The end of the Second World War brought many young Dutch immigrants to Canada with hope for land, opportunity, and promise. One such family, the Koopmans, settled in Saskatoon and set up an electric repair business.
The son of a minister, Mr Koopman began hosting weekly church services in his home in 1950; he invited other Dutch families to join. By the end of 1951, ten families and several single people were meeting regularly. At that time, they created a committee to establish an organized church. One of their first decisions was to hold monthly services in English out of their desire to adapt to English culture and show optimism for the future.
After much prayer for guidance, the committee submitted a request to Classis Minnesota South (moved to Classis Alberta in 1953). On October 26th, 1952, they were approved as a Christian Reformed Church.
By the end of 1952, the church had outgrown the Koopman home. It began renting space in Thornton School, before moving to the basement of Calvin Presbyterian Church in the summer of 1953. A total of 19 families, 40 children, and three single men made up the membership of the only CRC church in Saskatchewan at that time.
Rev. G. VanderZiel, from Home Missions, arrived in Saskatoon to lead the church in September 1953. In 1959, he left to serve a church in Regina. In July 1960, Rev. B. Boelens arrived from New Zealand – the first pastor called by Bethel CRC.
Bethel CRC has continued to grow in the years following, notably bolstered in 2005, when several farming families moved to Saskatchewan from Alberta and BC and joined our community.
In 2008, Bethel CRC moved into its current home. No longer in Saskatoon, the new building is located on the outskirts of the city, close to Warman.
Out of God’s infinite wisdom, Bethel began in the home of newcomers to Canada in 1950. Now, over seventy years later, God continues to nourish His church out of His patience and grace. Today, we rejoice in His love.