The Protestant Reformed Church in the City of Lynden, Washington, is located in the Nooksack Valley of Whatcom County at about 15 miles east of the extreme northwest corner of the U.S.A. and four miles south of the Canadian border. The area is a broad, flat valley extending from the bay thirty miles or so to the foot-hills, up against which two of our families live. One family lives practically parallel to the British Columbia border. Staggeringly beautiful mountains are all around us on all sides, even to the west, where the mountains of Vancouver Island and the mountains of islands in the Georgia Straits may be seen, so that we are almost entirely enclosed by a wall of mountains, except for a far northeastern door up in Canada. This means that usually, when the arctic winds sweep down toward us, they strike the mountains above us and are shunted out over Idaho and into Montana. So that with the warm air brought in by the North Pacific Current from Japan, we usually have mild winters. But when an arctic northeast wind blows, it pours in through that door in the mountain and we have winter as bad as anywhere! The normal winter weather for us is rain, rain, so much rain that the ground almost feels like quicksand under tire and foot. If we had the space, we could become poetic about our rain!
The City of Lynden is, roundly, of 2,500 population. It has two public schools and four Christian schools, two of which are grammar schools, with one junior high and a high school. There are four Christian Reformed Churches, two Reformed Churches (of America), two Baptist churches, a Methodist, an Assembly of God, a Roman Catholic, a Gospel Hall, a Kingdom Hall and a Christian Science reading room. There used to be an unincorporated group calling itself “Protestant Reformed”, but which no longer exists. However, the Protestant Reformed Church is still here.
Perhaps a word about the city is in order. There are numerous noteworthy buildings throughout town, such as, the VFW, Camel’s Club, American Legion, Masonic Hall, Eagles’ Hall, City Hall, with police and fire departments, local medical center, newspaper weekly, Post Office, Christine Rest Home, City Park, Community Swimming Pool and airport (not for jets).
The major industries in the area are dairying, berry farming and chicken farming. But in town we have twelve gas stations, five hardware stores, three barber shops, three drug stores and two each of the following: stationery and book shop, super markets, bakeries, banks, dry cleaners and lumber yards. There is a department store, a trucking concern, a five-&-ten, cafes, TV stores, furniture stores, auto dealers, a J.C. Penny, a dairy, cannery and a florist.
Our congregation meets in the F.O.E. Hall, which originally was the site of a normal school, which later moved to Bellingham at the present location of the Western Washington College. Five of our families have Lynden addresses and three have Sumas addresses. Our membership has forty-one souls and twenty communicant members. Of the latter, seven are dairymen (two of whom are still in high school). One member is an auto mechanic and berry farmer. Another is a gas station operator; another a retired farmer and working handyman; and still another is employed at an abattoir. One of our members graduated from high school last Spring and found employment at the C.P.H. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her membership has been transferred to our Hudsonville Church. We have two catechism classes, a Y.P. class and an adult class. Fourteen of our children are in Christian schools. We have six pre-school age children.
The manse, where pastor, wife and two children dwell in happy, often noisy, confusion, is a four-bedroom house, with a partially equipped classroom in the basement. The manse is a beautiful white house with turquois roof and sparkles like a star among the best. Adjoining our property are spacious lots where we hope someday to erect our own church building.
Ours is a church where not the salvation of man, but the sovereignty of God is first; where not conditional theology, but covenant theology is taught; where not only the scarlet thread of atonement, but Scripture’s golden thread of absolute predestination is preached; where never common grace, but glorious particular grace is proclaimed; where the Heidelberg Catechism is preached, taught, heard and loved; where the preaching is in harmony with the Scripture and the Reformed Confessions and where, we trust, some of God’s elect in this part of His vineyard are fed with the Bread of Life and grow to spiritual manhood in His grace.