Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Ordination Candidate John R. Koopman

Written by Elder Bernard deVries
On Friday, September 17, 1999, after five years of vacancy, our faithful God answered our prayers in providing us with a new pastor and teacher.

Upon completing his theological studies at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary, John Koopman became a candidate for the ministry of GodÕs Word in the Free Reformed Churches of North America. He received calls from the congregations of Mitchell and St. Thomas. The Lord opened the way for and led candidate Koopman to the congregation of St. Thomas.

Pastor Hans Overduin of the Chilliwack FRC, conducted the ordination service. His sermon was based on John 12:20Ð36a where certain Greeks came to Philip saying, ÒSir, we would see Jesus!Ó Pastor Overduin spoke about this request and JesusÕ response that Òthe hour is come that the son of man should be glorified.Ó Pastor Overduin encouraged candidate Koopman to be faithful in preaching Jesus, the light of the world. ÒIf any man serve me let him follow me; and where I am there shall also my servant be; if any man serve me, him will my Father honourÓ John 12:26.

Following the sermon, Pastor Overduin read the Form for the Ordination and Installation of Ministers of the Gospel. This form reminded us of the high calling and awesome responsibilities of this holy office. We pray that pastor Koopman, and all of GodÕs servants would faithfully feed, guide, protect and rule the flock given to them by God.

Pastor Overduin then invited all the FRC pastors present, along with the elders of the St. Thomas Free Reformed congregation to participate in the laying on of hands. The elders held the Bible over the new pastor as each minister gave him an appropriate charge from Scripture. Pastor Koopman then signed the formula of subscription.

Pastor John Koopman then preached his inaugural sermon based on Romans 10:14 and 17: ÒHow can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? É So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.Ó His theme was ÒThrough the Word Preached, Christ speaks to unworthy sinners.Ó Again we heard of the importance of Christ centered preaching, showing the hearers Jesus.

The consistory chairman, Chris Van Doodewaard, then welcomed the new pastor, his wife Sue and their four children to St. Thomas. Pastor Bergsma, counsellor of St. Thomas, gave words of encouragement and looking forward to working with Pastor Koopman. Pastors VanderMeyden, Schouls, Overduin and Pronk welcomed the new pastor and colleague on behalf of the Free Reformed churches. Addresses and words of welcome were also given by Dr DeJong of the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary, Rev. Ludwig on behalf of the local Canadian Reformed churches. Many letters were also received and acknowledged.

Pastor Koopman thanked all for their kind words and support, as well as all who came to celebrate this important beginning of his ministry.

We as congregation praise God for providing us with another pastor and teacher. We pray that God will richly bless our pastorÕs labours in St. Thomas as he shows us Jesus each and every week, so that God would be glorified.

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