Hammond CRC is part of the Christian Reformed denomination of about 275,000 members in more than 1,000 congregations across the US and Canada. This year we are celebrating our 151th anniversary in North America.
In 1921, three area Christian Reformed Churches formed the Hammond City Mission board and appointed Mr. Ellens to work as an evangelist in Hammond. However, after 2 years the churches decided to discontinue the work in Hammond. Peter Eenigenburg and Martin Meeter tried to convince the churches but when unable to do so, they organized a small group to keep the mission going under the leadership of Mr. Ellens. They asked Munster Christian Reformed Church to oversee the work. After about 8 years, the area Christian Reformed Churches in Highland, Lansing, Munster and South Holland once again agreed to oversee the mission work in Hammond.
A storefront was rented and later purchased at 455 Indiana Ave. in North Hammond. Gospel services, Sunday school and a daily Vacation Bible school were conducted. Street meetings were also held. Eventually, religious services, conducted at the County Poor Farm near Crown Point, were added. Starting in 1922, three separate meetings were held in Crown Point jail once per month. Services were also held in the North Township Shelter House for Men in Hammond. Mr. Ellens left after 25 years of service. Dirk Aardsma of Chicago was called to continue Mr. Ellens work in July of 1945.
The North Hammond location was rebuilt several times to accommodate the growing congregation. Finally, the old building was sold and a new, larger chapel was erected at the corner of Indiana and Oakley St. The first service in the new building was held on Easter Sunday, April 1951. The same year, the congregational name was changed from Hammond City Mission to Hammond Community Chapel.
Dirk Aardsma served as a lay evangelist for 12 years. In September 1957, the supporting churches sought to establish a Christian Reformed Church in Hammond and called our first ordained pastor, Rev. Jack Paauw the same year. At that time, a new church location was sought and the present property was purchased in June 1958. In October of 1958, groundbreaking was held. Those attending the church organized officially as a Christian Reformed Church on June 25, 1959 and first worship service in the new building was held August 9, 1959.
In May 2002, we completed our handicap accessible addition. We now have a ground level entrance into our building, two additional rooms and an elevator to three levels.
We have had eight ordained pastors serve our church since 1957. Our present pastor, Rev. John Kostelyk, his wife Arla and their four children came to us from Tohatchi, New Mexico in 2004.
Each Sunday, we have Sunday school for all ages at 9:45 am and worship service at 11 a.m. Sunday evenings, we have small Bible study groups meeting at various location and times. Ordinarily, the last Sunday evening of the month, we meet together at church for a meal, fellowship and singing. We also have a mid-week prayer meeting on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.