Our Denomination

New Life Church is privileged to partner with the Christian Reformed Church in North America, a 160-year-old Protestant denomination. We are a diverse family of healthy congregations, assemblies and ministries expressing the good news of God’s kingdom that transforms lives and communities worldwide.

As a people called by God, we gather to praise God, listen to him, and respond. We nurture each other in faith and obedience to Christ. We love and care for one another as God’s people. We commit ourselves to serve and to tell others about Jesus. We pursue God’s justice and peace in every area of life. What does the name Christian Reformed Church of North America mean?

Christian – We have the word Christian in our name because we confess that we belong to Jesus Christ, and are His followers. We emphasize the centrality of the Bible and the all-powerful care of God.

Reformed – We have the word Reformed in our name because we’re aligned with that historic branch of Christianity that withdrew from the Catholic church in the early 1500s. This branch has influenced many great historic preachers, such as Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, and Charles Spurgeon. In modern times, many people are familiar with the books of Reformed writers such as R.C. Sproul, J.I. Packer, John Stott and John Piper.

In America – The church was called Presbyterian in Scotland, and Reformed in continental Europe. In the early 1800s, some of the Reformed people moved to the United States from the Netherlands, and in 1857 they started the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Today, the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) is racially and ethnically diverse and has churches throughout the world, with about 300,000 members in North America in just over 1,000 churches. Click here to find out what we believe. Not only are we grateful for a rich theological heritage in the reformed tradition, but we are also energized by many opportunities to seek the kingdom together. Here are some ways we have partnered together:

Our History – New Life Church was started in 1979 by Jerry Holleman and Keith Tanis, both CRC pastors and church planters. But none of this would have been possible without the vision, prayer and resources provided by Christian Reformed Home Missions, our domestic missions agency here in North America. Home Missions continues to be an invaluable partner in our recruiting, assessing, training and coaching church planters today.

Our Mission – God has been using the CRC to partner with him in mission in a variety of ways.When Hurricane Ike hit our region in 2008, hundreds of volunteers from all over North America helped with disaster relief. Years later people are still coming to help in the rebuilding efforts. World Renew (formerly Christian Reformed World Relief Committee) coordinated these efforts. World Renew also helped us strategize how to do community development locally here in Old Town Spring Heights. Pastor Andy and his wife Jacie both grew up oversees where their parents served as missionaries with Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM). New Life’s previous pastor, Pastor John Medendorp, also served with CRWM. The CRC has an exciting vision. Here are some links to our denomination’s Vision, Mission and Calling and Our Journey 2020.

Our Service – God has also been using the CRC to minister to our soldiers in the military. Our church was privileged to commission Chaplain Richard Hill to serve our troops bringing God’s word and being the presence of Christ to them. Richard served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The CRC’s Chaplaincy Ministry provides support and supervision for Richard. Richard and his wife Brooke are stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and have two children, Hannah and Noah.

Our Training – All four of New Life’s current and previous pastors received theological training at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Some of our members have attended Christian colleges such as Calvin College or Dordt College, both affiliated with the CRC. We have also benefited from non-formal training such as Ascending Leaders, Dance of Racial Reconciliation and Timothy Leadership Institute.

There are many other ways we have been blessed by our partnership with the CRC:

For all of these blessings we are grateful. We honor our role in this partnership, not only by carrying out ministry at the local level, but by supporting the work of our denomination through ministry shares.