News From Our Churches

Ben Wigger is an elder in the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan.

First, another in our series of church profiles.

The Protestant Reformed Church of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was organized in 1927, following a break with the Rev. Danhof and his congregation. At first there were eleven families; and they held their first services in the Y.M.C.A., then in a store building, and later in a duplex, which also served as a parsonage. Kalamazoo’s first pastor was Rev. Wm. Verhil, who came in 1932. He was followed by Rev. J.C. Kooistra, and by Rev. H. Veldman in 1941. During these years a better meeting place and parsonage were found.

When Rev. Danhof and his congregation returned to the Christian Reformed Church, some families sought membership in the Kalamazoo Prot. Ref. Church, bringing the total number of families to thirty-five. A new church building was completed in 1948. In 1950 Rev. Veldman left, and was soon replaced by Rev. E. Knott.

When Rev. Knott and most of the congregation left in the controversy of 1953, the future of the Protestant Reformed Church of Kalamazoo was uncertain. For a while two families traveled to Grand Rapids as often as possible and met with First Church. But in October 1954 seven families were reconstituted as the Kalamazoo Protestant Reformed Church. These families began meeting in a building owned by a Seventh Day Adventist group. In 1958 Rev. A. Mulder accepted their call.

But more troubles were ahead. Rev. Mulder resigned his position, influencing a few families to leave along with him. In 1963 Rev. Harbach accepted the call from Kalamazoo and became their sixth pastor. He labored faithfully for ten years until he became Home Missionary in 1974. During these years the congregation purchased a small church building on the north end of town.

In 1976 Rev. B. Woudenberg began his ministry in Kalamazoo, and by Gods grace he remains there as pastor today.

The congregation numbers about twenty-five families and holds its meetings in their new church building on Greenacre Drive. This building was finished in 1982.

The members of the congregation are variously employed. There are several Upjohn workers, salesmen, and office workers, a dairyman, a policeman, and several retirees. Several members are eighty years old or older. There is an Adult Bible Society; a Men’s, a Women’s and a Parents’ Society as well. There are also more than thirty children. 1986 was especially joyous, when two families were blessed with the birth of twin boys.

Kalamazoo can testify that God leads His church through many adversities and difficult times. But they can also assure all of us that God also preserves that Church to the end. Thanks be to Him!

Now for some other news you might like to know.

The Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Isabel, S.D. recently formed a trio consisting of the Revs. Steven Houck, Thomas Miersma and David Engelsma. From that trio the congregation in Isabel called Rev. Engelsma to come over and be their pastor.

We also found that, the Lord willing, Rev. Heys and his wife will have left for New Zealand on February 5 to install Rev. R. Miersma as pastor in Wellington, New Zealand.

Also, in the last week of December, Missionary-Pastor Steven Houck of our Modesto, Calif. field suffered a heart attack. We understand that soon after this attack he underwent successful balloon surgery and has returned home again. He was also scheduled for a tread-mill test on the 13th of January. This test would show just how well the balloon surgery had succeeded. Results of that test will have to wait until our next news column. Let us remember this servant of the Lord in our prayers. Perhaps you would like to send him a card. His address is: Rev. Steven Houck, 1109 W. Rumble Rd., Modesto, CA 95350.

Rev. C. Van Baren and his wife invited Hudsonville’s widows, widowers, “senior citizens” and any others who would desire to attend, to a showing of pictures of their recent trip to England on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

The Protestant Reformed Christian School in Loveland, Colorado, held their annual all school program on Tuesday evening, Dec. 22. All parents, grandparents, and friends of the school were cordially invited to attend.

Adams St. Christian School Mother’s Club met January 7. Their guest speaker for the evening was Mr. Vern Huber. He spoke on “Parent-Teacher Communication Through Conferences”.

The Ladies’ Circle of the Doon Protestant Reformed Christian School held a supper-bazaar in early December. Supper was served first, followed by a bazaar.

The congregation in Pella, Iowa, was unable to hold services December 27 due to some inclement weather. They had an ice storm during the night Saturday and into Sunday morning, followed by snow Sunday night. Needless to say, travel was quite difficult, and since many of the church members live outside of town, services were cancelled.

At Southeast Church’s recent congregational meeting a proposal was passed to re-carpet the sanctuary.

And there was a Young People’s Christmas Mass Meeting December 20 at Southeast Church.