Special May Visits to the PRC Seminary

During the month of May we have had a couple of special guests at the PRC Seminary – an individual and a group. So, on this Wednesday we feature their time with us.



Mr. Start and Prof.R. Cammenga during set up of coin display tables.

The first visitor was Mr. Doug Start, a member of our Georgetown PRC, and otherwise known as the “coin guy” (check out his website or his Facebook page). Doug is a licensed coin collector and seller, and for some time we have wanted him come and show his coins from the biblical and early church history periods. On the last day of classes (May 5) a visit was finally arranged.



Mr. Start gives his informative presentation to faculty, students, and wives.

What a fabulous collection Doug showed and what an informative talk he gave us! I can only give you a glimpse, but if schools are looking for an interesting and instructive presentation, contact Mr. Start! You will be impressed!

Part of an amazing collection of coins, oil lamps, etc.





Roman coin with image of Janus, the two-faced god that Herman Hoeksema referenced in connection with the common grace controversy.

The second visitor was a group – the church history students of Mr. Dan Van Uffelen and Mr. Scott Van Uffelen from Covenant Christian High School in Walker, who came last Friday, May 20. This is an annual visit these students and teachers make to the Seminary, part of a church history tour guided by Prof. D. Engelsma (with morning visits to Eastern Ave. CRC and then the old First PRC in Grand Rapids).


Gathering for devotions prior to pizza lunch together in the back of Seminary.

This too is a visit we look forward to each year, though with the group getting larger each year (near 100 this year!), we seem to be running out of space to put them all!


Did someone say pizza?!


It wasn’t long and the pizza was gone! That’s part of the transportation committee in the background – Mr. Vern Haveman and Mr. Mike Engelsma


Enjoying the beautiful day on the Seminary grounds after lunch

Personally, I enjoy this visit because I get to lead a “sectional” on the PRC archives. Explaining to the students how and why we preserve our part in the history of Christ’s universal church is thrilling to me; and when I get to show them some of the treasures in the archives room, their eyes light up – they actually seem to be interested and excited too! Of course, the two Van Uffelen teachers have already tipped them off and added to the anticipation!:)


The Van Uffelen church history teachers with Prof. D. Engelsma

We thank our CCHS church history teachers and students for including us in their annual tour, and pray that their visit to us was inspirational as well as instructive. Don’t forget what was told you about preserving the history! We pray for you all. Do the same for us.


Time for departure – thank you for your encouraging visit once again!

Special Visitors from Heritage Christian High

It was a week ago that another group of special visitors came to the PRC Seminary. This group was uniquely special because for the first time a group of students came from the Heritage Christian High School in Dyer, IN, as part of a church history tour to West Michigan.


Prof.B. Gritters starting a tour of the seminary library.

They spent most of a morning with us, receiving an introduction to the seminary and a tour of the building, taking in two classes, and participating in devotions. They then enjoyed a pizza lunch with us, before departing with Profs. D.Engelsma and R. Dykstra to visit the old First PRC in Grand Rapids (Fuller and Franklin) and then Graafschaap CRC in Holland.


Preparing to join the faculty and students for devotions.

Once again we may say that we thoroughly enjoyed this group of students and thank them, Mr. Ryan Dykstra (HCHS teacher and son of Prof.R. Dykstra), and the two chaperones, Lou DeJong and Matt Moore, for taking the time to join us for part of a day


Enjoying the fellowship at coffee time.

It is hard to express how much these visits encourage the professors and students and staff at Seminary. But we may unitedly say that they do, and we are grateful for your interest in and participation in a little part of our life. And perhaps some seeds were sown in the hearts and minds of a few of the young men who visited. That belongs to our petitions.:)


Sitting in on Prof.R. Dykstra’s medieval church history class.

More Special Visitors – Adams Christian 5th Graders

This past Wednesday the PRC Seminary hosted some more special guests. This time the fifth grade class from Adams Christian School taught by Mrs. MaryBeth Lubbers joined us for an hour of their morning.


5th Graders join the students and professors for devotions

This was a first for a class from Adams CS (where I have two grandchildren this year), and we are glad they took the time to get to know our special school better. We enjoyed having them and trust the students passed Prof. Cammenga’s quiz!


Mrs.Lubbers and some parents share their snacks at coffee time

The professors and students always enjoy meeting the children and having a time of fellowship with them. Below are a few photos of this time.


Coffee/drink time with snacks and good fellowship


Darren Vink and Matt Kortus take some time to chat with a table of girls


More mingling by students and Prof. Gritters


Profs. Dykstra and Cammenga enjoy a few of the students’ company

Published in: on April 22, 2016 at 6:20 AM  Comments (1)  

Special Visits from the Heritage Christian 4th Graders

Yesterday the second group of fourth graders from Heritage Christian School (Hudsonville, MI) visited the PRC Seminary, this class being that of Ms. Liz Van Drunen. Two weeks ago the class of Mrs. Jane Woudenberg made their annual visit – always a highlight on our calendar.

These are wonderful opportunities for the young students to see and learn about the PRC Seminary, and it seems they are just as excited to be there as we are to have them there. We thank the two teachers for taking the time to bring the children here and to have them appreciate what it takes to train ministers of the gospel (Can you remember those classes with difficult names that the students here are required to take, students? What is Homiletics?! Poimenics?!).

And we pray that some small seeds were sown in the hearts of some of the young boys, so that someday they receive that special call to serve the Lord and His church in this way. Perhaps in another ten years some of you will walk through those doors again.:)

After Prof. R.Cammenga’s introduction to the Seminary, the student’s are given a tour of the building. Usually that includes just the main part of the Seminary – the upstairs. But when some of our Seminary students make mention of the ping-pong tables in the basement, the HCS students eyes light up – can we see that too?



Sure, I told them. But then you also have to see the PRC archives room, something few will see. And inside they came, where Mr. Bob Drnek was at work, who also explained the PRYP’s Convention ribbon display to them. So they got a little PRC history lesson too.



Thanks for coming! And don’t forget to pray for us! We pray for you daily.

Postscript: I must give my sincere apologies to Mrs.Woudenberg and her class for not taking any pictures of their visit. I was occupied with other things that morning and never gave my camera a thought until after they left. I regret that. I will try and do better next year. Forgive me.

Published in: on April 14, 2016 at 6:38 AM  Comments (2)  

Friday Brats with a Little Culture

bratfestDuring the PRC Seminary’s school year, we enjoy a bratfest each Friday for lunch, with each of us taking turns supplying brats, chips, and other items to satisfy our hunger. The students do the grilling (usually, that is – if I schedule them a free 4th hour on Friday, which I try to do – otherwise I have to do the grilling!) and all pitch in to help set up the room for our special lunch. As you might guess, this is something we look forward to each week.

I might also add here, that Mrs. Judi Doezema spoils us each week (usually Friday – and this week twice – on opening day too!) with a special snack. She is a terrific baker and we so enjoy her wide variety of goodies! And now that Rev. Josh Engelsma is gone, we can have nuts on the top of the treats again!:)

What deserves special notice today, however, is the extra special lunch hour we enjoyed today. Last year Prof. B.Gritters initiated a “cultural experience” during this lunch time, and so from time to time (if we remember!) we also enjoy a special cultural treat. Today, for our first bratfest of the new school year, we had one again – a very special one. Prof.R. Cammenga arranged for his nephew, Brennen Cammenga, an 8th grader at Heritage Christian School in Hudsonville, and son of Tom and Cherie Cammenga (members of Faith PRC), to come and play the piano for us (As an aside but still noteworthy is the fact that Brennen’s piano teacher is Mrs. Lori Gritters, Prof.’s wife.).

And what a fine job he did! A variety of music was played by him and enjoyed by us – from special Psalter arrangements to hymns to contemporary piano pieces. I took a short video of part of his performance for us and with his parents’ permission, post it here for your enjoyment too.

Thanks, Brennen, for sharing your gift and love of good music with us! It truly was an extra special bratfest today.

Here are the two places you may watch the video:


Published in: on September 4, 2015 at 3:33 PM  Comments (1)  

PRC Archives – Edgerton PRC YP’s Convention, 1963

One of the items Bob Drnek and I recently found in the material from Mr. Henry Huisken, long-time member of Edgerton, MN PRC, was the 23rd annual PRC Young People’s Convention booklet – sponsored by Edgerton PRC!

Turns out we did have this convention booklet already, but that’s ok; I like duplicates, because I get to bring it to my office and use for featuring on this blog for PRC archives day! Or lay out on the Seminary library table for others to browse. Besides, I know a certain church history teacher in the area who collects these and might be interested in the “extra” copy.:)

So, today we feature the 23th annual PRC YP’s Convention. I have scanned a number of pages and present them here for your viewing and recollecting pleasure. Of course, most of you just want the pictures anyway – always a treat! Enjoy this trip to SW Minnesota and all the activities of that August in ’63!

Cover of the 1963 PRYP's Convention Booklet

Cover of the 1963 PRYP’s Convention Booklet

The host society - Edgerton PRC young people

The host society – Edgerton PRC young people

Message from the Fed Board President and picture of the Board

Message from the Fed Board President and picture of the Board

Schedule of activities and speaker #1

Schedule of activities and speaker #1

Day 2 activities and speaker #2

Day 2 activities and speaker #2


Published in: on June 4, 2015 at 3:58 PM  Comments (3)  

PRC Archives – 1968 PRYP’s Convention

Today for our PRC archives feature we post some items relating to the 1968 PR Young People’s Convention. They all are found in the August-September issue of the Beacon Lights, our PRYP’s magazine, which you may also find on their website. This was the annual convention issue, which included reports on the convention, the printed speeches, and a few pictures – all focused on the theme – “How Great Thou Art.”

Who was the host of this ’68 Convention? Where was it held? What events and activities took place? Who were the speakers? All those questions, and more, are answered below, so keep reading and viewing!

I have scanned five (5) items from this issue, beginning with the cover. Enjoy! And be on the lookout for some familiar faces! Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

Aug-Sept-1968-BL Cover_Page_1

1968 BL YPsConv Report-DL_Page_1

BL Fed Board Pics-1968_Page_1

BL 1968 YPsConv Pics-1_Page_1

BL 1968 YPsConv Pics-2_Page_1

Memories of Grundy Center (Iowa) Library – John J. Timmerman

Through a Glass Lightly-TimmermanContinuing some readings in John J. Timmerman’s “semi-autobiography”, Through a Glass Lightly (Eerdmans, 1987),  I read another chapter last evening. “Out of the Shell” describes Timmerman’s years in Grundy Center, Iowa (1916-20), when his father (CRC minister) took a call to begin a preparatory school (seminary) to train pastors to serve in Classis Ostfriesland.

This was another fascinating description of his early life among the Germans and Dutch (a few) in this community (as well as the Scotch and Irish). One of the paragraphs that intrigued me – and which I post here – is his reference to the Grundy Center library and the books and magazines to which he was exposed as a young boy. You will be able to judge rather quickly why this section of the chapter grabbed my attention and made me smile – but also frown with sadness (keep reading!).

The Grundy Center library was a good one for a town of its size, especially in two respects: an abundance of children’s books and a gracious, unforgettable librarian, Mrs. Holden. She knew books boys would like, and in my world at least, fortunately unfamiliar with radio and television, books were the frigate to take me lands away. I fought the Indians in Altsheler’s fine boys’ books [so have I!], the British redcoats in Tomlinson’s stories, lived in the woods with E.T. Seton’s superb “Rolfe in the Woods” and “The Young Savages”, had fun with “Penrod and Sam” by Tarkington, and, best of all, romped with “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn.”

My parents also gave me books, the “Rover Boys” series, one after the other. These books and the excellent boys’ magazines of the time, “St. Nicholas Magazine”, which was not a Christmas magazine, “Boy’s Life,” and “American Boy”, brought a stir of adventure into my boyhood, where games, a rare fire, a runaway horse, or the drama of disease and death were about the only excitement around. These were the magazines of high quality and published stories by gifted authors, some of them famous in American literature.

The stories were rooted in human experience and human history, from drama in a small town to adventures in the forest, the frontier, the windswept coast, the buffeted ships, and the endless plains. The central characters were usually youngsters who dramatized virtues such as honesty, courage, loyalty, generosity, and simple decency in a harsh world. They were moral without sentimental stuffing and pompous lessons.  They were healthy books. When I think of the sexually sick world that I, as well as many little children, now see on the television screen, I am enraged at what our culture has done to the innocence a child deserves and needs (14-15).

Special Seminary Guests: Heritage CS 4th Graders (Group 2)

As mentioned here last Wednesday, we had our annual 4th-grader visit from Heritage Christian School last week and again today – Miss Van Drunen’s last week and Mrs. Jane Woudenberg’s today.  It was another wonderful group of well-behaved, respectful, and interested students (Did I mention energetic?!).



They listened attentively to Prof.B.Gritters’ talk about the Seminary, followed diligently as he gave them the tour of the main floor (library, classrooms, etc.) and basement (They might let you in on the only Seminary PE class!), willingly joined the students and faculty for devotions (what a sound of singing came out of the chapel room today!), and then happily devoured their snacks as they mingled with the students and professors.


Another blessed and encouraging visit for the Seminary. We thank you too, Mrs.Woudenberg, for taking the time to come see what goes on here and to sow seeds of future ministry in the minds and hearts of some young lads. But besides that, we pray for you and trust you will do the same for us.


Here are a few pictures I took of this 4th grade visit. We hope you children enjoyed this visit too. Together we will say, “Come again!”





The 1950 PR Young People’s Convention and 25th Anniversary PRC Field Day

Last week several old issues of the Beacon Lights, the magazine “for Protestant Reformed Youth” were put away in the PRC archives. Bob Drnek  brought a few of them into my office because two of these were PR Young People Convention issues (1950 and 1968) and had some good pictures in them.

So I scanned a few pages from the August, 1950 “BL”, since this also included a report on the PRC Field Day held in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of our denomination – an event that drew 2700 to Spring Grove in Jamestown! We post these today, though some of the pictures are quite dark. But I hope you will recognize a few folks and enjoy another ride down “memory lane” – at least for some of you, since others of us didn’t come along until 1958!

Come along! Here we go! [As always, you may click on the picture to enlarge it.]

1950 BL Cover_Page_1


1950 Fed Board_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0005_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0006_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0001_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0002_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0003_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0004_Page_1


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