A BRIEF HISTORY OF
COVENANT GRACE REFORMED CHURCH
Affiliated with the Federation of United Reformed Churches in North America.
Originally most of our members belonged to the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) of North America; but because of liberal trends in this denomination, a group of concerned members in Lynden separated themselves from the CRC, and on August 26, 1988, instituted as the Lynden Orthodox Christian Reformed Church (OCRC) and affiliated as such with the OCRC denomination.
Rev. Douglas Neff, retired RCUS minister, was called to be our interim pastor. He and his wife, Frances, had come to our area from San Jose, California. For about a year the church was blessed with his ministry.
After that Rev. Maurice Luimes served our congregation from May 12, 1989, until August 11, 1996. The Lord greatly blessed us under his preaching and shepherding. Rev. Luimes accepted a call and he and his wife, Christine, and their family, moved to Nobleton, Ontario, Canada.
In the second week of February, 1997, our Heavenly Father blessed us again with the arrival of a new under-shepherd, Rev. Alan Camarigg, from Hills, Minnesota. His truly reformed preaching was greatly appreciated by all the members.
During the years 2004 to 2006 a doctrinal controversy arose within the OCRC Federation concerning “Federal Vision,” a false doctrine which among other things denies salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Our congregation, along with two other churches withdrew from the OCRC denomination after their 2006 Synod refused to render a clear position against the Federal Vision heresy. Consequently, our congregation became independent for almost six years. A new name was adopted, namely Covenant Grace Reformed Church.
The Council and church members diligently studied several options for affiliation and after much prayerful consideration the decision was made to join the federation of the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA).
On October 16, 2012, Classis Pacific Northwest of the URCNA provisionally accepted Covenant Grace Reformed Church, when Pastor Camarigg sustained his colloquium doctum. We were officially accepted into the URCNA at Synod Visalia in June of 2014.
After sixteen years of faithful service in our congregation, we were saddened when Rev. Camarigg received a call from his former congregation in Hills, Minnesota. He and his wife, Wanda, left us during the second week of February, 2013.
However, God blessed us again with an interim pastor, Rev. Norman F. Brower, retired minister of the Preakness Valley URC in Wayne, New Jersey. He and his wife, Gloria, came to us from Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Their work among us was truly appreciated by all the members. We praise God for so richly supplying all our needs through them. They ministered among us from February, 2013 to July, 2014.
Their last Sunday with us was July 27, 2014. A fellowship lunch was held after the morning service as a farewell. They returned to their home in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, and await God’s direction as to how they will serve Him in their retirement. We wish them God’s continued blessings.
The Church Council was thankful to God and pleased to announce that the congregation voted unanimously on Monday, June 23, 2014 to call Rev. Dale J. Van Dyke to be our next pastor. Many hearts rejoiced and praised the Lord for the wonderful unity and strong show of support present at that Special Congregational Meeting. All praise be to God!
After prayerful consideration Rev. J. Van Dyke accepted the call to become our new pastor. He and his family arrived in Lynden, Washington, on August 18, 2014. Rev. J. Van Dyke comes to us along with his wife, Misaki, son Paul, and daughters Faith and Abigail. Their oldest son, Isaac remained in Michigan to attend university.
Rev. Dale J. Van Dyke received his BA degree from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, and his MDIV from Westminster Theological Seminary in Escondido, California. He was associate pastor of Pompton Plains Reformed Bible Church (URCNA) in New Jersey for twelve years. He taught English as a second language for a year in Japan, worked in construction, data management and delivery jobs in the past as well. He is no stranger to the Pacific Northwest as he lived here for several years before he went into the ministry. His hobbies include fishing, travel and reading.
Rev. J. Van Dyke is committed to sound doctrinal preaching and truly Reformed worship that is sincere, joyful and reverent. He believes our Creeds and Confessions are extremely important – they unite and unify Christ’s Body upon the infallible and inerrant Word of God. They also protect us from heresy and the lies and deception of Satan, our world, false teachers and schismatics.
We were amazed to see how God has once again answered our prayers and excited to begin this new chapter in our church’s ministry among our congregation and community. We encourage visitors to join us for worship and fellowship!
Soli Deo Gloria