Ben wigger is a member of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan.
The history of our congregation in Loveland, Colorado, goes back to the time when many of the people who now make up the membership lived in Sutton, Nebraska, and attended the Free German Salem Reformed Church.
After the death of their pastor, troubles arose and many of the people moved out west, settling in the area around Loveland, Colorado. Here they began their search for the truth and joined the Reformed Hoffnungs Gemeinde.
In 1954, Elder George Kitzman, who was visiting friends in South Dakota, attended the German Reformed Church in Isabel. Rev. Mensch, the pastor of this church, heard of Kitzman’s interest and decided to check into the matter. He came to Loveland and visited with the elders of the church and preached for the congregation. It was through this contact with Rev. Mensch that the congregation was advised to contact the Protestant Reformed Churches. Rev. Mensch contacted Rev. Lubbers and together they visited with the consistory, which resulted in their requesting the Protestant Reformed churches to send a missionary. In answer to their request, the Protestant Reformed Churches sent Rev. Lubbers and Rev. C. Hanko to look into the situation. In 1955 Rev. Lubbers started working in the Loveland area. The work of Rev. Lubbers in 1955-57 resulted in a request being sent to the 1958 Classis asking to be instituted as a Protestant Reformed Church.
Their request was granted and they were organized in 1958. Rev. H. Kuiper became their first pastor. He faithfully cared for the small flock which numbered 17 families at the start until his death in November, 1961.
After Rev. Kuiper’s death the church was without a pastor for almost two years until Rev. David Engelsma graduated from the seminary. He was installed in October 1963, and served until 1974. In 1965 the congregation built a new church at a cost of $13,000. The first service was held June 27, 1965. The church was built with a basement sitting partway out of the ground to accommodate the school. In 1975 the dream of a separate school building became a reality. And the school continues to play a large and important place in the life of the congregation. The present enrollment is fifty students in grades 1-9, plus several kindergartners.
In 1974 the old parsonage was sold and a new parsonage was built in front of the church.
After Rev. Engelsma left in 1974, Rev. G. Lanting came and served until 1979. When he left, Rev. Kortering, formerly of Redlands, California, became Loveland’s-next pastor. He left to take up his labors in the newly organized congregation in Grandville, Michigan, in June of 1985. In October of that same year, Rev. Ronald Cammenga took up his labors and serves there at the present time.
The most exciting development in the last year has been the erection of their new church building. The building was built for the most part by volunteer labor out of the congregation.
Loveland’s Church Extension Committee recently has been very encouraged by interest shown on the part of several people in the city of Denver.
As far as the make-up of their congregation is concerned, most of the men are employed in areas connected to the construction industry: carpenters, builders, construction workers, realtors. They have only one farmer any longer in the congregation.
There are six catechism classes and five Bible study societies. Society life is especially active, many of the members belonging to two societies.
This history is unique when compared to most of our congregations. The congregation is not of a Dutch but rather a German background. And although there has been an influx of various other elements, the German influence remains strong.
In other news: Rev. D. Engelsma was invited to attend the meeting in Chicago of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy. The I.C.B.I. is a council of Evangelical theologians, preachers and laymen devoted to the defense and application of the inerrancy of Holy Scripture. This year’s conference concentrated on the application of the Inerrant Scriptures to doctrine and life.
In order to develop courses at the seminary when there are no students, the Theological School Committee plans to sponsor a course on The Office of Deacon, to be taught by Prof. H. Hanko beginning February 5. The first two or three weeks he hopes to lecture on the principles of the office and work, and in the weeks to follow, to answer questions. This means the course will be as practical as possible, directed primarily to helping deacons understand their work.
Rev. and Mrs. Dykstra and family were blessed with the birth of a baby boy, Jordan Lee, on December 15.
The congregation of Hope, Walker, Michigan gave a welcome program for Rev. Slopsema and family on the night of December 18. Included in the program were numbers by the Choral Society and Sunday School. There was also a cornet solo and a couple of numbers sung by a male quartet.
Refreshments and a time to get acquainted were provided for after the program.