|Hope Church History|
January 7, 1912
Holland Reformed Church of Clifton was organized.
Rev. A.J. Vanden Heuvel: January 1912-June 1914
The church building was taken into use on December 12, 1914, with the property being completed and dedicated on February 15, 1915.
Rev. J. H.E. Te Grootenhuis: May 1915 - September 1919
Rev. John Weibenga: October 1920 - September 1926
The mortgage was burned on December 8, 1925.
Rev. P.A.J. Bouma: November 1926 - May 1931
Rev. Edward Van Farrowe: November 1.932 - until April 1934 with his passing
The congregation deeply mourned the loss of their beloved pastor and aided his widow and young son in their sorrow. Until January 2, 1934 the minutes of consistory were recorded in the Holland language and have remained untranslated. From that point forwarded, the minutes were recorded in English.
Rev. Gerard M. Van Pernis: February 1935 - September 1953
Repairs were mode inside the parsonage. The young peoples' work was organized to better instruct the reformed teaching. The wicks pipe organ was purchased in 1936 for $1,115.00. It was decided to invite more Reformed Church missionaries to the church. New hymn books, the Psalter Hymnal, were purchased in 1937. An adult bible class was organized in 1938. Mr. Peter Schuman was appointed Sunday School Superintendent and a new heating stave was placed in church basement in 1939. On April 17, 1940, was the observance of the organization of the church and the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the church building; new windows were installed in the church and new entrance to the church and chair platform were built. Dedication of the new improvements in the church was in 1941. In 1942, air raid wardens instructed on proper procedure in the event of the attack. Morning service was changed from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM. Rotation systems were adopted for consistory election.
In 1943, Rev. Gerard M. Von Pernis was granted a leave of absence to receive an appointment by the Holland government as chaplain in the Dutch Mannes. He was stationed in England. In 1944, a service flog was given by the Sunday school. V-E Day services were held at the end of war in Europe and Rev. Pernis returned home. New young people society was organized. Every member family plan adapted for the church herald. Mr. John Vander Molen was appointed as Sunday School Superintendent. A new heating system was installed in the church. The poor box was removed and new lights were installed in the church in 1948. The church kitchen was renovated in 1949. In 1950 the Sunday school donated $ 100.00 for 12 new chairs far the consistory; Mr. Cassutto was engaged for Jewish work. A new oil burner was installed in the parsonage and tile floor in the sanctuary.
The name of the church was changed from HOLLAND REFORMED CHURCH to HOPE REFORMED CHURCH.
The canopy far the church entrance was erected in 1952. Rev. Gerard M. Von Pernis terminated his 18 years as pastor on Sep. 1, 1953, as he accepted a call to the Williamson Reformed Church, Classis of Rochester, NY, from which church he was to later retired from the active pastorate.
Rev. Clarence Werkema: June 1954 - February 1959
A Boys Club was organized. Gifts of drapes for choir loft was received from Mrs. Albert Mastenbroak, Mrs. S. Oppelaar begins junior choir. Started support pledged for mission work in Canada and Arabia. Summer VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL was established and held. Spanish service was held in 1957. In 1958, Ruth circle gave drapes far the church basement; girls club was organized; additional hymnals were given; Sunday school gave piano to the church and prayer meeting was held in winter months. Rev. Clarence Werkema accepted call to Holland Center Christian Reformed Church, Lodge Pole, South Dakota. Farewell was on February 15, 1959.
Rev. Paul B. Caley: January 1960 - January 1967
Rev. Paul & Phyllis with daughters Anne, Debbie and Connie joyously took up residence at 310 Burgess Place - in the beautiful, spacious parsonage - to begin a seven year ministry with their first RCA congregation. Their 4th daughter, Janet, was born while at Hope. She was baptized by the Rev. John Hanse of People's Park Reformed Church. As pastor with his wife Phyllis they took every opportunity to appreciate the Dutch cultural setting. They loved it. They did their best to pick up right where their fine pastoral predecessors left off. They endeavored to lead and teach the congregation into a closer walk with God and a clearer understanding of what it meant to live the Christian life.
Laymen's Sunday was observed. In 1961, youth Sunday was observed; church nursery was organized; but the church suffered the loss of the church organist, Mr. R.A. Vanden Heuvel, son of the founding pastor. Alida Tracy became the new organist and Karen Mierop was the new pianist. In 1962, new pew bibles were donated. Mr. Martin Vander Molen, church custodian for 12 years retires from the post after years of faithful service. Other changes were from the venerable Psalter Hymnal to the Trinity Hymnal. No smoking in the Consistory room. Later, not in the church building. Did NOT change- when the anonymous request of a church member asked that grape juice be used for Communion instead of wine. Subtle resistance for outreach to the community.
On a VERY hot summer Sunday morning with no air conditioning in the church building he had removed his suit coat before the sermon. In all seriousness on the way out after church an elder said to Pastor Caley (in a strong good Dutch accent) "I never thought I would see the day when the Domine would be in the pulpit in his shirt sleeves!"
The special events consisted of the 50th Anniversary Celebration in May 6, 7, 8, 1962 with Rev. Gerard Von Pernis and Dr. Marion DeVelder; October 1962 week long preaching series "The Christian's Need for Revival", Guest speaker, The
Rev. G. Travers Sloyer of Second Reformed Church, Lodi, NJ; Four day mission with The Rev. Malcolm Brown on "The Tests of Faith."; Missionary support of Jeannette Boersma to Oman; 1965 missionary event with Wyckliff missionaries to Peru, Will & Lee Kindberg.
Rev. Paul B. Caley and Phyllis remembered the beautifully manicured church lawn with tulips in the church garden; near-by neighbors; quiet Sundays in the neighborhood-no lawn mowing; gift of upright piano, Weasel Brook Park; Fritche Brothers factory odors and reaching new neighborhood families. Those who painted the steeple (plus the metal sanctuary ceiling); and who helped with the church building and maintenance needs and so many others who offered their services; the Dutch Psalter hymn sing every January. They also appreciated the kindness and love of the congregation who welcomed their family so warmly and his mother, Nell Caley, when she retired and came to live with them; the strong leadership of the elders and the godly leadership over the years that demonstrated the openness to begin welcoming young deacons into the Consistory. Mrs. Mierop (Peter's Mother) is especially remembered for her personal walk with God as a godly leader among the women of the church.
Rev. Paul B. Caley had the following comments - many times over the years people did not expect the little church on Dutch Hill to survive. However, some churches of the Classis who once were considered to be so strong no longer exist, or have merged with other congregations in order to survive. Hope Church with its dedicated lay leaders, its loyal congregants, its steadfast anchor in the Word of God, and its faithful pastors has survived a century. As the people of God, I challenge the congregation today to stand strong, fight the good fight of faith, preach the Word, and reach out to the lost until Christ Returns.
Rev. Patrick Vostello: 1967 - 1974
During his term the church kitchen and bathroom were renovated. The church participated in Billy Graham Crusade at Madison Square Garden.
Rev. Arnold Kress: 1974 - 1978
TEAM missionaries came to the church.
Rev. Steve Sickler: 1978 - 1984
The Miracle Sunday Project of April 13, 1980 which goal was to raise $ 15,000.00 reached the amount of $ 16,000.00. In 1981 repairs were done to the church kitchen. Sept. 30, 1982 the church van was sold. April 7, 1983 the driveway got expanded and paved.
Rev. John Nyitray: 1986 - 1992
There was a balloon launch project to share God's word with the world in 1986. Newsport singers gave a concert to the church on May 17, 1987. June 5, 6, 7, 1987 the church celebrated its 75th anniversary. Teen workers came to help in the yard and did same painting in 1990. A number of summers in the late 1980's Hope Church had a neighborhood calling program. They used a prepared questionnaire to help get conversations started about spiritual interest. Once a week, they gathered to pray and then went out in groups of two to meet their neighbors. One ministry night stands out particularly. It was a beautiful evening; one team went up and down both sides of a nearby street for two blocks. They found many people home and open to talk. The thing they realized as they walked back to church was that everyone they met had not been born in the United States and not one was from the same country. The world is at Hope Church's doorstep!
Pastor John Nyitray and Betty Kranik were paired together that night. They did not find many at home and if they were not willing to talk. At one home early an in the evening, a woman did came to the door interested in what they had to share. However, the large barking ferocious dag at her side hindered the conversation. It was turning into a discouraging night. Later, there was time to try one report on the evening.
As they approached, an elderly gentleman named John was coming out of his back door. They learned he had been caring for his wife for seven years and rarely got out. It seemed to Pastor John and Betty as though John was expecting them.
They were invited info a bedroom and they met his wife Mary. They prayed for John and his wife and shared about the Lord Jesus. Mary passed away not too long after that first summer evening conversation. Pastor Nyitray officiated at her funeral and John later professed his faith in Jesus and became a member of Hope Church. God so clearly prepared the way that summer night.
Rev. Edward Suffern: March 1993 -April 2007
Men of lntegrity and Women of Hope started in the 1990's. In 1994 was kick-off of Hope for Kids after school learning club. In 1994 to 1995 Rebuilding Hope, capital drive and renovation campaign for a new roof, new sidewalks, exterior painting, sound system and Installation of an air-conditioning system. Rebuild Hope work camp was held in Fonda, New York in 1995. Hope's Hearth Fellowship Groups started in 1995. The youth group sponsored a walk in 3rd Ward Park for Kate Webb in 1996.
In 1996 to 2000 was the introduction and implementation of discipleship/vision curriculum, "Experiencing God". The church assisted in the planting of the Albanian Evangelical Church in Garfield, NJ from 2000 to 2002. August 2001 to June 2002 was the internship of the first full time youth director Jolanda (Malburg) Howe and served as youth director from July 2002 to June 2006. In 2004, the following ministries got started: GEMS (girls everywhere meeting the savior) and Stockade for young boys.
Hope hasted New Horizon Christian Reformed Church from 2003 to 2004. The church summer picnic of 2004 was held in Warwick Conference Center, NY with Peter Everett as the Christian magician. Mike Rayson, singer and song writer presented his music to our congregation in February 2005. The new carpeting for the sanctuary and stairs was installed in Spring 2005. In June 2005, the church participated in the greater New York Billy Graham Crusade in Flushing Meadows Park using the Eastern Christian School bus. Missions Fair associated with "The purpose-driven church", including presentation by Jesus for Muslims representative was held in 2005. The new church sign was finished in November 2005.
Movers and Shakers started in April 2006. The fire and reign spiritual renewal weekend was hosted by Bryan Moak in February 2007.
Rev. Steve Wolters: July 2007 - January 2010
Hope participated again in the all reformed churches lent services and summer picnic. Parsonage renovation in July 2007. New boiler was installed at parsonage in November 2007. Freedom House started in June 2008. Started community barbeque on the last day of vacation bible school to invite families of kids and neighbors around the area.
Church renovation - repair and painting in September 2008. Horne bible study using fire proof books was held in September 2008. Pastor installation in October 2008. Door hanger plastic bags with church brochure and gospel booklets were distributed by the brigades in December 2008 for evangelism. For the first time Hope celebrated "Three Kings" in January 2009. Mrs. Alida Tracy retired in January 2009 as the church organist. New fence was installed by the parsonage in June 2009. New laptop computer was purchased in October 2009 to be used for worship service.
Pastor Eric Farrar: September 2010 to present
In October 2010, the church went to see "Joseph", at the Sight & Sound Theater, Lancaster, PA; dinner at the Hershey Inn. Walk thru the bible seminar was held in November 2010. The Book of John was used for home bible study in Feb. 2011. The church enjoyed the Eastern Christian School Choir Concert in April 2011. Fall home bible study used the book Always True (God's 5 promises when life is hard). In October 2011, the parsonage basement got flooded was recently repaired and painted.
June 2, 2012 Celebration luncheon. June 3, 2012 Celebration Worship Service.