Director of Denominational Ministries Resigns

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Sandy Johnson submitted her resignation as director of denominational ministries of the Christian Reformed Church, effective immediately.

Johnson submitted her resignation to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, who received it with surprise, much regret, and a tremendous amount of appreciation for the leadership she gave to the ministries of the CRC.

Johnson’s resignation comes exactly one month after the resignation of former executive director Rev. Jerry Dykstra.

In her letter, Johnson said her resignation would allow the Board of Trustees to consider multiple options as it addresses the leadership needs of the church.

Acting interim executive director Rev. Bruce Adema expressed his gratitude for Johnson’s four years of service.

About the Author

Gayla Postma retired as news editor for The Banner in 2020.

See comments (15)


"Curiouser and curiouser," said Alice.


Again you make sound suspicious. Please stop playing games and state the facts.
Wondering if she faced the same abuse at the hands of her CRC male boss as I did?

Sandy, as well as Jerry, will be missed. They were a joy to work with.

I am sorry and saddened to read this news. I have fears over what is going on at our denominational leadership level. Once again, it is high time that the BOT communicate confidentially to the local councils/classes, and if possible openly with the denomination about what issues are unfolding at 2850 and what is being done to address them. These news releases about three resignations now are not helpful to the CRC and to our ministries together.

Ronald - I missed the third. Who was it?

Perhaps Ronald refers to the March 31, 2011, resignation of Safe Church Director Beth Swagman.

Then up the road at the sem one might concerned for the loss this year of Revs. Plantinga (Pres.), Kelderman (VP), and DeMoor (VP).

Anybody have Borgdorff's number?

It's high time for some denominational transparency here. What are the issues that are causing these leaders to resign? Are there visions that are clashing, and if so, what are those visions, and how can we as congregations have our rightful say with regard to those visions? We as pastors and congregations in the CRCNA have a right and a need to know, because it affects the whole church, and creates a situation of increasing anxiety surrounding the denomination.

D. Niehof - Plantinga's retirement was long planned. Kelderman's no surprise, either.

But Swagman, Dykstra & Johnson are a different matter. Yes, people have Borgdorff's number. No, he is not the right person for this time.

I think the Board of Trustees has a lot of explaining to do to the people in the pew. I hope the BOT doesn't use our donations to pay off Jerry and Sandy and buy their silence under the guise of confidentiality agreements.

Has the BOT and The Banner been after Johnson's resignation since Dykstra resigned?

In the Banner editorial on this subject some interesting analysis occurs.

The diagnosis of some of the problems seems on target.

But have you picked the right target?

If you want the pew connected to the ministry perhaps the EM/DDM duo is the wrong target. We also have a lot of structure built into the agencies themselves.

Cuts could be made in the administrative structure of the agencies themselves.

The Banner itself is part of one of those agencies, and as such does not speak from an independent vantage point.

With Dykstra and Johnson both gone let's hope we look beyond scapegoats but yet deeper into our structures.

To sum up...

We know is that Rev. Dykstra resigned suddenly, apparently over irreconcilable differences with the Board of Trustees. We know that we do *not* know what those differences were/are, but as those differences almost certainly imply differences in the direction this denomination takes, we should find out. Such decisions regarding the direction of the denomination as a whole should not be made in secret, however much we need to protect the confidentiality of personnel. As for the drama in personalities, I couldn't care less.

We know that Ms. Johnson resigned almost exactly one month later, that this resignation was immediate, and that it was a surprise to the Board of Trustees. We know that her stated reasons are to give the Board of Trustees a free hand in re-organization. We do not know how closely tied to Rev. Dykstra's resignation this is, but it is extremely difficult to believe there is no connection at all. Indeed, her stated reasons imply the disagreement over direction was a primary consideration.

@J - The Banner has not been after anyone's resignation. Given the surprise Ms. Johnson's resignation was to the Board, it is unlikely they were after it, either.

Neither of these resignations are connected with any of the personnel changes at the seminary, many of which were announced some time ago.

PNR: good analysis

Another piece of evidence arises from the Board of Trustees "Highlight" (

It seems that the first item on their highlight list is:

"1. Received a report from consultant Mr. Peter Meerveld on the culture, structure and leadership of the CRCNA. Ministry directors and other senior leaders were also invited to the presentation. The Board later asked its Executive Committee to appoint a task force to help it determine how best to address issues raised by the leadership review and organizational assessment."

It would be interesting to see the report from Mr. Meerveld. It's conceivable that Rev. Dykstra's and Ms. Johnson's resignations have nothing to do with this report, but it's hard not to think they are related.

If you believe the departure of the denomination's executive director, the college's president, and the seminary's president within the same year is a coincidence, you might be Christian Reformed.