Our Pastor: Paul R. Ipema
Paul Ipema has served as pastor of Community United Reformed Church since 2006. Prior to his present ministry, Paul served from 1993-2001 as pastor of the Oak Glen United Reformed Church in Lansing, Illinois and then from 2001 to 2006 as pastor of the United Reformed Church of Nampa, Idaho.
A native of the Chicago area, Paul grew up on a farm in Beecher, Illinois and attended Lansing Christian Grade School and Illiana Christian High School in Lansing, Illinois. From 1985-1989 he was enrolled in the pre-seminary program at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, majoring in history. Upon graduation from college, Paul attended Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Orange City, Iowa (now located in Dyer, Indiana) and received his Master of Divinity degree in 1992. From 1992-1994 he was enrolled in the Special Program for Ministerial Candidacy at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan in order to become an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Upon receiving a call from the Oak Glen United Reformed Church in 1994, Paul was ordained to the ministry in September of that year and served as a pastor in the CRCNA until the Oak Glen congregation withdrew from that denomination in 1995 and joined the United Reformed Churches in North America in 1996.
Paul met his wife, Karin, while attending Dordt College. Karin is a native of northwest Washington State and attended the Christian schools in Lynden, Washington, near the Canadian border. Karin has been a great asset to her husband’s ministry over the years. The Lord has blessed Paul and Karin with three children: Megan, Leah and Derek.
Paul’s interests include reading and writing. Over the past several years he has written several catechism books, including My Only Comfort (a two-volume study of the Heidelberg Catechism), With All My Heart (a study of the Belgic Confession), and several Bible study and adult education booklets. In 2001 he was given the opportunity to teach an exegesis course on the Epistle to the Hebrews (his favorite book of the Bible) at Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Paul is particularly fond of American Civil War history (especially the Battle of Gettysburg), novels by Frederick Forsyth, music by J.S. Bach and Andrea Bocelli, most anything written by Dr. John Piper, and rooting for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bears.
Our name COMMUNITY means that we are called to bring the message of salvation to the people we meet, in the area in which God has placed us, and in a broader sense, to the whole world. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Our name UNITED reflects Christ’s prayer for His people to live in the unity of the true faith. (John 17:20-21; Ephesians 4:1-6) Our congregation belongs to a group of churches identified as the United Reformed Churches in North America. This federation exists to exercise mutual concern for one another and to display our unity in the Christian faith. Our unity derives from our common confession of the truth of the Bible as summarized in our Three Forms of Unity: The Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dort.
Our name REFORMED reveals that our spiritual heritage lies in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. The Protestant Reformation was a movement which recovered the supreme importance of the Bible’s authority for faith and life. We unashamedly affirm that God’s Word is inerrant, infallible, and unchanging. (2 Timothy 3:16) The Reformation also recovered the glorious biblical truth of salvation by grace alone. In other words, God alone saves people by sovereignly and graciously giving them faith in Jesus Christ and a trust in his sacrifice for them on the cross as a payment for their sins. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Our name CHURCH means that we are not a social club. Christ gathers us together by His Spirit and Word to worship and serve Him. (John 10:14-16) We confess that Jesus Christ is the sovereign King of the Church. (Colossians 1:18) Therefore, we strive to follow Christ’s Word in our doctrine, worship, government, mission, fellowship, and daily living.