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It was 100 years ago when Classis Alberta North (a regional group of churches) started out as just one lone congregation of a few families worshipping together in a tent.

The classis now has more than 30 congregations with 9,500 members. In October, nearly 2,000 of them gathered in Edmonton to celebrate a century of grace.

One of those at the service was Mr. John Winkelaar, a lifetime member of First Christian Reformed Church who was baptized in 1911 and is now 99.

The celebration included a mass choir consisting of the Joyful Noise Choir, Edmonton Christian High School Choir, The King’s University College Choir and members of various congregations.

Rev. Cecil VanNiejenhuis, Rev. Roy Berkenbosch, and Rev. Gary Bomhof all helped lead the service.

Ron Knol, one of the organizers, said, “In essence, it is a celebration of many congregational birthdays. God has truly blessed the efforts of the CRC in northern Alberta. The celebration of the first century will hopefully be a challenge for the second century.”

Knol also pointed out the good wisdom that The Banner used when in its August 31, 1913 edition, it stated: “Edmonton is a strategic place for our Church in the great north-west. It may become the mother of many churches.”

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