A new church plant in Classis Southwest US of the URCNA began worship services on September 30, 2012. Rev. Brad Lenzner brought messages on “Free Grace for the Dead and Guilty” from Ephesians 2:1-10, and “The Way God Feeds Us (Part 1): Gospel Preaching,” based on Romans 10.
Rev. Lenzner, who pastored Emmanuel URC in Hanford, CA, prior to its closing in November of 2011, has been called by Coram Deo Reformation Church in Littleton, CO, to plant the church in Rifle, CO.
Rifle is located on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains and is about three and a half hours west of the Denver area, where Coram Deo is located. This distance makes supervision difficult, but not impossible. An elder or Rev. Carl Heuss will occasionally visit the church plant, known as Grand River Reformation Church (GRRC).
The group currently consists of 28 souls. Rev. Lenzner explains that one of the families initially visited Coram Deo and spoke to Rev. Heuss about the need for a Reformed church plant in the Glenwood Springs/Rifle area. Members of that family subsequently attended the URCNA church planting conference in Denver, where they expressed their desire for a church plant. Not long after that, another family from the Rifle area visited Coram Deo. Rev. Heuss put those two families into contact with each other. They formed a small group that began meeting in January of 2012 and steadily grew.
Coram Deo extended the call for Rev. Lenzner to serve as a church planter on July 1. Rev. Lenzner and his wife, Samantha, moved to Glenwood Springs (about a half hour east of Rifle) on September 1. During the month of September, Rev. Lenzner led a new member class that will conclude on October 10. Coram Deo will hold the memberships of those who commit to the church plant until it becomes an organized congregation with its own elders.
The group meets in a very reasonably rented retail space, located on the corner of an intersection in Rifle (101 West Third St). Worship services are being held at 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM. The group hopes to begin Sunday school classes in January of 2013.
“I’m praying that within the year we’ll have at least one elder and a deacon,” says Rev. Lenzner. “Lord willing, I’d like to see GRRC fully organized and financially independent within 3-5 years. And then I’d love to see us turn around and plant another URC congregation toward or in eastern Utah!”
He wants Grand River Reformation Church to faithfully preach the pure gospel, purely administer the sacraments, and exercise biblical church discipline. “I desire to see the pure gospel and Reformed theology spread throughout the Grand River Valley,” he says. “I long to see new converts to Christianity.”
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on pages 7-8 of the October 24, 2012, issue of Christian Renewal. Glenda notes that she can’t take credit for the clever headline; that belongs to editor John Van Dyk.