Napa Valley Community Church History
Our History in the Napa Valley
1983 to 2009
Efforts to establish a Christian Reformed Church in the Napa Valley began in the summer of 1983 by two families, Mr. and Mrs. Jack VanHofwegen and Mr. and Mrs. Lambert Woudenberg. The Reverend C. Eric
Fennema received the call to be our first pastor; the calling church was the Walnut Creek CRC. After his acceptance, he and his family arrived in December 1983.
On December 28, 1983, the Steering Committee was formed. Officers were elected at that meeting and our first Sunday worship service was held January 1, 1984 at the newly purchased facility at 1701 Menlo Avenue. Sunday school began in September 1984 with about 5 children and 12-15 adults in attendance. We first held vacation Bible school in the summer of 1984.
On October 22, 1985, the church was officially organized as The Napa Valley Christian Reformed Church. At that meeting there were 26 members eligible to vote and Pastor Fennema was officially extended the call to Napa by the newly formed congregation. Following the vote and organizational meeting, the first council meeting was held with Jack VanHofwegen and Stan Pang as Elders and Woody Woudenberg and Gary Farmer as deacons.
Our church grew steadily through the years despite the loss of several families due to job relocations. The Calvinette program was initiated in 1986 with 4 girls and two counselors. In time the program grew to over 50 girls and at one time was the largest such group in our regional Classis.
By 1987 our congregation had a membership of approximately 12 families and were averaging 50-60 in attendance at the morning services. Coffee Break/Story Hour began in the spring of 1987 with about 20 women attending the Bible study. In the spring of 1988 Pastor Fennema accepted a call to Rock Valley, Iowa. The Lord led us to call the Reverend Berton VanAntwerpen as our Pastor and he began his service here in January 1989.
The congregation soon outgrew the Menlo location and so we sold the building and moved to the newly remodeled D.T. Davis school facility at 1600 Myrtle Avenue. At this location the Cadet program for boys was begun. During this time we tried several times to purchase property on which to build and each time the City put up road blocks that prevented that from ever happening. However because we continued to grow we finally in December of 1991 moved to a larger facility at 28 Highland Drive which we rented from the Korean Seventh Day Adventists. Shortly thereafter the decision was made to change the name of the church to Valley Community Church.
Pastor Bert VanAntwerpen accepted a call to the Princeton CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan in January of 1993. We were ably served by a series of interim pastors for almost a year and a half until Dr. Phillip DeJonge accepted the call to come and be our Pastor in July 1994.
Soon after DeJonge began his ministry here we again were moving to a larger facility, this time to 902 Enterprise Way and we celebrated our first service there on May 7, 1995. But several years into our stay there financial hardship befell several of our members and we were forced to move to a less expensive location on Trancas in January of 2000 where we held our worship services on Sundays but in the mid-afternoon. Due to the time of the worship services membership plummeted from about 175 down to about 60 people.
Then in the spring of 2001 we were able through the grace of God to purchase our current location at 4149 Linda Vista Avenue. Shortly after moving into the building Pastor DeJonge accepted a call and moved to St Joe, Michigan. Shortly after he left a search team was selected and began looking for our next pastor.
In the summer of 2002 Pastor Roger Visker accepted our call and moved to Napa. During his time here much work was done to the facility and several mission trips to Haiti were organized. Pastor Visker ministered to our congregation until February 2008.
Former Pastor Bert VanAntwerpen came in January of 2009 and led us through an analysis of our ministry with a look to reorganizing and revitalizing our ministry. During this time it was determined that VCC would partner with The Gathering Church in Sacramento and they would in fact provide leadership and resources for us in this reorganizing process.
Working with Pastor Bert and the Gathering Church leadership it was determined that the best way to revitalize the church ministries and change the culture of the church to a more seeker oriented church, we unanimously decided to close the church down, go to the home church model, and re-open the church somewhere down the road. So on Sunday May 21, 2009, we held a memorial service for VCC and officially closed the church building to further meetings.
A BRAND NEW MINISTRY – Our Current History 2009 to Present
Beginning in June of 2009 a group of approximately 30 people began to meet weekly in homes with the idea of planting a new church in Napa. From June of 2009 through Easter of 2010 this home-church spent time studying the book of Acts learning about how the early church carried out ministry.
However the home church proved difficult to sustain and over the next year the church group dwindled down to 9 adults and 2 children. And so in June of 2010 the remaining people voted to close the church down permanently and sell the previously purchased building on Linda Vista ending the effort to build and establish a Reformed Church in Napa.
But before making that vote official the group determined to spend the next 30 days in prayer on the matter. At the July 2010 meeting the group came back together with each person confirming that God was not releasing us from this ministry. And so with renewed commitment, we continued on to build a reformed ministry in the Napa Valley.
Within 2 weeks of making that decision we received a total of $25,000 in Denominational and Classical grants to help in this process.
Dave Buurma began preaching for the new group and wife Laurie provided the musical leadership. Semi-regular services in the Linda Vista facility were begun in September of 2010. Buurma completed his Sierra Leadership Network training in February 2011 and was called to be the bi-vocational Pastor of VCC that month. His Classical examination was held in March 2011 and his formal ordination took place in March of the same year. Every-week services began on Easter Sunday, 2011.
From 9 adults and 2 children the church began to grow. Currently our growing church averages 60-70 people every week. Children’s ministries are in place, 2 women’s prayer groups meet, one men’s group meets, a Bible Survey course is taught on-line on Tuesday nights and is repeated on thursday nights at the church.
In July of 2014, we changed the name to Napa Valley Community Church to better identify where are and to reflect our new Vision Statement; Where we welcome you to discover the life changing love of God!