“On Thursday afternoon, October 19,1893, a meeting was held in Leighton, Iowa, to organize a new congregation,” reads an anniversary booklet printed last fall. That congregation, Leighton Christian Reformed Church, now shares its pastor with Tracy (Iowa) CRC, and is still ministering in its community after more than 125 years.
“We are a very small congregation and are very grateful and fortunate that we have survived as a small church,” said vice president of the church council Bernie Hardeman.
Members of Leighton CRC commemorated the occasion Oct. 21, 2018, with a celebration communion service, publishing a short history of its more than 20 serving pastors and hosting an evening community celebration with music and memories. A few Sundays before the celebration, the congregation gathered for a commemorative photo, with about 50 people forming "125" on the church lawn.
The church has shared its pastor with Tracy CRC since 2017, hosting separate morning services and a joint evening service, which moves locations every other month. “We have been blessed by many combined worship services such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Program, Candlelight Service, and the Gospel Singers,” reads the anniversary booklet. Tracy (Iowa) CRC, about 11 miles (18 km) away, was organized in 1902.
Ebenezer Reformed Church in Leighton is also a partner. The two congregations host Vacation Bible School together in the summer and Cadets and GEMS—faith formation programs for boys and girls—in the winter.