Our Story

Our Story

Here is a brief history of New Life Church:

THE EARLY YEARS

  • June, 1979 — Pastors Jerry Holleman & Keith Tanis, in partnership with Home Missions, begin New Life Church. Worship begins in a school.
  • October, 1980 — With financial help from Home Missions, 10 acres of land are purchased on F.M. 2920 and a formal dedication takes place.
  • November, 1981 The church is officially “organized” as a self-sustaining church, and the first elders and deacons are installed.
  • 1983 — Keith Tanis takes a call to a church in Ferrysburg, Michigan, and Jerry Holleman remains as pastor of New Life Church.
  • July, 1984 — Construction of the church building is completed, and worship begins in the new facility.

THE MATURING YEARS

  • February, 1986 New Life Church daughters Hope Church in Clear Lake, the first of four churches started in the next five years.
  • May, 1993 — Pastor Holleman accepts a position with Home Missions as Regional Director for west-central United States.
  • July, 1994 The congregation calls seminarian Bob Lyzenga to become the next pastor of New Life Church, and he accepts the call.
  • June, 2001 — Construction of the church fellowship hall and classroom building is completed.
  • July, 2002 — Pastor Bob Lyzenga accepts a call to Sunrise Christian Reformed Church in Lafayette, Indiana.

THE MISSIONAL YEARS

  • March, 2003 —John Medendorp accepts the call to be the next pastor.
  • August, 2004 New Life Community Christian School begins.
  • September, 2005 — Table Fellowships begin.
  • July, 2006 — Old Town Spring Heights Task Force begins.
  • June, 2008 — Sister Church with New Life Church in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • August, 2008 Pastor John Medendorp leaves to further his education.
  • July, 2009 — Pastor Andy Sytsma becomes our Pastor.
  • September, 2011 — Missional Communities begin.
  • November, 2011 — The Houston Cluster begins.
  • September, 2012 — Faithwalking training begins

 

Our story is part of our larger denominational story. New Life Church is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). Here are some highlights:

  • New Life Church has as its foundation the Christian Reformed Church, a 160 year old Protestant denomination that emphasizes the centrality of the Bible and the all-powerful care of God.
  • The word Reformed means that the church is aligned with that historic branch of Christianity called Presbyterian in Scotland, and Reformed in continental Europe. Both draw on the teachings of John Calvin.
  • Reformed churches flourished in the Netherlands and Germany. In the early 1800’s, some of these Dutch Reformed people moved to the United States, and in 1857 they started the CRC.
  • The denomination has nearly 1,000 churches in North America. Many Christians are familiar with “Reformed” writers R.C. Sproul, Tim Keller, J.I. Packer and John Piper. Reformed theology is popular today.
  • Today, the CRC is made up of many peoples: Korean, Hispanic, Navajo, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Anglo and African American. We are praying that God will ignite a missional movement in the CRC and beyond.