A Faithful Past, A Hopeful Future for Wisconsin Church

In 1935 (left) and 2021, the congregation of First CRC in Waupun, Wisc., gathers in front of its church building.
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Over 250 current and former members, congregants, and pastors gathered to celebrate the First Christian Reformed Church of Waupun, Wisc., centennial anniversary Aug. 14 and 15, 2021. Saturday festivities included a picture walk through the history of the church and a pig roast dinner with opportunity to share memories afterward. With the theme “Remember, Renew and Rejoice” for the service, Sunday worship included a contemporary music team, organ and piano, and a 100th-anniversary choir. Former pastors Ken Van De Griend, Dan Brouwer, and Harvey Roosma, who served as a specialized transitional minister, and current minister, Pastor Greg Schuringa, participated in the service.

The families who formed First CRC in Waupun had been worshiping with the congregation at the rural Alto (Wisc.) CRC, walking the five miles to services, until asking to organize a church of their own. After securing land in 1922, the new congregation could only afford to build the basement and a parsonage and worshiped there until 1935, when the current sanctuary was constructed. Since that time, the church building and its programs have grown.

In 1961 a daughter church, Bethel CRC, began with 29 families. Today First CRC has an established prison ministry, engages in partnerships with overseas organizations, and has a renewed commitment to serve in the local community to "Honor God, Serve Others, and Transform Lives.”

“We trust that this celebration of God’s faithfulness to First CRC will propel us forward in our faithfulness to his mission for us," Pastor Schuringa said, encouraging the congregation to “continue to be equipped by God’s Word in passionate church and kingdom service.” 

About the Author

Sarah DeGraff is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Madison, Wisc., where she is studying for her Masters in Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin.

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