Hull PRC. Pastor Steven Key chose Ephesians 2:19-22 for his text that evening, and preached under the theme “God’s Holy Temple.” An offering was taken for the Calvary Protestant Reformed benevolent fund.
After the message the actual organization of the new congregation took place. The charter members of Calvary PRC consisted of 43 families and 7 individuals. Transferal of membership to Calvary PRC included 91 confessing members and 89 baptized members, with one infant who had yet to be baptized, for a total of 181 souls.
The meeting continued with the business part of the organization led by Pastor Key. Alvin Bylsma, Glenn Kooima, and Edwin Westra were elected as elders. Wayne DeJong and John Keizer were elected as deacons. These men were installed into their respective offices and signed the Formula of Subscription. The evening concluded with the closing doxology and benediction, followed by refreshments in the fellowship hall.
The formation of a daughter congregation started in January of 2005 when the council of the Hull PRC appointed a committee to look into the needs and desires for a daughter congregation in our area. The Hull PRC was becoming overcrowded, and the elders had been hearing concerns during family visitation about the need for a daughter church. Throughout the year of 2005 the Hull PRC continued to see a steady growth in their membership to 142 families and a total membership of 593 souls.
After a survey of the congregation was taken, it became apparent that there was sufficient interest to take the next steps in forming a daughter congregation. An informational meeting was planned during the March 2006 council meeting. The meeting was set for June 26, 2006, to confirm sincere interest in the project and to share the procedures in organizing a church. A sign-up sheet for potential members was made available to the congregation, and by October contained 39 signatures. Leon Uittenboogaard (chairman), Travis Groeneweg, George Hoekstra, Lyle VanRavenswaay, Marv Van DenTop, and Edwin Westra were appointed to work as a Steering Committee for the project. The Steering Committee met for the first time on November 21, 2006. They presented to the council a proposed timeline for the formation of the daughter church and budget information.
After receiving approval from the Hull council, the group that would later become Calvary PRC began meeting for a Bible Study on January 7, 2007. They began holding separate worship services on March 4, 2007, at the Boyden-Hull Community School Auditorium in Hull. On June 4, 2007, they received official approval from the council of the Hull PRC to form their own congregation. A formal request for organization, signed by 38 families and 9 individuals, was sent to Classis West, and permission to form Calvary Protestant Reformed Church was given from Classis West on September 5, 2007.
We want to express our appreciation publicly to the ministers who have so willingly helped us out with pulpit supply during our first worship services as a daughter church and since our organization. We would also like to express our appreciation to Pastor Key for his guidance and prayers offered on our behalf, and for his willingness to continue to give our youth catechism instruction until the Lord provides us with our own minister. We would also like to thank our mother church, the Hull PRC, for their help and encouragement during our time of organization, for their financial support, and for their continued prayers on our behalf. Above all, we give thanks and praise to our covenant God for His faithfulness to us and for His providential care.
Calvary PRC Council
Alvin Bylsma, Clerk