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South Dakota Church Turns 100

The children's choir of First CRC in Sioux Falls, S.D., ministered in music on the church's anniversary Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023.
Josh Nyenhuis

First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, S.D., celebrated 100 years of ministry on Sept. 9 and 10. The weekend of activities capped off an almost year-long project to recognize the anniversary. 

The church produced and released one video reflection per month since January, highlighting memories of the congregation’s past century and its place in the city of Sioux Falls. 

With the theme “A Church on the Move,” First CRC welcomed past and present members to be part of an alumni choir, be featured in the centennial videos, and enjoy an anniversary meal hosted at the church. Visiting former pastors Rev. Kenneth Koning (served First CRC from 1992 to 1996) and Rev. Stan Scripps (1991 to 2002) spoke on how their service was part of the movement of God working through First CRC. Rev. John Schuurman (1985 to 1989) sent his reflections by recorded video. Rev. Carl Bruxvoort (2001 to 2007) sent a letter outlining his reflections.

On Sunday, Rev. Perry Tinklenberg, a former missionary to Liberia who grew up in the congregation, preached from Psalm 100:5. He highlighted the love that God has in giving the church his Son and how that love has continued over the 100 years of First CRC. Tinklenberg reminded the congregation that when we understand “a smidgen of the love God had for us in Jesus Christ, we can begin to see the love God has for First CRC.”

Rev. Carl Zylstra, a retired CRC pastor who now calls First CRC home, headed the centennial planning committee. There are “no descendants of the (First CRC) founders who are part of the congregation today,” he said; however, “it is clear that God's faithfulness at First CRC has not been, first of all genetic, but rather a continuity of faithful ministry of God's Word.”

First CRC’s most recent pastor, Rev. Cal Hoogendoorn, retired in 2021. A search committee that has been seeking a new pastor will present a potential candidate to the congregation the week of Sept. 25.

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