Skip to main content

Synod 2024 Elects Four Midwest Pastors as Officers

The officers of Synod 2024, elected in a virtual meeting May 29 (clockwise from upper left) are Derek Buikema, Stephen Terpstra, Josh Christoffels, and Dan De Graff.

Meeting by online video conference May 29, Synod 2024 elected pastors Derek Buikema, Stephen Terpstra, Joshua Christoffels, and Daniel De Graff to serve as officers for this year’s assembly in a session that lasted just over two hours.

The convening included worship and prayer before the officer election. Synod is the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

The officers are tasked with running the meeting, attending to specific tasks as outlined in the rules for synodical procedure. They’ll also form the program committee for the next year’s synod. Buikema was elected president; Terpstra, vice president; Christoffels, clerk; and De Graff, second clerk.

Only Buikema has past officer experience at synod, having served as vice president for Synod 2022. He is the pastor at Orland Park (Ill.) CRC, and this is his third synod. Buikema has chaired the interim committee and the classis ministries leadership team for Classis Chicago South.

The three other officers for 2024 are also pastors from midwest states. The nomination list—delegates who put themselves forward as willing to be elected as officers—did include some Canadian pastors and a couple of women delegates, one who is attending synod for the first time, but the final slate of officers is less diverse in that way than some previous synods.

Terpstra, elected as vice president, is attending synod for the fifth time. He is a pastor at Borculo CRC in Zeeland, Mich., and an organist who has played during times of worship at previous synods. Terpstra is part of the leadership team for the Abide Project, a group of CRC pastors formed in 2021 that promotes a “biblical, confessional, and historic understanding of human sexuality.” He's originally from Canada and pastored for six years at a church in Hamilton, Ont., before moving to west Michigan in 2012.

Christoffels, elected as first clerk, is pastor at Hammond (Ind.) CRC. He is attending synod for the third time and has served on the Global Mission and Interdenominational Matters advisory committees previously.

De Graff, elected as second clerk, is also attending synod for the third time. He is the pastor at Baldwin (Wisc.) CRC.

After the election process, Buikema addressed synod saying, “We do all our work to the glory of God alone. So, from this moment on, let’s pray that we might walk in step with the spirit of God, and that our work might demonstrate the fruit of God.”

Synod 2024 will next convene June 14, in the chapel of Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich. The delegates, who have been assigned to one of nine advisory committees, will be called to one more online session June 5, meeting in their individual advisory committees for introductions only.

Synod 2024 is meeting June 14-20 at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Find daily coverage from The Banner news team at Visit for the synod schedule, webcast, recordings, photos, committee reports, and liveblog. Synod is the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church.

We Are Counting on You

The Banner is more than a magazine; it’s a ministry that impacts lives and connects us all. Your gift helps provide this important denominational gathering space for every person and family in the CRC.

Give Now