Mr. Wigger is an elder in the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan.
It has been quite a few weeks since I included a church profile, and I have only two left. There doesn’t seem to be much news, so now would be a good time to slip one in.
For several years, in the early 1970’s, there had been talk of the need for a new Protestant Reformed church in the Grandville-Jenison area of West Michigan. Not only were nearby P.R. churches crowded, but there were many new families, especially young growing families, moving into the area.
On February 22, 1973, Faith P.R.C. was organized by nineteen families. Worship services were held in the Jenison Jr. High Gymnasium. That same fall, Candidate Meindert Joostens became their first pastor. They also purchased five acres of land on 20th Ave. in Jenison. In the summer if 1974, Rev. Joostens and his family moved into the new parsonage on the church property.
In 1978 Rev. Joostens accepted a call to First Church in Grand Rapids, and Faith was vacant until Candidate Wilbur Bruinsma accepted their call in October of that year. On December 10, 1978 Faith held their first worship service in their new sanctuary. What a thrill for the congregation to worship once more in a sanctuary and sing to the beautiful strains of an organ!
In 1984, Faith again had a change of pastors when Rev. Bruinsma accepted the call to be missionary to Jamaica and Rev. Wayne Bekkering accepted Faith’s call later in the year.
From a small group of mainly very young families Faith has grown into a large congregation of some 82 families with 416 baptized members. Beginning with only fourteen children in catechism classes, there are now 162. From two young people who attended another church’s Young People’s Society, there are now 55 in the Jr. and Sr. Y.P. Societies at Faith. All age groups are represented and are a vital part of the church life.
One interesting fact is that Faith has been blessed with many children, and presently includes not only triplets but also four sets of twins! A wide variety of occupations can be found among its members: from construction to farmers; from businessmen to teachers and accountants.
When the original plans for Faith were drawn up, it was decided to build in three phases, the sanctuary being the first. Thought is now being given to the second phase, which will be a wing-unit addition.
Through the years Faith has grown physically, but more importantly spiritually as well. There have been many severe sicknesses and deaths, and there have been many trials. Faith presently is vacant, Rev. Bekkering and the congregation deciding last year to end their pastor-congregation relationship. This has made all the members keenly aware how important the blessedness of the communion of the saints is.
Classis West in its meeting on March 1 approved of the organization of the mission station at Northwest Chicago. This group consists of 13 families and has taken the name Bethel P.R.C. Organization is tentatively set for March 29.
The new address and phone number of Rev. & Mrs. Steven Houck is 3428 31st St., Grandville, MI 49418. Phone 616-531-4999.
The Faith P.R.C. in Jenison, MI formed a new trio consisting of Revs. Russell Dykstra, Steven Key, and Ronald VanOverloop. From that group of three, they extended the call to Rev. Key. From a trio which included also Rev. Ronald Cammenga and Rev. Richard Moore, Pella extended a call to Rev. Ronald VanOverloop. First Church called Rev. Carl Haak to serve as missionary in Jamaica. And, from a duo of Rev. Russell Dykstra and Rev. Barrett Gritters, Peace Church called Rev. Dykstra.
Rev. Kenneth Hanko, home missionary to the group in Norristown, PA, has accepted the call he received to become the first pastor of the newly organized congregation that grew out of that mission station.
The Hope P.R. Christian School Circle in Walker, MI met in the middle of February. Mr. John Buiter, administrator at Hope, spoke on “The Use of Computers in the Home.”
The Hull P.R. Christian School Society has decided to go ahead with plans to build two additional classrooms onto their present school building this summer.
The Covenant Christian High School Band in Walker, MI held a fund-raising playathon on March 14. Supporters were invited to come at any time that evening and watch and/or participate by either playing their instruments or by actually conducting the band themselves. Band members were busy getting pledges to help make the event a successful one.
On February 24, the Loveland P.R. Christian School held a special chapel service in which parents, grandparents, and friends were invited. After the chapel, these friends were invited to visit the classrooms. Hot lunch was also served that day by the Ladies Circle, so that those there could stay and eat dinner with the teachers and students.
The consistory of our Loveland P.R.C. in Loveland, CO thanked the same Ladies Circle mentioned above for the purchase of stoves for the new church kitchen, and 24 new Bibles for the auditorium and Fellowship Hall.
The Young People of our Immanuel P.R.C. in Lacombe, Alberta invited the members of the Edmonton congregation to an evening of bowling at the Riverside Bowl in Red Deer.
The Young People’s Societies of the Hudsonville P.R.C. in Hudsonville, MI sponsored an exciting night of racquetball and walleyball at Racquetville in Grandville, MI on March 10. All ages were welcomed. Proceeds were going toward the 1989 Convention being sponsored by Hope P.R.C. in Walker, MI.