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Evangelische Genade Gemeente

 

Short history:

For many years now “Koetshuis de Boom” has offered a home for an international Christian fellowship. The first fellowship called Good News Christian Fellowship (GNCF) was located from August 1976 till about 1996 in “Huize de Boom”. Then it was called “Shalom House” (House of Peace) where their activities took place. GNCF was founded by a Dutch-American couple Hans and Cheryl Cornelder and was mainly focused on serving the American Airmen of USAF “Camp New Amsterdam” located in Soesterberg. There was also an outreach to the international students of PTC+. About 30% of the regular visitors were Dutch. Every Sunday there was a gathering in “Huize de Boom” and during the week there were Bible studies. The Pastor and some other members of the fellowship lived there, plus it was also a temporary home for missionaries on the way to their mission fields. It was a Christian Guest home to offer a place for those in search of God.

 

Hans Cornelder was first succeeded by Don Cowly and then Jerry Coburn and after him Fred Ellis, followed by Stef and Diane de Jong. In 1994 the USAF “Camp New Amsterdam” closed its doors and many members of Good News Christian Fellowship returned to America. As a result there was a decrease in finances. “Huize de Boom” was closed and the fellowship moved all activities across the road to “Koetshuis de Boom” which was renovated for use. After a few years the fellowship had become too small to survive and in 2002 the decision was made to merge with another international Christian fellowship from Hilversum: Evangelische Genade Gemeente (also called Grace Christian Fellowship). The fellowship continued under this name.

 

Our current pastor is David Michaud (American) who came in 1997 with his wife Corrie (Dutch) to the Netherlands. Together with two other families they started a Christian fellowship in Hilversum. They held their meetings in the living room of Dave and Corrie and soon started to grow. They found a place in the Community Center of the Hilversumse Meent where they held their meetings for a number of years and grew into a close-knit group of believers. In 1999, Dave was asked to lead a group of Christians in Dieren. There was a desire to organize a monthly Bible study day with both groups at a location in the center of the country. One of the members remembered GNCF and thought maybe they would be willing to rent their upper room for this purpose. So the first contacts were made. It was an answer to prayer for Stef and Dianne de Jong, who after the sudden death of their last pastor Fred Ellis, had taken it upon themselves to replace him while looking for a new American pastor. When Dave made contact with Stef for the rental of the upper room, Dave was asked if he was perhaps interested in becoming their new pastor. In May 2002, Hilversum and Woudenberg were merged, and Dieren followed in January 2003. In a time of fragmentation and church splits we saw a beautiful work of God's Spirit which brought three different groups of Christians into a close-knit family of brothers and sisters in the Lord.

 

Our fellowship is made up of approximately eighty people from different countries of which 75% is Dutch. Next to this steady number of believers, we have students from third world countries who are trained at PTC+ in Barneveld, which gives us an international atmosphere. Our gatherings are in Dutch/English. Sunday after the meeting there is coffee followed by soup in the beautifully restored hay loft so we can meet each other as one large "family". Our goal is to be a home for those who are away from home. You are more than welcome to join us!