A Brief History of Hope In Christ Church
Updated by Herman Laninga in April 2011 on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary
Fall 1958 – Everson CRC & Bethel CRC met to discuss potential CRC plant in Bellingham.
Jan. 12, 1959 – Pastor Jack Matheis, Everson CRC, chaired the first Bellingham Chapel board mtg.
Board comprised of 2 reps (Elder or Pastor) from each of the six local CRC churches.
Operating name: The General Board of Christian Reformed Missions in Bellingham.
Purpose: “to discuss mission work in the Bellingham area.”
Feb. 13, 1959 – Meeting with interested parties was held, including the following current members:
Klazina (Klay) Carl, Rene and Anne Gelynse and Wilma Kelln’s husband, Allen
March 1, 1959 – First church service held at BCRC (Chapel) at 2609 Kulshan St.
Among attendees listed: Klay Carl, Jessie Figenbaum, Rene & Anne Geleynse, Wilma Kelln
Summer 1959 – Seminary student Henry Entingh served. Wife Lillian (Lil) and son Steven.
Summer 1960 – Seminary student Frank Kaemingk served. Wife Madge.
Sept. 1960-’64 – Pastor Peter Vermaat, first pastor. Wife Janice and Tim, David, Joel & Susan.
April 7, 1961 – Organization service held at Everson CRC with 55 charter members.
Name of church: Bellingham Christian Reformed Church – Current members listed included:
Charles (Chuck) Bakker, Klay Carl, Jessie Figenbaum, Rene & Anne Geleynse, Wilma Kelln
First Consistory: Sid DeVries, Rene Geleynse, Eugene (Gene) Roosma & Wigger (Roek) Van Halm
July 1961 – Land purchased at Sunset and James St. for future sanctuary. Cost: $ 28,500
December 1961 – Moved from Kulshan St. to E. North and Humboldt Streets.
December 1962 – Ground breaking for church building at Sunset and James Streets.
Mr. Chervenock, Architect; Dick Vellema of Lynden, General Contractor.
May 1963 – Dedication service of the new sanctuary at Sunset and James. Cost: $ 55,808
July 1964-’67 – Pastor Jack H. Paauw served. Wife Peggy, sons Ken and Jack Jr.
September 1964-‘68 – Pastor Jan Karel (J.K.) Van Baalen became associate pastor. Wife Nora Mae.
August 1967-’69 – Pastor Gilbert Holkeboer served. Wife Helen and children Miriam and Grant.
December 1967 – Mr. Hardick donated 5 acres of land to the church in appreciation of pastoral care.
November 3, 1968 – Open house of new parsonage on James Street.
June 1969-’70 – Seminarian Jim Oosterhouse served as first campus pastor at WWSC. Wife Norma.
January 1970 – Pastor Roorda became associate pastor. Died June, 1970.
February 1970 – Pastor Anthony (Tony) Louwerse served. Wife Esther, sons Tim, Eric, Brian, Keith.
July 1970-’74 – Pastor Keith Bulthuis served as campus pastor. Wife Pat.
Dec. 1973-’77 – Pastor Gerrit Haagsma, associate pastor. Served Wiser Lake Chapel. Wife Becky.
September 1975-’82 – Pastor Douglas (Doug) Bosscher served as campus pastor. Wife Nancy.
February 1976-’89 – Pastor Robert (Bob) Koornneef served. Wife Judy, sons Ken, Larry and Todd.
Pastor Bob introduced us to Chuckie the church mouse to the delight of children of all ages!
Pastor Bob introduced and offered the Bethel Series.
Three Laotians families sponsored and assisted in integrating into American society.
April 1977 – Coffee Break Ministry organized and led by Donna Vander Griend.
May 1, 1977 – Dedication of the new educational building. Now education and administration.
Sept. 1977 – Pastor Bruce Hempel, associate pastor. Served Wiser Lake Chapel. Wife Bea.
September 12, 1982 – Started two Sunday morning services.
October 14, 1984-’85 – Frank Lanting, our 1st youth pastor hired. Wife Ingrid and son Christopher.
Followed by: Nikki Hastings, Jessica Wendover, Heather Roxburgh, David Vanderpol, Collin Buckley, Aaron Speyer.
April 3, 1986 – 25th. Anniversary Celebration of BCRC.
February 1987 – White house, second from parking lot, was purchased for future expansion.
Apr. 5, ‘90-’95-Pastor James (Jim) Petersen served. Wife Winnie, children: Heidi, Stacy & Derek.
Jim was the “singing” pastor who collaborated with Ken McNichols to produce the David Project.
Church musical presentations including public performances of “The Young Messiah.”
September 1995 – Children in Worship organized and led by Winnie Petersen.
Aug. 18, ‘90-’92-Pastor David Kotzebue served. Wife Chaney, Children: Travis, Jordan and Charis.
Aug. 26, ‘90–Organ acquired from Bethel CRC, of Manhattan, MT. Cost: $ 19,000.
Jan. ‘91 – Dr. Ken McNichols offered 3 fund raising concerts to help defray the cost of the organ.
January 1991 – Brown house next to parking lot was purchased for future expansion.
Feb. 1991 – Household Church – “Care groups” for all members organized and led by Herman Laninga.
Fall 1992-’02 – Evergreen Christian School added modular buildings and rented the church’s facilities.
Aug. ‘97-’07-Pastor Gordon Terpstra served. Wife Cheryl, sons Tim, Kevin, Troy and daughter Sarah.
Dec. 2000 – Pastor John Van Hemert, associate pastor. Serves Seafarer’s Ministry. Wife Jean.
Sept. 8, 2001 – Name changed to Hope in Christ Church. Neighborhood Block Party held to celebrate.
August 2002 – Construction of new sanctuary begins. Mike Button hired as on-site foreman.
Douglas Landsem, Architect; Roosendaal-Honcoop, General Contractor. Cost: $1.4 million.
White house and brown house were removed to make room for parking and retaining pond.
September 2002 – Friendship class organized and led by Mary Jo & Larry Menninga.
April 6, 2003 – Last service in old sanctuary and first service in new sanctuary.
April 27, 2003 – Dedication service of new sanctuary.
Fall 2003 – Rob Visser built crosses for our sanctuary and he & Dick Kaiser installed them.
Fall 2004-‘06 – Brian Steele offers the Alpha Series
May 15, 2005 – 45th Anniversary Celebration of BCRC.
September 25, 2005 – Launched “40 Days of Purpose” study involving entire congregation.
November 2005 – Grand piano purchased for $11,500.
2005 – Envision Ministries, led by Mitch & Rochelle Senti, opened the Three Trees Coffee house.
June 2006 – Cross constructed by Bill Feller installed in ground at northwest corner of campus.
Summer 2006 – Playground constructed.
October 2006 – Launched “40 Days of Prayer” study involving entire congregation.
2008 – Supports CRC church plant, Mosaic, by Pastor Matt Atkins.
Jan. 21, 2007 – Pastor Gord’s commissioning service as Army Chaplain prior to serving year in Iraq.
Spring 2007 – Russian church started meeting in Fellowship Center.
Dec. 16, 2007-Present – Pastor J. Scott Roberts is serving. Wife Jennifer (Jen) and children:
Elizabeth (Ellie), Morgan, Rebekah (Bekah), Grace, Faith and sons Zechariah (Zeke) and Caleb.
January 2008 – Supports CRC church plant, The Jesus Gathering, by Mitch & Rochelle Senti.
June 2009 – Supports CRC church plant, The Table, by Pastor Aaron Walters. Wife Kate.
Sept 2010 – GEMS (Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior) is re-established. Led by Darlys Recker.
Nov. 2010 – Light of the World Prayer Center Ministry moves into the Fellowship Center.
April 8-10t, 2011 – 50th Anniversary Celebration of Hope in Christ Church.
First Worship Service, March 1, 1959, 2609 Kulshan Street
Former Ministers of Hope in Christ Church:
• Peter E. Vermaat (1960-1964)
• Jack H. Paauw (1965-1967)
• Gilbert Holkeboer (1967-1970)
• Anthony L. Louwerse (1970-1975)
• Robert Koornneef (1976-1989)
• James T. Petersen (1990-1995)
• David L. Kotzebue (1990-1993)
• Gordon A. Terpstra (1997-2007)