To know God and Make Christ known through The Holy Spirit by:
Worship, Fellowship, Education, Service and Evangelism
We in the Reformed Church in America believe God created humans perfect and free to make choices. They chose to disobey their Creator. Turning away from God, humanity fell into sin. All of the suffering and evil in the world is because of this sin.
Even though we have turned away from Him, God still loves all people and wants our lives to be full of joy and peace. Right from the beginning, God had a plan to make this happen.
God’s plan was to send Jesus, who lived a life of perfect obedience to God and who died to pay the price for all people’s sins. God raised Jesus back to life. He is in heaven now, but he has promised to return to earth someday. When he comes again, he will resurrect all believers and take them to be with him in heaven.
Believers are people who accept that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. They also believe that Jesus died for their sins and rose from the dead, and they do their best to follow his teachings and example. Together they form the church, which is called Christ’s body on earth, and have a responsibility to continue Christ’s work.
Living the Christian life is not always easy, but believers receive guidance from the Bible and from the teachings and example of Christ; and they receive encouragement and power from God’s Holy Spirit.
We believe in God’s covenant given to Abraham with the sign and seal being circumcision. The Early Church substituted Baptism for circumcision, therefore we do practice infant baptism…but we also celebrate believers baptism.
Communion is offered to all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and the only way to the Father.
The Reformed Church in America accepts three confessional statements as expressions of its basic beliefs:
The Heidleberg Catechism. Formulated during the Reformation, and still important as a teaching tool in many churches, it has had by far the most formative influence on the life of the Reformed Church.
The Belgic Confession. Written in the sixteenth century by Guido de Bres, a pastor and itinerant preacher in southern Netherlands, it was intended to persuade Philip II of Spain that Reformed people did not hold heretical views. De Bres hoped to convince the king to stop persecuting the Protestants; he himself became a martyr for his faith in 1567.
The Canons of Dort were formulated in 1618 to resolve a dispute among Dutch theological professors on the issue of divine sovereignty in the work of salvation.
The Reformed Church also affirms three creeds that arose in the early church, the Apostles Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Nicene Creed.
In 1978 the Reformed Church approved Our Song of Hope as a contemporary statement of faith in its ministry of witness, teaching, and worship.
In the Reformed tradition, creeds are subject to evaluation in the light of Scriptures. They are always subordinate to the final authority of Christ.
Growing up as a PK (“Preacher’s Kid”), I never wanted to become a pastor myself. However, God has an interesting way of leading our lives. After graduating from Kalamazoo Christian and Reformed Bible College (now Kuyper College), my heart’s desire was to be a missionary pilot. I earned my commercial pilot’s license, but soon realized that God was guiding me toward local ministry.
In 1988, I graduated from Western Theological Seminary and moved to Willow Lake, South Dakota to pastor two wonderful rural congregations. After 11 rewarding years, my children and I moved back to Kalamazoo so that I could serve the congregation of Calvary Reformed Church as lead pastor.
In 2007, our lives changed once again as I married my best friend, Sue (Vandenberg).
Sue grew up in Kalamazoo, graduating from Kalamazoo Christian and Davenport College. After ten years of employment in human resources, she decided to switch gears and pursue her passion for working with young children by setting up an in-home daycare. Little did she know that God had plans for her to eventually meet and marry me. Sue is instrumental in the success of the church’s yearly “Ladies’ Tea Parties” and any other work I pass on. Sue also helps with our preschool program here at Calvary.
We are blessed with a large family that includes: Jesse (Kathy), Seth (Kari), and Ahna (Nick), Anna, Amelia and Alexis; and four grandchildren
Though I never became a missionary pilot, I do spend my spare time serving in the military as Wing Chaplain for the 110th Air National Guard Base in Battle Creek.
My favorite verse: Romans 1:16 (NIV) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.
Stefanie has been the Office Manager for Calvary since 2015. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University. At Western, Stefanie studied Elementary Education. She taught fifth grade for 10 years in Charlotte, North Carolina. She lives in Paw Paw with her husband Ray and their 5 children: Emmy (14), Luke (12), Aiden (9), Ellie (8), and Rachel (6). Stefanie enjoys being outdoors, camping, gardening, home renovation projects, and spending time with family. Her and her family attend Red Arrow Ministries in Paw Paw. Stefanie proclaims Exodus 14:14 as her life verse ‘The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still’ Exodus 14:14
Jason and Paulette met in March 2001 and married September, 2003. We have 2 sons, Avery & Mason. Paulette is a stay at home mom and Jason works in sales at Fawley Overhead Door. We love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Some favorite activities we enjoy are going to the beach, going on hikes and spending time as a family. We live in Mattawan and we attend Calvary Reformed in Mattawan. We are excited to start our new adventure with the HSYG this fall 2018.
Jason has 2 favorite bible verses. Ephesians 2:8-10 and Jeremiah 29:11
Paulette are John 14:27 and Numbers 6:24-26
Debbie Long is the Program Director and Lead Teacher for Calvary Kids Preschool. She started teaching here in 2018. Debbie has worked with children ages birth on up and their families for many years. She taught piano, Kindermusik, Sunday School, her church’s children’s choir, in addition to preschool.
Debbie and her husband Jeff have been blessed with two wonderful children. Andrew & Rachel are students at WMU, so she and Jeff are fortunate to see them often. The family recently added a Sheltie, so everyone is learning to adjust to life with a pet.
Debbie loves to discover new bike trails with her family, as well as craft and knit. As a teacher, Debbie prays that she will guide children to learn Biblically who they are, where they came from, and what their purpose is in this world. Seeing the look of excitement as the children discover something new about God’s creation is a precious benefit of sharing a classroom together. Connecting with families is also important, and Debbie strives to keep parents a part of the learning process as well. Debbie uses this verse to prompt her to continue to study God’s Word – 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
Calvary started in 1942 as the Bethany Mission. Until the official organization of Calvary in 1954, the Mission was served by various speakers, mainly Seminarians. In 1954 with the help of Kalamazoo Classis, the Mission was organized as Calvary Reformed Church. The congregation had outgrown the renovated school house on 6th and “RS” Ave. and with the help of Faith Reformed Church of Portage, Faith’s old church building was moved to West Crooked Lake Drive.
In March of 1955 Calvary called its first full-time call to Rev. Wayne Tripp. Youth were a focus of both Rev. Tripp’s and Rev. Donald Lam’s tenure through 1977. In 1978 the Rev. Vern Hettinga began a 14 year pastorate which culminated with the building of the first section of the sanctuary at 7829 S. 5th Street. Rev. Jonathan Brownson pastored from 1993 to 1997. During this time, the educational wings were added. At present Calvary is served by the Rev. Greg Van Heukelom who was installed on March 15, 1999.
The Reformed Church in America, which includes some of the best-known congregations in North America, was established on this continent l50 years before the Revolutionary War.
The word Reformed comes from the Protestant Reformation which swept across Europe in the 1500s under the leadership of such men as Martin Luther and John Calvin. Calvin’s reformation at Geneva spread to many countries, including, Scotland (where it became the Presbyterian Church) and the Netherlands (where it became our ancestor, the Dutch Reformed Church).
Our history is a long and colorful one which you may enjoy learning more about later. The Dutch Reformed Church established its first congregation in New Amsterdam in 1628. Although Dutch in origin, the Reformed church in America has for decades included peoples of many different races and nationalities in its congregations. The denomination currently has about 960 churches in the United States and Canada, with 201,000 active confirmed members.
Do you wonder what the history is of Calvary Reformed and the Reformed Church in America,
check out the Denomination’s website
We all watch YouTube, but try this site for a Faith filled change of movies. GodTube
With the advent of the internet, many people struggle with online sexual addiction. If you are struggling or know someone who is, visit Pure Intimacy for help
Raising children is not an easy task, but one of the most rewarding. Visit Focus On Your Childfor ideas to share your love.
Looking for Daily devotions? RBC Ministries
Looking for news which deals with a Christian perspective, check out Christianity Today