Rock Rapids (Iowa) Christian Reformed Church celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022. An anniversary committee set out a yearlong program of worship services with a different theme and Scripture passage on the first Sunday of each month.
Starting in January with the theme “From Generation to Generation,” the congregation heard Psalm 89:1-2, “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.” June's anniversary-themed worship service highlighted the committee's main theme for the year, “Our Past, Our Present, Our Promise for Tomorrow,” and highlighted Jeremiah 29:11-13: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
On Saturday, June 25, the church hosted a dinner and a program where members, four former pastors, and also three sons of the congregation who have become pastors, shared in a time of reflection and remembrance. Current pastor Doug DeGroot opened with a word of prayer. This was followed by a time of praise and worship in song as well as a video documenting the church building and its transformation over the 100 years. Memories and a timeline also were printed in an anniversary booklet. This included a poem written by Cornelia Heinsma, a lifelong member of Rock Rapids CRC who died in 2005. “She wrote many poems and shared them with the congregation on numerous occasions,” the booklet said.
Pastor DeGroot was installed in 2020 as the church’s 15th pastor. In the anniversary book, he wrote, “One hundred years ago; God already knew the plans that He had for Rock Rapids Christian Reformed Church and Lord willing, one hundred years from now those believers; our grandchildren and great-grandchildren and even great, great-grandchildren will look at this book and see the faithfulness of God and praise God for the faith of all those believers who have gone before.”
A week before the June 25 celebrations, members of Rock Rapids CRC participated in the city’s annual Heritage Day parade for the first time, entering a float carrying a model replica of the church building. Church members Doug and Amanda Landman built a model for the 100th anniversary and hope to have it in future parades as well.