Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Brantford Congregation Celebrates Pastor Pronk's Thirty Years of Service

Written by Peter Feijer
Thirty years a go on a foggy, rainy evening, a west coast Free Reformed congregation observed the ordination and installation of their new pastor, our own pastor Pronk! Not many of our Ontarian or American members would remember that evening since the distance was too great to be there. Yet, as our pastor and his dear wife reminisced, we in our mindÕs eye were there.

The text for the inaugural sermon was chosen from Joshua 1:5-7.

"There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Be strong and of good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.Ó

As he stood before his new congregation thirty years ago, our pastor relayed to us that he was feeling somewhat fearful. However, looking back, he testified that like Joshua would, he too, had experienced God's unfailing help and abundant blessings during the past thirty years in the ministry.

Unknown to our pastor, plans had been made by the Brantford congregation to celebrate this momentous occasion with him and his family. The evening included contributions from young and old.

The Sunday school children sang Psalter 425 verse 5--a song dear to our pastor. Other contributions included several musical selections and a 'How well do you know your pastorÕ trivia quiz.

In appreciation of Mrs. Pronk's untiring labour of love in our congregation, the denomination and in the community, she was presented with a beautiful plant. As pastor Pronk conveyed to his wife during the evening, she has also proved to be an invaluable helpmeet and encourager throughout his ministry.

The evening would of course have been incomplete without some reminiscing by pastor Pronk's good friend and colleague, pastor Schouls. We were reminded that our pastor is not without the natural ability to be witty and Ômischievous,ÕÉ but were we really surprised? We sensed a closeness between these pastors that no doubt also served as a support for their ministries.

As a token of the congregation's appreciation of our pastor during the past four years, he was presented with a new computer system, a gift which he received with much appreciation and as a total surprise!

Afterward the congregation gathered in the meeting room for coffee, pastries and fellowship.

We wish both pastor Pronk and his wife God's continued help and richest blessings in the years to come as they continue to labour in our congregation and in the whole denomination.

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