The original Byron Center Protestant Reformed Church (BCPRC) was formed in 1929. The congregation enjoyed Rev. George Ophoff as her faithful minister from 1929-1945, at which time the church disbanded. The Byron Center PRC had its second beginning when a group of Protestant Reformed adults from the Cutlerville/Byron Center area met in the library of Byron Center Township in the spring of 1981 to study the Canons of Dordt. From this class, the Hudsonville PRC consistory took a survey of how many were interested in starting a Protestant Reformed church in the area.
At a meeting held in March of 1983, 21 families indicated they were indeed interested in starting a new church. A feasibility committee of nine men was chosen to contact these families and draw up a budget. A meeting was held in April when a request was filed with the stated clerk of Classis East to seek approval to form a new congregation. The plan was for Hudsonville PRC to oversee the activities until Classis approved the request. Worship services began on August 7 at the Byron Center Christian Junior High School. Approval from Classis came on September 14. An organizational service was held on October 20, 1983, with 22 families and two single men making up the church family of the new Byron Center Protestant Reformed Church.
The Lord richly blessed these members by providing a new church building in Byron Center. The first services were held on August 14, 1988, with 41 families and seven individuals. In 2002, a foyer, four classrooms, a consistory room and library were added to the building.
We celebrated 25 years of existence in 2008. Two former pastors were invited to preach for us during our celebration. Other memorable events in our history include several women’s retreats sponsored by our church in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2013 and a men's conference in 2012.
The denominational Synod of 2016 designated Byron Center PRC to call a home missionary and to work with him and the domestic mission committee to search out new fields of labor in the United States. In September, 2017, Rev. Spriensma accepted that call and labored as our home missionary until early 2021, when he accepted the call from Cornerstone PRC to be her minister. In early 2018, we received our fifth minister when Rev. Andrew Lanning accepted our call after having served five years as the PRCA's minister-on-loan to Singapore.
In June, 2018, our congregation comprised about 125 families and 525 members and was served by nine elders and seven deacons. A long range planning committee was assigned to study how best to respond to this wonderful growth -- should we renovate and add on to our existing structure, or form a daughter church? God led us to the decision to form a daughter church, and Unity PRC was established in 2019. This reduced our large congregation to about 82 families.
In 2020, our congregation and denomination experienced a great deal of upheaval that resulted in approximately 42 families leaving our congregation and the denomination. This has been a painful and trying time for the Byron Center PRC family, but our covenant-keeping God continued to faithfully keep us in His care and blessed our remaining 44 family congregation in ways that continue to make us marvel. Thought we received faithful preaching each Sunday through the seminary and ministers assigned by Classis East, we looked forward to receiving our own minister of God's choosing to be our pastor and to lead us in the green pastures of His Word. In the summer of 2021, the Lord answered our prayer when he led Prof. Russel Dykstra to accept our call to be Byron Center's sixth pastor. To this ever faithful Heavenly Father, we express our gratitude and give Him all the glory for the riches of His grace through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Ministers who have served our congregation:
B. Gritters, 1984 – 1994
D.J. Kuiper, 1995 – 2001
R. VanOverloop, 2004 – 2008
A. Spriensma, 2010 – 2017
A. Lanning, 2018 – 2020
R. Dykstra, 2021-
Article contributors: Mrs. Ardith Oomkes; Mr. Harlow Kuiper