This meeting was held on January 21, 1954. The decision to hold such a meeting was reached, jointly, by the consistories of the Protestant Reformed Churches of Doon, Edgerton, Hull, and Redlands. They resolved to call a special classical session, at which the faithful remnants of Classis West would be represented. Although a public announcement of this proposed session of Classis West appeared in ourStandard Bearer, a special invitation was sent to these consistories concerning whom it was not known whether they had taken a definite stand.
This classical meeting was represented by the following consistories: Doon, Edgerton, Hull, and Redlands. The first important business concluded at this meeting was a decision to ask Synod for recognition as the legal and faithful continuation of Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches. Closely related to this, it declared that what was formerly Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches had, in its gathering last September, committed schism when it decided not to recognize the suspension of the Rev. De Wolf and the deposition of the elders supporting him and to recognize them as the legal and proper continuation of the First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan. At the meeting of Classis West last September it was not decided to protest or appeal or advise, but simply to recognize the Rev. De Wolf and his supporting elders as the legal and proper consistory of the First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This decision was plainly an act of schism and rebellion even as such also characterized the action of the Rev. De Wolf and his supporting elders. Hereupon we decided to request Synod that it recognize us as the legal and faithful continuation of Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches.
Another important item of business concluded at our meeting of Classis West last Jan. 21 was to present our claim for recognition to Synod at its continued session to be held, the Lord willing, March 11 (?), 1954. In connection with this, the Classis also decided to elect delegates to this continued session of Synod to replace the delegates from Classis West that have become schismatic. The primi delegates chosen are: Ministers: Revs. H.C. Hoeksema and H. Veldman; elders: J. Blankespoor, N. Kooiker, T. Feenstra, and J. Docter (the last named is former secundus delegate to synod, now serving as primus). The secondi elder delegates are: H. Huisken, E. Van Maanen, R. Brunsting, and E. Van Egdom. It was also decided that ministers, moving into the West, would serve as primi delegates, in order that the quota of four ministers might be filled. A letter, expressing our request for recognition and stating the grounds for this claim, will be forwarded to the president and vice-president of the synod.
A third item of business concluded at our meeting was a decision to notify Classis East that we favor an early synod with a view to the settlement of our ecclesiastical and property difficulties, if we fail to be recognized at the continued synod in March, according to Part 2 of Art. 1 on Rules of Order of the Synod.
Classis West also decided to request each minister of Classis East to contribute one sermon for reading purposes and each minister of Classis West to contribute two sermons. Of course, this does not mean that each minister of Classis East may not contribute more than one. These sermons should be forwarded to the consistory of Edgerton, c/o Ray Brunsting, Clerk, Pipestone, Minnesota, Route 3. We request our ministers to regard this notice as a request to them from Classis West. And may I personally add that these sermons are needed. Brethren, please do not delay.
It was also decided to send a letter of admonition to all the erring churches who have separated themselves from our classis, calling upon them to return from their erring way. This letter will be presented at our following classical meeting for approval. It was deemed advisable to publicize this letter, either in the Standard Bearer or by other means.
A new classical committee was chosen at this classical meeting, consisting of the Revs. H.C. Hoeksema and H. Veldman and the Elders John Docter and James Blankespoor.
The next meeting of Classis West will be held, the Lord willing, in Doon, Iowa, the first Wednesday of April. The constituent consistories are kindly requested to take note of the decision taken at our Jan. 21 meeting that at this proposed session, April 7, 1954, all matters belonging on regular classical session will be entertained, including matters for the new synod, such as subsidy requests, new synodical business, voting of synodical delegates, etc. Please regard this announcement as appearing in this article as an official notice.
The undersigned, serving temporarily as stated clerk of Classis West, was unable to attend this meeting of Classis West. He had looked forward to this meeting, but the will of God, which is always good, also in this instance, was otherwise. We are thankful that we may be privileged to carry on in the interest of the cause of our Protestant Reformed Churches. Lynden, although “reorganized,” was unaccountably absent. We express the desire that other churches may also realize that, to join forces with schismatics, is itself an act of schism. We may ask schismatics to return from their evil way and we surely personally wish the same, but we cannot very well recognize them and father with them. May God’s blessing continue to rest upon us and our churches, that we may remain faithful to the calling wherewith the Lord has called us.