To properly understand the labors of the undersigned here in Loveland, Colorado, there are a few pertinent facts, which should be kept in mind.
First of all the reader should understand the Church Political status of this congregation here at the foot-hills of the Rockies.
The name of this congregation is literally “The Reformed Hoffnungs Gemeinde of Loveland.” Such is its official native on the document drawn up in 1904. (Incidentally, herewith the reader may know that the rendering of this name in the former “Missionary Notes” is faulty, where the addition “Protestant” slipped in through no fault of this writer). As such this congregation was one of the churches resorting under the Nebraska Classis of the Northwest Synod of the Reformed Church of the United States of America. This must not be confused with the Reformed Church of America. They are wholly different churches. The latter is of Holland descent, descending from the State Church in The Netherlands, while the former is composed of the Reformed brethren out of Germany. And it was, of course, to this church that these brethren and sisters in Loveland, Colorado once belonged.
It should be noted that the Nebraska Classis which we mentioned in the former paragraph, was a sister Classis of the Eureka Classis, better known to us. Together with the Iowa Classis, Eureka Classis and possibly others the Nebraska Classis belonged to the Northwest Synod of the denomination, known as the Reformed Church of the United States of America.
However, since the Nebraska Classis merged with the Evangelical Church and has thereby lost its identity as a Classis, this church here at Loveland is the only church which is left of that Classis. This congregation did not acquiesce to this merger and therefore retained its identity as the Reformed Hoffnungs Gemeinde of Loveland, Colorado.
In so doing they rejected the doctrinal position of the merged church, known as the Evangelical and Reformed Church which does not only have the Heidelberg Catechism as their doctrinal Standard, but also has as its Standards the Augsburg Confession of 1529 and the Small Catechism of Luther. This the small but courageous group in Loveland refused to accept. They insisted that the only Standard in the congregation was to be the Heidelberg Catechism. Fact is, that the Articles of the Constitution of this congregation read that those who adhere to this doctrinal Standard shall be considered to be the congregation, even though they be but two in number.
It is on the basis of this Constitution that during this past year the congregation had the courage to tell the Evangelical and Reformed partisans together with their leader, the Rev. “Max Schoenhaar, that they would look for a man of Reformed persuasion, one who loved the doctrine contained in the Heidelberg Catechism, to teach them and their children.
D.V. we shall have more to say about this in a next installment.