To us the dates 1924-1944 suggest two decades of the existence of our Protestant Reformed Churches.
True, the temporary organization into what was called the Protesting Christian Reformed Churches did not take place until January 27, 1925, and the final organization under the present name did not take place until November 1925. Yet, 1924 lives in our memories as the memorable year of our birth. This was the year in which the Synod of the Christian Ref. Churches, meeting in July, adopted the Three Points which became the occasion for the separation. And on December 12, of this same year the consistory of the Eastern Ave. Church was deposed from office, and its pastor, the Rev. H. Hoeksema was suspended, marking the beginning of our separate existence as Protestant Reformed Churches.
Twenty years have elapsed. We now number twenty-three churches, served by the same number of ordained ministers. All but two of these ministers were prepared by our own Theological School. The two who are the exception have served during all these years as professors in our school. One minister, the late Rev. W. Verhil, was taken away by death almost a year ago. Twelve of the twenty three churches belong to Classis East, which represents the churches of Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. While eleven churches reside under Classis West, consisting of the churches of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana and California.
Twenty years. During that time many of the charter members of our Churches, who helped to organize our congregations in their stand for the truth, have passed on into eternity. And practically a new generation has arisen, which can cherish the fact that it was reared in the truth of God’s sovereign grace. Many of them are now members of our young people’s societies and readers of Beacon Lights.
We do well to make this a year of commemoration. Those who took an active part in the history-making events of those first years, as well as those who were young people at that time may well refresh their memories on the events as they were enacted. Those who have made acquaintance with this history since that time may well become better acquainted with it.
This is a good time for our societies to make a study of the error of the Three Points and the positive stand of our Churches against it. We may have done this before, yet a thorough review will serve to strengthen our convictions and help us realize more fully why we are Protestant Reformed. Some of our societies are already doing this: their example is worth following.
It is our task to build on the foundation laid by our fathers and to carry on where they leave off. Our duty to be faithful to the charge entrusted to us as we face the future.
That also is an important part of our work of holding the home front. Even the home front knows of no time for relaxation, tolerates no retreat.