History

Southeast Protestant Reformed Church (SEPRC) is a member church of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America (PRCA).

Fourth Protestant Reformed Church (FPRC), later called SEPRC, was organized on March 7, 1944. At this time the church was represented by 35 families, most of who came from the large, nearby First Protestant Reformed Church. The first worship services were held in a store in Boston Square on Kalamazoo Avenue in Southeast Grand Rapids. Rev. Rich Veldman was the first minister. In early 1953, worship services were held in a newly constructed church building (just to the south of the store) at the corner of Kalamazoo Avenue and Newark Street. By this time the church had grown to a congregation of 89 families.

Soon afterwards, the PRCA experienced a split that affected most of the churches in the denomination. FPRC was not spared from the effects of this split, but 36 families from the congregation remained faithful to each other and to the truth of God’s Word.  They agreed to give up ownership of the church building and began to meet in the old Adams Street Christian School as SEPRC.

Early in 1958, this group agreed to purchase property on Cambridge Avenue, SEPRC’s current location. Many volunteers helped with the construction of the new church building. With great joy, the congregation held a dedication service for and its first worship services in a new building on September 4, 1960. Another controversy occurred in mid-1962, but 18 families remained at SEPRC. Rev. Veldman also left the church and the denomination at this time. Rev. Marinus Schipper assisted the congregation in his absence and was installed as the new minister later that year. During his term, this small congregation sent three young men to the Protestant Reformed seminary, all of whom later served the denomination as ministers. Under Rev. Schipper’s leadership the church grew to 56 families by his retirement in 1978.  The following is a list of SEPRC’s subsequent ministers: Rev. Carl Haak (1979 – 1986), Rev. Steven Key (1986 – 1991), Rev. Dale Kuiper (1992 – 2003), and Rev. Bill Langerak (2003 – present). Church membership reached a peak in the mid-1990s and has stabilized to around 65 families.

God’s faithfulness has been apparent throughout the history of this church; Psalm 16:6 states, “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” The Israelites made this confession upon entering Canaan; the saints at SEPRC make this same confession. Our modest membership allows us to live well together as brothers and sisters in Christ, so that from little children to elderly saints, we can all experience the joys and wonderful fellowship of life in the body of Christ. SEPRC currently enjoys a vibrant church life with catechism and Sunday School classes for the young and a variety of Bible study groups for various age groups. Two worship services are held each Sunday. A church council of elders and deacons oversees the activities of the church.

Pastors

Date Minister
2003-Present Rev. W. Langerak
1992-2002 Rev. D.H. Kuiper
1986-1991 Rev. S. Key
1979-1986 Rev. C. Haak
1962-1978 Rev. M. Schipper
1944-1962 Rev. R. Veldman