God’s sovereign grace is evident in his provision for a Grand Rapids pastor and church plant.
In an evening service on March 4, 2011, Rev. Mitchell Dick was installed as pastor of the Sovereign Grace United Reformed Church, which is a church plant supervised by Trinity URC in Caledonia, MI.
“My wife and I are full of thanks for the Lord’s gracious provision of a new church home,” Rev. Dick says. “God’s leading has been so evident. We are humbled by the divine wisdom, and the freeness of grace. We give thanks to God also for the many people we have come to know and to love in our many months of ministry to various churches in different parts of the States and Canada. These brothers and sisters prayed for us, and ministered to us in our needs. God showed His own love and care of us through them while we were without a fixed charge.”
Trinity’s pastor, Rev. Brian Vos, conducted the installation service, preaching from John 12:20-26 on “The Fruitful Grain of Wheat” and charging the new pastor and congregation to faithfully fulfill the responsibilities of their respective callings. Rev. Travis Grassmid, Pastor of Congregational Life at Bethel URC in Jenison, MI, offered prayer. Rev. Dick gave the concluding benediction.
“I am confident that Rev. Dick’s abilities and work will provide Sovereign Grace with the leadership it needs,” says Rev. Vos. “Rev. Dick is a gifted preacher with a pastor’s heart. He brings much enthusiasm and much wisdom to the table. His desire is not only to share the gospel with the lost, but also to build up the church. Above all, he longs to see Jesus Christ glorified.”
About 75 people attended worship services on March 6, when Rev. Dick preached his inaugural services. His morning sermon from Ephesians 6:19, “Supplicated Sermons,” encouraged listeners to pray that the Spirit of Christ would bless the preaching at Sovereign Grace for the blessing of God’s people. “Oh, Sing!” was the title of the evening sermon, based on Psalm 98:1-3, which emphasized that God will use thankful, praise-filled living (“song-life”) to draw His people to Himself.
“Though such oversight has not been without challenges, we rejoice to see the work God is doing in and through the church plant,” says Rev. Vos. “Since we believe there are already men in attendance at Sovereign Grace qualified to serve as elders and deacons, and since they already demonstrate financial viability, we hope to recommend them for organization in the URCNA in the near future.”
“We simply want to be faithful to God,” Rev. Dick says of the Sovereign Grace congregation. “We want to show, and never to forget, just how abundantly God has blessed us through faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. Out of the full and glad heart we would live and preach and serve our God, one another, and the neighbor…. As our Lord commanded us. And as is our great privilege by His sovereign grace.”
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on pages 15 & 16 of the April 2, 2011 issue of Christian Renewal.