By God’s grace, Georgetown PRC just celebrated her 25th Anniversary in 2019. Currently a congregation of 154 families and 32 individuals, we began as a group of 34 families and 1 individual. Georgetown is the 26th congregation to be organized in our beloved Protestant Reformed denomination.
Our official organization took place on March 2, 1994 in the auditorium of Hudsonville PRC. On August 21, 1994 our first pastor, Rev. Ron VanOverloop, preached his inaugural sermon on Ephesians 4:19. The church began meeting first at Bauer Elementary and then moved to Heritage Christian School. The land at 7146 48th Avenue was not purchased until the early part of 1998. Over the next year, God blessed the work of so many and a large and beautiful building was dedicated to the worship of the one true God on November 6, 1999. Five years later, after Rev. VanOverloop accepted a call to another church, Georgetown’s second pastor, Rev. Carl Haak, preached his inaugural sermon on October 10, 2004. He remains our dear pastor today.
The congregation of Georgetown is made up of a wide variety of members. We have young families with many babies being baptized, as well as older families with many young people making confession of faith. We have several single and retired members as well. Many of the men work in the building trade or hold management positions in different fields of work. Others in our congregation are teachers, company owners, or work in the medical field. We come together in many different groups to fellowship and learn God’s Word— five Bible studies, catechism classes, young adults, adult and children’s Sunday schools, a boys’ GROW group, and a girls’ SALT group. Every summer we have a Bible memory program for all ages, focusing on a different theme each year. Our Evangelism Committee hosts separate conferences for young men and young women to encourage them to walk strong in the Lord in their youth and to strive for holiness in all things.
The building of Georgetown PRC is adorned with seven beautiful windows designed to cause one to ponder the wonder of the sacraments and the amazing grace afforded us through our Lord Jesus Christ. The windows on the north wall bear symbols of the means of grace: the preaching of God’s Word and the sacraments. The windows on the south wall bear symbols of the biblical and Reformed truths our denomination holds dear: the truth of the Trinity, the truth of the covenant, and the truths of the five points of Calvinism. A cross and two trumpets on the round window above the pulpit symbolizes the preaching of Christ crucified. One of the New Testament Greek words translated “to preach” has the literal meaning of “to herald.” Hence, the shape of the trumpets is that of heralder trumpets.
In 2007 our congregation took over the care of a group of saints in Vellore, India that had been working with our sister church in Singapore. This work began when a man from Vellore named Paul Raj had come into contact with Rev. J. Kortering and went on to study in the Asian Reformed Theological School in Singapore. Paul Raj and his wife were also operating an orphanage in Vellore called Grace Foster Home. A committee of members from Georgetown was formed under the direction of our Consistory to begin this work. The committee’s purpose was to help Paul Raj continue theological training and to provide financial support to him so that he could devote himself to the work of the ministry and assist with the upkeep of the foster home. In order to strengthen our relationship with and learn more about the group, a delegation was sent to Vellore in 2008. Since then, many more delegations have visited every year, Paul Raj has been ordained, and a church named the Protestant Reformed Church of Vellore has been formed. Pastor Paul Raj continues to minister to the congregation in Vellore and leads several Bible studies in the area. He also works with a group of medical students and professionals at Christian Medical College in Vellore. Recently, a major focus of Paul Raj has been to train other men in the truths of the Reformed faith in the hopes that God will lead more to labor in this growing field.
As a congregation, we are thankful for our place in a denomination that loves truth. Recently, in one of our Bible studies, we studied Paul’s greeting to the church in Colosse found in Colossians 1. In his greeting he tells the church that he prays daily that they would “be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” This is our earnest prayer for ourselves as a church and for our denomination. We covet your prayers for us too.