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Rev. Gerard (Jerry) Dykstra has resigned from his position as executive director of the Christian Reformed Church, effective immediately, for personal and family reasons.

The announcement came from Rev. Mark Vermaire, president of the denomination’s Board of Trustees, at a special meeting of all staff at the church’s U.S. headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“The board is thankful for Jerry’s gifts in the past five and a half years,” Vermaire told staff.  “We are prayerful that God will continue to lead and guide him in this [next] stage of his life.”

Vermaire said that Dykstra and the board agreed that it was a mutually acceptable time for him to depart.

Dykstra served as executive director since 2006 after one year as the denominational director of ministries. Prior to that, he pastored churches in Michigan and California.

Rev. Bruce Adema, director of Canadian ministries for the CRC, will fill the essential duties of the office until an interim executive director can be named.

Vermaire said the board hopes to name an interim person within the next couple of weeks, in time for Synod 2011.

Further decisions about appointing a new executive director are yet to be dealt with by the board and synod.

“Jesus Christ is Lord of the church, and in every situation he leads and guides us,” Vermaire said. “We trust . . . God will lead us through this time.”

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