Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Installation of Pastor C.A. Schouls in Chatham, Ontario

Written by Jack Rintjema
On Friday, September 3, 1999, we, as the Free Reformed Church of Chatham, could celebrate the installation of our new pastor and teacher Rev. C.A. Schouls. It was a very special day for us, along with family and friends, in the presence of God, when we could witness this installation.

Pastor Schouls began his ministry in 1978 in Mitchell, where he served for six years, after which he faithfully served the congregation of Vineland for fifteen years. It was a ministry greatly blessed by the Lord and now the Lord has called him, along with his wife Margaret, to Chatham.

Rev. Pronk of Brantford conducted the installation service. The theme of his sermon was ÒPaulÕs Definition of a True Minister of the Gospel,Ó based on 1 Corinthians 4:1-5. Rev. Pronk used the analogy of rowers on a galley ship, in showing how ministers are servants of Christ, in the work of the kingdom of God. Yet, although real masters on a galley ship are cruel, Christ, our Master, is loving and kind, knows our frame, our weaknesses and supplies all our needs.

Rev. Van Essen, emeritus and part-time interim pastor, gave the charge to the congregation. He used the example of Aaron and Hur, holding up the arm of Moses, during the Israelite battle against Amalek, to encourage the congregation to lift up their pastor in prayer to the Lord.

Pastor Schouls then preached his inaugural sermon, based on 2 Corinthians 5:20,21. The theme of the sermon was ÒPaul Presents the Essence of True Gospel Ministry.Ó Some of the highlights presented were, that it is God Himself who greatly desires the salvation of His sheep, and how He, through His servants, begs His people to turn to Him. If a king begs for something, who can refuse? What love is displayed here! The basis of the gospel is found in verse 21: ÒHe who knew no sin, became sin, for usÓ.

Consistory chairman Peter Luth then gave words of welcome to Pastor and Mrs. Schouls. Pastor Bergsma of London, counsellor of the Chatham congregation also gave words of encouragement. Many letters were received and acknowledged, but due to the length of the evening they could not all be read. We did feel it appropriate to read one, a letter from our former pastor, Rev. H. Overduin.

In closing remarks Pastor Schouls thanked the many who came and again echoed the words of Rev. Van Essen, in encouraging the congregation to pray for him and his labours.

We do thank the Lord for sending us Pastor Schouls and his wife. Our prayer is that the Lord will greatly use him as he ministers and teaches us, to the glory of His name. May God richly bless him along with his wife with health and strength in the years to come.

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