New church planter for RCUS work in Omaha

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Rev. Randall & Julie Klynsma

Rev. Randall Klynsma has accepted a call as associate pastor for St. John’s Reformed Church (RCUS) of Lincoln, NE, tasked with planting a church in the Omaha metropolitan area. Rev. Klynsma took up his new responsibilities on February 1, 2016.

The mission work, now known as Omaha Reformed Church, has been holding worship services since September; however, it has existed in various forms since 2011. In fact, St. John’s originally contacted Rev. Klynsma a few years ago to determine his interest in establishing the church plant. At that time, he believed God was still calling him to remain as pastor to Northland Reformed Church (RCUS) in Kansas City, MO.

But God began changing his heart at the RCUS Synod meeting last May. He says, “When I heard the Home Mission Report about the work in Omaha, I was emotionally engaged.”

From time to time, he found himself wondering if he might be the next man to serve the group. By fall of 2015, he was feeling more convicted. After a conversation with his Spiritual Council at Northland Reformed, he contacted the consistory at St. John’s Reformed Church. They responded that his name had recently come up again as someone they should contact to see if his feelings had changed.

Providentially, the church’s two open Sundays for preaching were the fourth Sundays in October and November. And the fourth Sunday of each month was the one week Rev. Klynsma was not committed to prison ministry at Ft. Leavenworth after the evening service.

After filling the pulpit those Sundays, he preached a trial sermon as a candidate on December 6, 2015. The following week, the congregation voted unanimously in favor of calling him to the work.

Since then, he and wife Julie have been going through many transitions, which included listing their home for sale and seeing four of their children move out. Most are still in college, and three of them moved into an apartment together. Their youngest is a senior in high school and plans to remain in the Kansas City area in order to graduate from her current school. While he’s already working in Omaha, the couple’s transition to a home there may be gradual over the next weeks or months.

Rev. Klynsma is a 1989 graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, who served the Orthodox Christian Reformed Church in Ripon, CA, and then the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Bridgewater, SD, remaining in each pastorate for about a decade. He most recently served almost seven years at Northland Reformed Church (RCUS) in Kansas City, MO. For the past five years, he additionally served as President of Covenant East Classis, but has now been dismissed to South Central Classis of the RCUS.

Omaha Reformed Church meets for Sunday school at 4:00 PM and worship at 5:00 PM at the Lighthouse Baptist Church, 3919 Greene Ave., in Bellevue (a southern suburb of Omaha). A Thursday evening Bible study meets at 7:00 PM at the Holiday Inn Express on 15th St. in Bellevue.

Although the core group currently meets in Bellevue, it hopes to find a location located in the south central or south west metropolitan area. The group also hopes to become firmly planted in God’s truth.

Rev. Klynsma says, “We hope to plant a confessionally Reformed church with a heavy emphasis on creeds and confessions.”

More information about the Omaha Reformed Church is available on its website.

The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 13 of the March 23, 2016, issue of Christian Renewal.

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