How it all began
Trinity Canadian Reformed Church was instituted, by the grace of God, on August 26, 2001. The inaugural worship service was held in the gymnasium of Guido de Brés Christian High School in Hamilton. At the outset, 157 members left Cornerstone Canadian Reformed Church in Hamilton on Stonechurch Road to begin this new venture. Rev. Cl. Stam, pastor of Cornerstone Church, officiated in the inaugural worship service. He chose as text 1 Timothy 3:15. Shortly thereafter the congregation began holding worship services in the Knox Presbyterian Church building in Binbrook, Ontario.
Our first pastor
In December, 2001, a call was extended to the Rev. D.W. Vandeburgt, pastor of the American Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado in the United States. The LORD was pleased to answer our prayers, and Rev. Vandeburgt accepted the call extended to him.
On April 14, 2002, Rev. D. Vandeburgt was installed as the first pastor and teacher of Trinity Canadian Reformed Church. Again, Rev. Cl. Stam conducted the installation service, during which he spoke on 2 Timothy 1: 6-7. In the afternoon service, Rev. Vandeburgt preached his inaugural sermon, using as text the words of 1 Corinthians 2:1-5: He spoke humbly and powerfully about what defines a minister and what his main task is, which is to proclaim the whole counsel of God.
A time of growth
The congregation has since continued to grow. Every Sunday the Word and Spirit enrich us. Bible Study groups and other committees are active. There have been numerous births, and we have had new members join our congregation.
On July 1, 2007, the congregation had outgrown the Knox Presbyterian Church building and so we began worshipping in the Binbrook United Church building just down the road. The United Church facilities served us well until January of 2009 when we were able to move into our own church building. We are thankful to Knox Presbyterian Church in Binbrook and the Binbrook United Church for graciously allowing us to rent their facilities for 6 and 1 1/2 years.
Our own building
On January 4, 2009, we were privileged to conduct our first worship service in our own church building. The congregation purchased the former Seneca Unity School building at 32 Unity Road just north of Caledonia, and after nearly 7 1/2 years of existence, had a place to call home! Rev. Vandeburgt led the inaugural worship service by preaching from 1 Peter 2 : 4, 5 and we were reminded that the building that we now call home is just that — a building, built out of dead stones. While a lot of work went into preparing this building for use, the work of building the church of Christ has to continue. We are called to be living stones, built together on the one Cornerstone who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was an overwhelming and exciting experience. It is hard to believe that we managed to transform an old school building into a sparkingly clean, freshly painted and fully functional church building. Classrooms have been converted into a fellowship hall (two classrooms together with a wall removed), a catechism/meeting room, a nursery (complete with sleeping room, drop off area, hooks, cubby holes, change counter, etc.), a consistory room, a kitchen, future library etc. The gym is not recognizable as a gym anymore since we have the pulpit, chairs, baptismal font, organ, speakers, and liturgy boards in place. We look forward to praising God in this building for the next years!
Farewell to our pastor
On August 2, 2009, a chapter ended in the history of our congregation. Rev. Vandeburgt and his family said farewell as they prepared to move to Burlington-Waterdown in order to serve God’s church there. In his farewell address, Rev. Vandeburgt preached on 2 Corinthians 13: 11 – 14: “Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you…” It was an emotional day for all of us as we reflected on 7 years of faithful service by our beloved pastor and teacher. Over the 7 years a strong bond of love and respect had developed between pastor and congregation.
A new chapter
A week after Rev. Vandeburgt said farewell to the congregation and we to him, the congregation was gladdened with the news that Candidate Rodney Vermeulen had accepted the call extended to him by this congregation on July 19th. What a blessing from the Lord that within such a short time period we could receive a new pastor and teacher.
On Sunday, October 4, 2009 during the morning service we witnessed the beautiful moment in which Candidate Vermeulen was ordained as minister of the Word, and installed as minister of Trinity Canadian Reformed Church! Rev. W. den Hollander, pastor of Bethel Canadian Reformed Church in Toronto (with whom Candidate Vermeulen had done his internship) conducted the ordination service. He chose as text 2 Timothy 2: 8, after which Candidate R. Vermeulen was ordained and installed. Dr. G.H. Visscher and Rev. J. Van Vliet also participated in the laying on of hands with Rev. den Hollander.
In the afternoon service, Rev. Vermeulen preached his first sermon as our pastor, using Colossians 2: 2,3 as his text: “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Fast forward nearly 10 years. God has blessed us with faithful preaching and pastoral care by Rev. Vermeulen during this time. But on June 23, 2019, the next chapter in the history of our congregation came to an end. Rev. Vermeulen and his family said farewell as they prepared to move to Attercliffe, ON in order to serve God’s church there. In his farewell address, Rev. Vermeulen preached on Psalm 121, and at the end of the service spoke, for the last time as our pastor, the words of the benediction: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Again, it was an emotional day for both pastor and congregation. But we go forward in faith, knowing that our help comes from the LORD who made heaven and earth.
God’s work continues
As time progresses, this ‘brief history’ is becoming less and less brief. And yet, through it all we continue to see the hand of our faithful God and Father who has blessed us so richly as congregation. It is our prayer that our heavenly Father will continue to go with us, preserving us as a true body of believers, redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ and renewed by the Holy Spirit!
Soli Deo Gloria!