Classis East met in regular session on January 3, 1973 in our Hope Church. Rev. Harbach Red in opening devotions and Rev. Schipper was the chairman of this session. Each church was represented by two delegates. Professors Hanko and Hoeksema were given advisory vote.
There was, of course, the normal, routine business of the classis but there appeared on the agenda an item of business which has not been on a Classis East agenda for years: sixteen brethren, feeling a need to relieve the overcrowded conditions of our Hope and Hudsonville congregations and, more importantly, feeling a need to establish a Protestant Reformed witness in a new area, petitioned classis to organize a new congregation in the Grandville-Jenison area. This request was received with enthusiasm by the classis and was considered to be a mark of God’s favor toward us as churches. Not since the organization of Isabel and Forbes in the early ’60’s has a new congregation been organized in our denomination. Classis unanimously approved this request and placed the responsibility for organizing this congregation in the hands of the Hope consistory.
The normal business of a January session was also conducted. The Finance Committee, Elders W. Clason and J. Kalsbeek, Sr., reported expenses of $56.12. Elder J. Boone relayed the appreciation of the classis for the catering service of the ladies of Hope Church. The reports of the Stated Clerk and the Classical Committee were given.
Several elections were held. Delegates ad examinaselected were primus delegate Rev. C. Hanko and secundi delegates Rev. M. Schipper (three-year term) and Rev. R. C. Harbach (two-year term). Synodical delegates were chosen as follows:
Primi: C. Hanko, J.A. Heys, G. VanBaren, H. Veldman.
Secundi: R.C. Harbach, G. Lubbers, M. Schipper, R. VanOverloop.
Primi: J.M. Faber, J. Huisken, J.B. Lubbers, G. Pipe.
Secundi: D. Dykstra, D. Kooienga, H. Meulenberg, H. Vander Vennen.
Because of Rev. Heys’ absence from his congregation for five months to co-labor with Rev. Lubbers in Jamaica, Holland requested classical appointments from January 14-May 27. This request was granted and the following schedule adopted: January 14—G. VanBaren; January 28—M. Schipper; February 4—R. VanOverloop; February 25—C. Hanko; March 11—H. Veldman; March 18—R. C. Harbach; April 1—M. Schipper; April 15—H. Veldman; April 29—R. VanOverloop; May 6—G. VanBaren; May 20—C. Hanko; May 27—R. C. Harbach.
Subsidy requests were due at this session. Kalamazoo’s request for $4300 was approved and will be forwarded to synod. Holland announced that she would not be requesting subsidy but would strive to be a self-supporting church. Classis received this information with thanks and will forward this to synod as well.
Classis met in closed session to treat one item of business. The matter raised has been placed in the hands of a committee.
The chairman, on behalf of the classis, wished Godspeed to Rev. Heys and his wife as they were to leave soon for Jamaica. The churches were urged to remember our Jamaican missionaries and their wives in their prayers and correspondence.
Classis stands adjourned until April 4, 1973, which session will be held in our Southeast Church. Rev. Veldman closed the meeting with a prayer of thanksgiving.