On Saturday, May 7, 1953, the Emmanuel Reformed Church of Woodstock, Ontario was officially organized by the Classis of Passaic, RCA. It was an outgrowth of the Burford Reformed Church, which printed a charter member list on July 7, 1951. The membership consisted of 56 communicant members and 80 baptised members.
Reverand Clarence Schipper was the first pastor of the congretation and remained the Missionary Pastor until June 21, 1959. After him, the Reverend Arthur Opmeer was installed as Pastor on July 12, 1960. All worship services were held in the Dutch language. On September 10, 1961, a second morning service was added in the English language. Our congregation joined the newly formed Classis of Ontario in 1962.
Reverend Cornelius Bons was installed as our Pastor on November 4, 1964. A new wing was started in 1967, due to growth and crowded conditions. A second building expansion occurred in 1974. The new building was dedicated on March 14, 1975.
On Sunday, August 31, 1980, Reverend Bons preached his last sermon as our Pastor. He was about to begin a new calling as the Field Secretary of the Reformed Church in Canada. The Reverend Roeland Hartmans was installed in Emmanuel on May 1, 1981. In September of 1991, our new Associate Pastor, Reverend Jeff Kingswood was installed as a Pastor of Emmanuel. In April of 1993, construction of our present church building was started. On December 3, 1993, our new building was dedicated. Reverend Hartmans retired in September of 1994, leaving Reverend Kingswood as the sole pastor of our congregation. He left our church on December 31, 2000.
We welcomed Reverend Joe Veltman as our interim pastor on December 2, 2001. Our church family consisted of 134 families, 254 communicant-baptized members and 218 non-communicant-baptized members for a total of 472 members. On January 23 , 2004, Reverend Case Koolhaas was installed as the Minister of Emmanuel Reformed Church. Pastor Case retired from the ministry in May of 2009.
We are excited that God has provided for a new shepherd for Emmanuel Reformed Church. Pastor Peter Burrill was installed as our minister of Word and Sacrament on February 11, 2011. Pastor Pete, his wife Elaine and their four children McKenzie, Cody, Caleb and Kira come to us from Chatham. We pray that together we will be a beacon of light to the community we live and serve in.
We are grateful to God for his continued blessings and mercy to Emmanuel Reformed Church. It is our fervent prayer that God will continue to be glorified through the faithful witness of our church.