Following the tradition of the Reformation, the dedication service of the new facility of the Mid-America Reformed Seminary began in a Roman Catholic Church and ended with people shouting with triumph “for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”
It is difficult to put into words the enthusiasm generated as over nine hundred people gathered to praise God for His faithfulness in providing a place where men can diligently prepare for service to His Kingdom. Guests were deeply impressed by the continued goodness of God throughout the open house and the dedication service of the new building and campus.
On September 22, 1995 the new facility for the Mid-America Reformed Seminary was dedicated. The theme for the day was: “For the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” Dr. John Sittema, President of the Mid-America board, began the service by recalling how fifteen years earlier, eight men had met together to discuss how to fill what seemed to be a gap in the faithful preaching of God’s Word. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit they were compelled to begin a new seminary in Orange City, Iowa. Through the faithfulness of God and the generosity of His people, the seminary soon outgrew the facility in Orange City. After many discussions and much prayer, the board decided to move the seminary to Dyer, Indiana.
The Rev. Ed Knott, one of the founding fathers of the seminary, spoke tenderly of how “God’s people had stood behind the seminary beyond our understanding” and that today “we stand in silent amazement at what God has done.” Listing four areas upon which to focus prayer for the seminary, the Rev. Knott explained how the new facility would be a place truly dedicated to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Rev. Knott said we must pray that the seminary continue to be focused upon giving glory to God in all things. “The purpose of the seminary is not to be divisive, but to praise God and advance His Kingdom. We must pray for the professors, staff, board and all those involved in teaching, that their dedication to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus will keep the seminary a vibrant, Reformed, confessional seminary. Our prayers must be made on behalf of the students, that they be dedicated and loyal to the Word of God and that they may understand the awesomeness of the task for which they are preparing. And our prayers should be that the building may serve to that end. Mayall that takes place reflect the glory ofGod and His covenant faithfulness and love that the building may be used for the building of His kingdom.”
The service then proceeded to the new seminary site where the cornerstone was uncovered and the ribbon cut. Afterwards everyone was invited to tour the facility and join with the faculty, board members, students, supporters and others in praising God for His goodness.
Throughout the evening the focus was upon the goodness and faithfulness of God. He has provided a place where men will be taught to bring the good news of His goodness and faithfulness to people all over this continent and around the world. To Him be the glory!
Rev. Wybren Oord is pastor of the Faith Independent Reformed Church of Borculo, MI.