This is a brief summary of the past history of the Loveland Protestant Reformed Church and the events that led to our affiliation with the Protestant Reformed Churches. The congregation prior to becoming Protestant Reformed was known as the HOPE REFORMED CHURCH of Loveland, not affiliated with any church body. We were served by a minister from the Evangelical Reformed denomination. This minister served our congregation from the late 1930’s until 1954, even though he had never been officially installed here, as he was an ordained minister of a congregation in a nearby town. The consistory was of the opinion that there was no reformed preaching anymore and thus was at a loss as to what to do.
In the summer of 1954 one of the elders went to visit relatives in Isabel, South Dakota, and while there attended the Isabel German Reformed Church there. Rev. H. Mensch, who was then serving this congregation, was absent from his pulpit that Sunday. The elder of Loveland made himself known and inquired about their minister and left his name with them. When Rev. Mensch returned to Isabel and heard about this, he wrote the brother in Loveland and offered to come to Loveland to get acquainted and also to preach here if so desired. Although only three of the five consistory members were in favor of such action, Rev. Mensch was asked to come to Loveland and also preach for the congregation. Rev. Mensch complied and it became evident after he preached here twice, that there was an element in the consistory and the congregation who did not care for the Reformed truth. Rev. Mensch then visited with the group that was in favor of his preaching. They inquired of him as to the possibility of becoming affiliated with the Classis that he was affiliated with, namely, the Eureka Classis of Dakota. Rev. Mensch advised this group against such action, but on the contrary advised them to contact the Protestant Reformed Churches of Michigan. It was the preaching of Rev. Mensch that caused the division to become evident in the congregation. Rev. Mensch then returned to Isabel, S.D.
There he contacted the Home Missionary of the Protestant Reformed Churches.
In the spring of 1955 Rev. Mensch and Rev. Lubbers returned to Loveland and at this time Rev. Lubbers became acquainted with the congregation in Loveland. Reverends Mensch and Lubbers then left Loveland.
It then was evident that the Hope Reformed Church of Loveland was sharply divided to the point where there could be no fellowship with each other anymore. A special congregational meeting was called, at which the Consistory was asked to seek the services of a different minister. Rev. Mensch was notified of this action and was asked for advice and how to get in touch with the Mission Committee of the Prot. Ref. Churches. Rev. Mensch then forwarded the request to the Mission Committee.
Reverends Lubbers and C. Hanko then came to Loveland and the latter remained and preached on Sunday to the entire congregation. After the service the consistory met, but could not come to an agreement, as the group which was against Rev. Mensch’s preaching insisted that they wanted to keep their old minister.
The group which was in favor of Rev. Mensch’s preaching, and by this time also with the teaching of the Prot. Ref. Churches, were told to resign from their office. This they refused and again called Rev. Lubbers and told him of the developments. Rev. Lubbers then offered to meet with the Mission Committee to see if they could come to the aid of Loveland.
After Rev. Lubbers came here to begin his labors, the group that had contacted him was notified that they no longer could use the church building and the locks on the church were changed to keep them out. Preparations were made to rent a school building. This was done and Rev. Lubbers began his three and one half years of labors here. The group which had forbidden us the use of the building was contacted, and after fruitless efforts to meet with them the split was evident. The matter of the church occupancy was then presented to the civil court for action. After much preparation and time the trial was held. The decision of the judge was of such a nature that it was impossible to carry out. He requested the two groups to go back together; elect a new consistory and call a new minister. The group which later became the Prot. Ref. Church of Loveland then decided to give the others the church property, remain in the school building and continue under the teachings of Rev. Lubbers.
In March of 1958 Rev. Lubbers finished his labors here and left our midst. In June of the same year Loveland became officially affiliated with the Prot. Ref. Churches and was taken in as a sister congregation.
By this time Loveland had greatly enjoyed hearing the Reformed truth and was blessed with Classical appointments until November, 1958, when Rev. H. H. Kuiper accepted our call. He has served us since that time.
During the period of a little over a year of Rev. Kuiper’s labors among us, some changes have occurred. The Catechism Class, formerly the whole congregation as a unity, has been divided into proper age groups, using the books written by different ministers in our denomination. Also the Sunday School has been revised so as to properly teach each group by its own teacher. The method is quite similar to that in our other churches, with what we believe to be the beneficial difference that we here also have an adult class.
Due to the fact that a part of our congregation lives in Denver, a distance of some 55 miles from Loveland, two catechism classes and an adult Bible Class are held there each week. In Loveland Catechism classes are held Wednesday afternoon and evening. An adult Bible Class is also held here on Tuesday evening. These Adult Bible Classes are similar to the Mr. and Mrs. Societies in our other churches. At present we are studying the Epistle to the Romans. The Young People’s Society, studying the book of Acts, meets Sunday afternoon. This little group of eight is led in their study by the pastor.
Viewing the various activities above and conscious of the regular preaching of the truth twice each Lord’s Day (all of which are well attended) the Consistory expresses its thanks to God for the gift of our pastor, and for His providence whereby the riches of His mercy have become a reality among us. A word of gratitude is also due our Home Missionary for his faithful labors, the Mission Committee for their aid and advice and the different congregations for the use of their ministers during, the time of our vacancy. Finally a word of thanks goes to Rev. Heys, who advised and helped us as our moderator. And now, with our undershepherd, we look to the future in the confidence of faith. May the Lord supply faithfulness to continue in the way of His truth that all praise and glory may be to the name of our wonderful covenant God.
Consistory of the Loveland Prot. Ref. Church,
Wm. A. Griess, Clerk