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Reformed-Presbyterian Family: Reformed

Reformed-Presbyterian Family: Reformed

410

Association of Free Reformed Churches

c/o Shiloh Christian Church
14030 Radcliffe Rd.
Leroy Township, OH 44077

The Association of Free Reformed Churches was formed in 1994 by several ministers in the Cleveland, Ohio, area including Jeffery A. Ziegler, pastor of Shiloh Christian Church, who is the association's moderator. In 1985 Zeigler had founded the Reformation Bible Institute to train pastors and laymen in the theological opinions of the historic Reformed faith. Zieler is a board member of the National Reform Association whose mission is to maintain and promote the Christian principles of civil government in American life. Among other founders is Andrew Sandlin, pastor of Church of the Word in Painesville, Ohio, the editor of Chalcedon Report and the Journal of Christian Reconstruction, two influential Christian Reconstructionist periodicals founded by R. J. Rushdoony.

Both associations and the Institute generally hold to what has been termed Christian Reconstruction theology, a perspective that grows out of a reading of traditional Calvinist theology. Christian Reconstruction affirms that God's law is found in the Bible and remains as a standard of righteousness. It is to be used for three important purposes: to move the sinner to trust in Christ; as a standard of obedience for the Christian; and to maintain order in society, by restraining evil. It is the job of the Christian to build Christ's kingdom in the present time and advocate the godly taking dominion over the earth and society. Every area dominated by sin must be "reconstructed" in terms of the Bible, from the individual to the state. The goal is the building of a Christian civilization.

Reconstructionists support the separation of church and state, but affirm that no separation should exists between the state and God. They seek what they think of as a godly decentralized theocracy, or the rule of the law of God. That is distinct from rule by an institutional church.

The Reconstructionist movement has been a matter of ongoing conversations within the larger Evangelical community, in which it is a distinct minority. The association's vice-moderator, Rev. William O. Einwechter, who is also the vice-president of the National Reform Association, has been a focus of controversy as he has been widely quoted for his opinion that juvenile delinquents should be stoned per Deuteronomy 21:18-21, and that God commands the woman as wife/mother to stay at home to care for the family and manage the household.

Membership: Not reported.

Educational Facilities: Reformation Bible Institute, Eastlake, Ohio.

Periodicals: The Puritan Storm, 35155 Beachpark Dr., Eastlake, OH 44095.

Sources:

Bauswein, Jean-Jacques, and Lukas Vischner, eds. The Reformed Family Worldwide: A Survey of Reformed Churches, Theological Schools, and International Organizations. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmanns Publishing Co., 1999.

Shiloh Christian Church. http://www.shilohcc.com/. 21 March 2002.

411

Canadian and American Reformed Churches

PO Box 62053
Burlington, ON, Canada L7R 4K2

Alternate Address: American Reformed Churches: c/o Rev. P. Kingma, 3167 68th St., SE, Caledonia, MI 46316

The Canadian and American Reformed Churches is a conservative reformed church founded in Canada in 1950. It spread to the United States in 1955. It accepts the Bible as the infallible Word of God and finds it is best summarized in the Belgic Confession of Faith (1561), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) and the Canons of Dort (1618-19). It has a presbyterian polity.

Membership: In 1992 the churches reported 44 congregations, 13,192 members, and 51 ministers.

Periodicals: Reformed Perspective; The Canadian Reformed Magazine.

412

Christian Reformed Church in North America

2850 Kalamazoo Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49560

The Christian Reformed Church began in the Netherlands in the 1830s. At that time, some members of the Reformed Church of the Netherlands resisted an attempt to bring the church under the control of the Dutch monarchy. Despite the objections of these churchmen, the church was brought under state control. This led in 1834 to the Sucession (the formation of a church independent from the monarchy). Sucession leaders were Hendrik DeCock, Henrik Scholte, and Albertus C. van Raalte. They saw themselves as defenders of the historical faith that was being lost because of the indifference of the main body of the Reformed Church of the Netherlands. Following persecution and the failure of the potato crop in 1846, the dissidents supporting the Sucession made plans to immigrate.

In 1847 the settlers arrived in western Michigan and by 1848 had formed the Classis Holland. Having been aided by members of the Reformed Church in America with whom they shared the same faith, they affiliated with them in 1850, becoming a classis within the Reformed Church in America. Members of the Classis Holland had the understanding that they could leave the Reformed Church in America if the ecclesiastical connection should prove a threat to their interests. For most it never did. However, one church that belonged to the Classis Holland did leave the classis and the Reformed Church in America in 1857, and others followed, eventually forming the Christian Reformed Church.

The background of the schism starts with Gysbert Haan. Within a few years of the 1850 affiliation, Haan began to suggest that the Reformed Church in America was not following good practices. In 1857 four documents of Sucession were received by the classis, urging the classis to leave the Reformed Church in America. The documents charged the Reformed Church in America with open communion, the use of a large collection of hymns, and the neglect of catechism preaching. Further, the documents asserted that the Reformed Church in America believed the Sucession in the Netherlands had been unjustified. The classis received but did not approve these documents. One church left the classis in January 1857 and was soon joined by others. In 1859 these congregations became known as the Dutch Reformed Church. Growth was slow at first and came primarily from additional immigration from the Netherlands. Immigration and growth were particularly heavy in the closing decades of the nineteenth century. Through a series of name changes the church became the Christian Reformed Church in 1904 and has retained that name.

Confessional subscription is required and church doctrine is based on the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of the Synod of Dort. In 1906 the Conclusions of Utrecht were adopted which recognized that some questions were open for disagreement. Only the children of confessing members are baptized. The church is staunchly anti-lodge. Worship is ordered and consistent with the practice of the Christian church through the centuries. The early hymnology was largely confined to the Psalms, but an expanded hymnology has developed in the twentieth century. Catechistic instruction is stressed. Polity is presbyterial. The general synod is broadest assemby of the church and is composed of two ministers and two elders of each of the 47 classes. There is no intermediate or particular synod between the classis and general synod. Classes meet biannually or triannually.

There is an active mission program. Home missions include an active church planting program, an established church development program, campus ministry, and Native American missions. World missions includes work in Nigeria, Japan, Taiwan, Haiti, Central America, France, Sierre Leone, the Philippines, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Guam. There are also a number of hospitals and homes. A media ministry (radio/TV) is conducted in nine languages by The Back to God Hour.

Membership: In 2002 the church reported 278,944 members, 989 congregations, and 1,608 ministers. There were 82,435 members in Canada.

Educational Facilities: Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa.
Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto, Ontario.
Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario. Reformed Bible College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois.

Periodicals: The Banner.

Sources:

One Hundred Years in the New World. Grand Rapids, MI: Centennial Committee of the Christian Reformed Church, 1957.

Schapp, James C. Our Family Album: The Unfinished Story of the Christian Reformed Church. Grand Rapids, MI: CRC Publications, 1998.

413

Church of the Golden Rule

8801 Scarlet Cir.
Austin, TX 78737

The Church of the Golden Rule continues the French Huguenot tradition of the Alsacian Protestants who look to Martin Buber and the city of Strassburg as the source of their faith. A congregation of Alsacian immigrants was formed in 1939 at Hempstead, Long Island, New York, under Pastor Alfred E. Huss. He was authorized by Pastor Boegner of the Alsacian Churches. When Huss died, the congregation relocated in California. In 1971 there were four congregations with about 600 families, all in California, under the leadership of Dr. Pierre Duval. The Church of the Golden Rule is under the Unite Huguenotte Francaise.

Membership: Not reported.

414

Churches of God, General Conference

700 E. Melrose Ave.
Box 926 Findlay,
OH 45839

The Churches of God, General Conference was formed by John Winebrenner (1797-1860), a German Reformed pastor of four churches in and around Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Winebrenner, though a reformer in many areas, never intended to form a new denomination. However, in attempting to reform what he perceived as the spiritual apathy in the Reformed Church, he and other Reformed pastors adopted some of the "new measures" which had become popular during the Second Great Awakening. They began to preach the importance of personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as savior; they introduced prayer meetings in the homes of those concerned about their salvation; they prayed for people by name in their services; they initiated altar calls.

The vestry of the Harrisburg congregation served by Winebrenner took exception to these new devices. Their concern was heightened by their pastor accepting invitations to preach in the local Methodist church and by his refusal to baptize the children of unbelieving parents. He was locked out of the church building in 1823, though he continued to serve other Reformed congregations and remained a member of the synod for several years.

In 1825, a Harrisburg congregation of persons loyal to Winebrenner and others attracted by his preaching was formed. The General Conference dates its beginning from this event. The name Church of God was adopted after a search of the scripture showed it to be the New Testament name of the church. The name was considered to be inclusive of all true believers. (Winebrenner was one of several early nineteenth-century movements which attempted to return to the New Testament model of the church. It was the first of many to follow which adopted the name "Church of God" as an element in their self-reformation.)

The essential teachings of the New Testament Church were taken to be redemption and regeneration through belief in Jesus Christ, justification by faith, and free moral agency. Three "ordinances" instituted by Jesus were followed: believer's baptism by immersion, the observance of the Lord's Supper, and feetwashing. A presbyterial polity was followed, with preachers ordained as "teaching elders," assisted by "ruling elders" and deacons in the local congregation. The first organization of a group of churches into an eldership was accomplished in 1830. For many years the group was known General Eldership of the Churches of God in North America.

While pastors and elders still participate with each other in the sixteen regional annual business meetings, most are now called "conferences" rather than "elderships." The triennial meeting of ministerial, lay and youth delegates from local conferences and elderships is called the General Conference.

An administrative council functions between the triennial meetings of the General Conference.

Membership: In 2002, the church reported 32,380 members, 342 congregations, and 264 ministers in the United States.

Educational Facilities: The University of Findlay, Findlay, Ohio.

Winebrenner Theological Seminary, Findlay, Ohio.

Periodicals: The Church Advocate. • The Missionary Signal The Gem.

Sources:

Kern, Richard. John Winebrenner, 19th Century Reformer. Harrisburg, PA: Central Publishes House, 1974.

We Believe. Findlay, OH: Churches of God Publications, 1986.

Yahn, S. G. History of the Churches of God in North America. Harrisburg, PA: Central Publishing House, 1926.

415

Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals

c/o Bett Baker, CRE Moderator
PO Box 8587
Kirkland, WA 98034

Alternate Address: CRE, PO Box 3416, Redmond, WA 98073-0751.

Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals is the product of a belief that the Christian church is in a period of decline, and that there is a resulting need for Christian o return to scriptural standards and to encourage other to do the same. Formed in 1997, its member churches and leadership see the confederation as a gathering place within that the larger church from which they can work together for a reformation of the whole.

Member churches are asked to adopt the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Chacedonian Creed, and one or more of the following creedal statements as their doctrinal standard: the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647); the American Westminster Confession of Faith (1788); the Three Forms of Unity (Belgic Confession-1561, Heidelberg Catechism-1563, Canons of Dort-1619); the London Baptist Confession (1689); the Savoy Declaration (1658); or the Reformed Evangelical Confession. The Bible is the acknowledged ultimate authority, but it is believed that the aforementioned creeds rightly interpret and summarize it.

The confederation is committed to the autonomy of the local church, though it sees value in transcongregational structures in so far as they do not violate local independency. In keeping with this policy, missionaries are sent out from local churches. Any two local churches may form a presbytery. Two or more presbyteries may form a church council. The council elects a moderator who becomes the spokes person for the denomination. The council may not appoint any standing committees, all committees must operate as a task force and go out of business as soon as their work is completed.

Those churches applying for membership in the confederation much have existed for two years. Those who do not meet that criterion may be accepted as a mission church. There is an annual meeting of the CRE Federation. The federation is a member of the Alliance of Confessing Churches.

Membership: Not reported. In 2001 there were 11 members congregations, most in the Far West.

Sources:

Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals. http://www.crepres.org/. 10

April 2002.

416

Free Reformed Church of North America

950 Ball Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

The Free Reformed Church of North America was started by post-World War II immigrants whose roots were in the Christian Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland). The first churches of this denomination began to form in 1950, with two U.S. congregations joining in the 1960s. A synod of the churches meets annually in June, usually in Ontario, Canada, where most of the churches are located. The churches fully subscribe to three creeds (i.e., the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort), which are found, together with the liturgical forms used, in the denominational songbook, The Psalter. A full corresponding relationship exists with the parent denomination in the Netherlands (C.G.K.N.). The denomination also supports foreign mission work in Cubulco, Guatemala.

Membership: In 1997, the church had 15 congregations (12 in Canada and three in the United States) with 1,038 families. There were a total of 3,748 members, of which 621 were in the United States and 3,127 in Canada.

Periodicals: The Messenger.

417

Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregations

540 Crescent St. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

The Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregations resulted from a 1993 split within the thousand member-plus First Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Grand Rapids, Michigan, (affiliated with the Netherlands Reformed Congregations). In July 1993 the division was resolved by dissolving the former congregation and each group establishing a new one. One group continued its previous denominational affiliation while the other formed a new denomination. Rev. J. R. Beeke, who had led the previous congregation since 1986, continued as pastor of the new organization. Subsequently, the original Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation was joined by three other congregations, including two in Ontario, Canada.

Though small, the new denomination opened its own seminary in 1995. Beeke now serves as a professor of theology at the seminary, which has students from a variety of reformed groups.

Membership: In 2002 there were eleven affiliated congregations in the United States and four in Canada. The congregations support a mission in Indonesia.

Educational Facilities: Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Sources:

Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation, Grand Rapids, Michigan. http://reformed.net/hnrc/mi/gr/index.shtml. 20 March 2002.

Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. http://www.hnrc.org/gr/Ministries/PRTS/prts.html. 20 March 2002.

418

Hungarian Reformed Church in America

℅ Andrew Harsanyi
220 Fourth St.
Passaic, NJ 07055

Hungarian Reformed congregations were established in the United States in the late nineteenth century and in 1904 the Hungarian Reformed Church in America was formed under the care of the Reformed Church in Hungary. Following World War I, however, there was a series of negotiations with the Reformed Church in the United States resulting in the 1921 Tiffin Agreement. This agreement, made at Tiffin, Ohio, joined the Hungarian Reformed Church in America to the Reformed Church in the United States. The merged body is now a part of the United Church of Christ. Three congregations of the Hungarian Reformed Church did not wish to accept the Tiffin Agreement. These congregations and four new ones united to form the Free Magyar Reformed Church in America, which in 1958 adopted the name Hungarian Reformed Church in America.

Doctrinally, the church follows the Second Helvetic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism. The constitution includes elements of both the presbyterian and episcopal systems. There is a synod headed by a bishop and a lay curator. The New York, Eastern, and Western Classes are headed by a dean and lay curator. The synod meets every four years. The church is a member of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (Presbyterian and Congregational), the National Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches.

Membership: In 1995 the church reported 4,195 members, 38 ministers in the United States; 275 members and 12 ministers in Canada.

Periodicals: Magyar Egyhaz (Magyar Church). Available from Mr. Stephen Szabo, Synod Chief Elder, 464 Forest Ave., Paramus, NJ 07652.

419

Lithuanian Evangelical Reformed Church

c/o Mrs. Halina Davis
3542 W. 66th Pl.
Chicago, IL 60629

The Lithuanian Evangelical Reformed Church consists of one congregation that is an outpost of the synod of the Reformed Church in Lithuania. The reformed church first came to Lithuania in the middle of the fifteenth century, the first church being formed in 1555. It was granted equal rights with Lutherans and Catholics in 1564. It survived through the centuries as the country fell under Russian and then Soviet control. (Through the twentieth century, more than 800,000 Lithuanians migrated to the United States.) There are more than 10,000 members of the Reformed Church residing in Lithuania.

The church holds to the Apostles Creed and the Heidelberg Catechism as its standards of faith. It is led by its elders (teaching and ruling), and congregational representatives meet annually as a synod. The Lithuanian synod opened ordination to women in 1991.

The church in America retains fraternal relations with other Lithuania churches, especially several that are integrated into the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. It is a member of both the World Council of Churches and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

Membership: The single congregation has approximately 50 members.

Periodicals: Musu Srarnai (Our Wings).

Sources:

Bauswein, Jean-Jacques, and Lukas Vischner, eds. The Reformed Family Worldwide: A Survey of Reformed Churches, Theological Schools, and International Organizations. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. EerdmannsPublishing Co., 1999.

420

Netherlands Reformed Congregations

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Netherlands Reformed Congregations were formed in 1907 by the merger of two Dutch Reformed denominations. The Churches of the Cross had originated in 1834 by churches that had broken with the Seccession (an earlier group which had broken with the state church). The Ledeboerian Churches had been established under the leadership of Reverend Ledeboer, who had left the state Reformed church at a later date. Doctrinal standards of the church are the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of the Synod of Dort. The church has been very active in publishing and Christian education. It operates seven high schools and elementary schools in the United States.

Membership: Not reported.

Educational Facilities: Netherlands Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Periodicals: Banner of Truth. • Paul.Insight IntoNRCEA.

421

Orthodox Reformed Church

(Defunct)

In the late 1960s within the Protestant Reformed Churches, charges of sin against some members of the First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids resulted in the excommunication of some of its members. Feeling the excommunication to be unjust and to be a denial of their rights, members of the First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids organized the Orthodox Reformed Church (unaffiliated) in the fall of 1970. In doctrine and polity the church was like its parent body though it not "subscribe to the church political policies of the Protestant Reformed Churches after the year 1965." Worship was simple and expressed a love of decency and order.

The leader of the Church until his death in 1984, the Rev. Gerald Vanden Berg, had previously been the stated clerk of the Protestant Reformed Church. He had been active in forming the Fellowship of Reformed Churches, an ecumenical group of independent reformed congregations. Vanden Berg was succeeded by the Rev. Peter J. Breen. The church supported missionary activity in India and Pakistan. The Orthodox Reformed Publishing Society, an independent organization, was informally associated with the church.

Membership: At the beginning of the 1990s, the church consisted of a single congregation of 61 members. In 1992 it voted to disband and the members joined other Reformed Congregations of their choice.

Periodicals: The Reformed Scope.

Sources:

VandenBerg, Gerald. Why Orthodox Reformed? Grandville, MI: Orthodox Reformed Publishing Society, n.d.

422

Protestant Reformed Churches in America (PRC)

4949 Ivanrest Ave.
Grandville, MI 49418

The Protestant Reformed Churches in America (PRC) has its roots in the sixteenth-century Reformation of Martin Luther and John Calvin, as it developed in the Dutch Reformed churches. The denomination originated as a result of a controversy in the Christian Reformed Church in 1924 involving the adoption of the "Three Points of Common Grace." Three ministers in the Christian Reformed Church, the Revs. Herman Hoeksema, Henry Danhof, and George Ophoff, and their consistories (Eastern Avenue, Hope, Kalamazoo) rejected the doctrine. Eventually, these men were deposed, and their consistories either deposed or set outside the Christian Reformed Church. The denomination was founded in 1926 with three congregations.

The PRC follows the presbyterian form of church government as determined by the Church Order of Dordt. There is an annual synod. The synodical stated clerk and board of trustees deal with the necessary business of the church between the meetings of synod.

The PRC's doctrinal standards are the Reformed confessions: the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession of Faith, and Canons of Dordrecht. It maintains the "five points of Calvinism." The doctrine of the covenant is a cornerstone of its teaching. It maintains an unconditional, particular convenant of grace that God establishes with His elect. In practice, the Protestant Reformed Churches maintains the regulative principle of worship, rejects remarriage of divorced persons, and maintains many of its own Christian schools.

Membership: As of 2002, the PRC included some 25 churches in the United States and two in Canada (Edmonton and Lacombe, Alberta) and some 6,713 members. The denomination's seminary is in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the largest number of churches is located. Over the years the PRC has established numerous mission stations in North America, and has labored in such foreign lands as Jamaica, Singapore, the British Isles, Ghana, and the Philippines.

Educational Facilities: Theological School of the PRC, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Periodicals: Although the PRC has no official publication, the seminary does publish the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal, and several organizations within the denomination publish periodicals: • Beacon Lights, • Perspectives in Covenant Education, and • Standard Bearer. Another organization, the • Reformed Free Publishing Association, also publishes religious books both theological and educational.

Sources:

Hoeksema, Herman. The Protestant Reformed Churches In America. Grand Rapids, MI: The Author, 1947.

——. Why Protestant Reformed? Grand Rapids, MI: Sunday School of the First Protestant Reformed Church, 1949.

423

Reformed Church in America

475 Riverside Dr.
New York, NY 10115

History. The first Dutch settlers in America, members of Reformed Church in the Netherlands, brought that church to this country. A minister, the Rev. Jonas Michaelius, arrived here in 1628 and organized the first congregation, now known as the Collegiate Church of the City of New York. Because of a shortage of ministers, some people began to advocate ministerial training in the colonies. Queens College (now Rutgers University) was founded and a theological seminary established there. The independence of the American church was achieved in 1770 when John Livingston returned from his theological work at Utrecht with a plan of union. In 1792 a constitution was adopted, and in 1819 the church was incorporated as the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church. It took its present name, the Reformed Church in America, in 1867.

The church spread through New York and New Jersey during the colonial era. In the middle of the nineteenth century a new wave of Dutch immigrants arrived. They settled primarily in Michigan and Iowa and from there moved to other states, particularly South Dakota.

Beliefs. Doctrinally the church has remained very conservative and accepted as its standard doctrine the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of the Synod of Dort. Worship is outlined in the Liturgy and is supplemented by the church'shymnal, Rejoice in the Lord. The liturgies of the Lord's Supper, baptism, and ordination are obligatory; those for the Sunday service and marriage are not.

Organization. The polity is presbyterial. The highest authority is the General Synod, which meets annually in June. A 62-member executive committee functions between sessions. The General Synod is divided into 46 classes. These classes are distributed in eight regional synods made up of lay and clerical members of each classes. The voting members of the classes are all the ministers and an elder from each church in the classes. The ruling body at the congregational level is the consistory, composed of the ministers and elected elders and deacons.

Education has always been given high priority by the Reformed Church, and a Board of Theological Education keeps oversight of its seminaries. The General Synod Council oversees work among American Indians; social services; and foreign work in Mexico, Estonia, several African countries, Japan, Bahrain, Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Hondaras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Venezuela. The church is a member of the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Membership: In 1997 the church reported 304,113 members, an additional 190,000 active communicants, 957 churches, and 1,800 ministers. There were 6,535 members in Canada.

Educational Facilities: Seminaries:

Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan.
New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Colleges:

Hope College, Holland, Michigan.
Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa.
Central College, Pella, Iowa.

Periodicals: The Church Herald. Send orders to 4500 60th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512.

424

Reformed Church in the United States

3930 Masin Dr.
Lincoln, NE 68521

In 1934 the Reformed Church in the United States merged with the Evangelical Synod. (In 1961 that merged body joined the United Church of Christ.) One classis of the Reformed Church in the United States, the Eureka Classis in South Dakota, decided not to enter the 1934 merger. So the Eureka Classis adopted the name of its parent body, the Reformed Church in the United States, and stayed separate from all the other classes that joined the 1934 merger. The present Reformed Church in the United States continues the polity and doctrines (adherence to the Heidelberg Confession) of the former Reformed Church in the United States. The classis meets annually.

Membership: In 1997 the church reported 4,120 members, 43 congregations, and 44 ministers.

Periodicals: The Reformed Herald. Send orders to Box 276, Eureka, SD 57437.

425

Reformed Church of Quebec

26-1700 Dr. Penfield
Montreal, PQ, Canada H3H 1B4

Reformed Church of Quebec claims a heritage that begins even before the Protestant Reformation, in the writings of Jacques Lefevre d'Etaples, a professor of theology of the University of Sorbonne. In 1512, he authored a commentary on the biblical book of Romans that had an instrumental role in the transformation of Martin Luther and was subsequently read by leading French Reformers such as William Farel and John Calvin. Through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries many Protestants (in France called Huguenots) migrated to Canada and several rose to positions of eminence.

In 1835 two Swiss missionaries, Louis Roussy and Henriette Feller, from the Swiss Missionary Society, arrived in Montreal. From their effort an initial parish was formed in 1837. Two year later, they formed the Franco-Canadian Missionary Society. In 1921, the congregations resulting from this effort became a part of the Presbyterian Church of Canada and then moved into the United Church of Canada. However, as Canada grew, and attention was focused on growth in the far west, the French-speaking element in the church declined. By 1975, only three congregations of some 25 remained.

In 1978, a new thrust into Quebec was begun by Rev. Harold Kallemeyn of the Christian Reformed Church who founded a congregation in Montreal. His effort also led to the foundation of the Evangelical Reformed Alliance (Alliance Reformee evangelique (A.R.E.)) founded that same year at Montmorency. A.R.E. proposed three goals: (a) to establishment Farel Institute, a theological faculty, for the training of ministers; (b) to launch a journal; and (c) to revise and publish French Reformed books. Over the next decades with the support of Christian Reformed Church in North America, the Presbyterian Church of America, and the continuing Presbyterian Church of Canada, additional congregations were formed. In 1984 several congregations formed the Conseil des eglises Reformees du Quebec (C.E.R.Q) as a set toward the formation of a separate French-speaking Reformed denomination. A three year process of negotiation on structure and doctrine followed and the Eglise Reformee du Quebec was officially inaugurated on November 6, 1988.

The church accepted the Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Confession of Faith. Initially, nine congregations affiliated. The church will ordain females as clergy.

Membership: Not reported. As of 2002, there are six congregations, all in Quebec.

Educational Facilities: Farel Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Sources:

Bauswein, Jean-Jacques, and Lukas Vischner, eds. The Reformed Family Worldwide: A Survey of Reformed Churches, Theological Schools, and International Organizations. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. EerdmannsPublishing Co., 1999.

Reformed Church of Quebec. http://spindleworks.com/library/erq/erq.htm. 21 March 2002.

426

United Reformed Churches of North America

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The United Reformed Church of North America grew out of dissatisfaction with a variety of decisions being made within the Christian Reformed Church of North America. Dissatisfaction initially manifested through the organization of a Consistorial Conference, a gathering of consistories/councils at which issues could be aired and discussed. In the early 1990s, the conference transformed into the Alliance of Reformed Churches that included both congregations that had withdrawn from the Christian Reformed Church and others that retained their formal affiliation. Overtime, several congregations not previously a part of the Christian Reformed Church also affiliated with the Alliance.

In November 1995, representative from more than forty churches in both the United States and Canada gathered in Lynwood, Illinois, to develop a constitution and by-laws for a new federation of reformed churches. Their work led to the formation the next year of the United Reformed Churches in North America at a synod meeting also held in Lynwood.

The new federation adopted the bible as confessed in the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort as their standard of faith. A policy based on that of the Christian Reformed Church was also adopted in a slightly modified form.

At its Third Synod (1999), the United Reformed Church gave "permission to post a list of URC Churches, Synodical agendas and minutes, and similar documents on the web site of the Covenant URC of Kalamazoo." The churches have not designated a headquarters, but further information may be obtained from the Stated Clerk of its Classis (district) Michigan, Rev. Wybren H. Oord, whose mailing address is 12191 Polk St., Holland, MI49424.

Membership: Not reported. In 2002 there were 50 congregations in the United States and 27 congregations in Canada. There is also one congregation in the Philippines.

Sources:

United Reformed Churches in North America. http://www.covenanturc.org/frames/frameinfhtml. 28 February 2002.

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"Reformed-Presbyterian Family: Reformed." Encyclopedia of American Religions. . Retrieved November 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/reformed-presbyterian-family-reformed

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