Sunday, September 5, was certainly a day of joy and gladness for us.
For eleven months we have been without a shepherd because of the unfaithful desertion of him who was formerly with us but now having severed himself with 4 elders and 2 deacons from the communion of our church and churches by taking a stand with the schismatics in October 1953. So that, we were compelled to replace those men (elders and deacons) in October 1953. And now, the Lord has answered. our prayer by sending unto us another shepherd (in the place of the Rev. Blankespoor) who heeded the call extended to him, and will again go in and out with us.
On the evening of September 2, the Rev. Marinus Schipper was installed as minister of the Second Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rev. J. Heys had charge of the installation assisted by Rev. G. Lubbers. Rev. Heys preached from John 10:9, and Rev. Lubbers read the form of installation. The service was closed with Rev, M. Schipper pronouncing the benediction.
On September 3, a congregational welcome was given in honor of Rev. M. Schipper and family in the Hope Protestant Reformed Church. A short program was arranged and after which refreshments were served by some of the “Marthas” of the Hope Protestant Reformed Church. New and renewed acquaintances were made and we indeed had a very enjoyable and edifying evening of Christian fellowship.
For many of us Rev. Schipper is no stranger having been our Pastor previously. On September 3 it was exactly 15 years ago he preached his first sermon in our midst as our minister. Much has come to pass in those years and especially in the last few years in which we were led through a purifying process.
We have had times wherein we were put to the test, but how wonderful, the Lord provided for our needs, first a suitable place to worship, secondly, regular preaching, and even catechetical instruction by the Rev. Heys. And now He has given us a pastor who will faithfully bring us the gospel. We trust He will make it well also in the future in spite of all the evil predictions.
We wish to express our sincere thanks and deep appreciation for all the faithful help we received in these past months of all our ministers and students who preached for us and served us with advice, especially Rev. Heys for his time and sound advice having been our moderator. Also, we thank the Consistory of Hope Protestant Reformed Church for the use of their church and basement for our monthly meetings. Also, the school board of Hope Protestant Reformed School for the use of the school on different occasions. Our prayer is that the Lord may send soon again one of His servants to South Holland, Illinois to fill the vacant place left there by Rev. Schipper. That we in all things in the future may put our complete confidence in Him who will never forsake us as He has promised.
Consistory of Second Protestant Reformed Church
N. Klaver, Clerk