Christian Reformed Church installs new pastor

Published 6:28 pm Friday, October 11, 2019

From Terra Ceia Christian Reformed Church

TERRA CEIA — On Sunday, Oct. 6, Terra Ceia Christian Reformed Church installed their new pastor, Rev. Garrett Saul. The morning service also included Saul’s ordination. Terra Ceia CRC is Saul’s first charge.

Garrett Saul attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, where he received a B.A. in Biblical Exposition. In May 2019, he received a Master of Divinity from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He served in youth ministry for four years while he was a seminary student. In the CRC denomination, candidates for ministry are examined by the classis, the regional district of churches, after they have completed the required education for ministry. Since Terra Ceia church belongs to the Southeast U.S. classis, Saul was examined on Sept. 19 in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and was OK’d to be ordained.

Terra Ceia CRC is known locally as the “Dutch church,” because it was started by Dutch immigrants in the 1930s. For many years, all the members had Dutch surnames, and you were likely to hear Dutch conversations after services. Today, however, there is a healthy blend of Dutch heritage and modern adaptations. Part of our heritage that can be regularly experienced are the Dutch cookies served after the morning service on Sundays. Some aspects of modern adaptations are English speaking services, an openness to diversity and the move to help whole families grow in their walk with Jesus.

The congregation was excited to formalize the installation of Rev. Saul. John Maatman, past council chair, said, “Pastor Garrett is enthusiastic for the Lord, and that’s contagious!” Audrey Zwaal, 90, said, “Our new pastor is friendly and outgoing, and he remembers my name.”

The Saul family moved to Terra Ceia in June. Garrett and Andrea Saul have been married for five years and have three children: Irena, 4; Theodore, 2; and Quinn, 1. Andrea Saul also attended Moody Bible Institute and received her B.A. in Women’s Ministry with a concentration in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Before moving to Terra Ceia, she served as a children’s ministry coordinator at Church of the Servant in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Pastor Garret’s hobbies include cooking, running, playing music (guitar, ukulele and saxophone), reading the Greek New Testament and playing with his kids.

In the few months that Rev. Saul has been with the Terra Ceia congregation, he has expanded the “Feed the Fire” program to include something for all ages. Open to the community, Feed the Fire meets on the first and third Wednesday evenings of the month, beginning with a free dinner at 6:30 p.m. After the shared meal, several ministries are offered: adult Bible studies, youth group for high school students, hands-on activities for kids in grades three through eight, an interactive worship experience for kids ages 3 through grade two and nursery for infants.

The public was invited to the ordination service and a potluck fellowship meal followed the service. Terra Ceia CRC is located at 3298 Terra Ceia Road, Pantego.