Church Planting In Kentucky: Christ Reformed Church (URC)

In 1796, missionary Rev. Peter Labagh was sent to Kentucky to establish a Dutch Reformed Church in Harrodsburg. By 1800, a Reformed Church was built, known as the “Old Mud Meeting House,” and pastored by “Dominie” Thomas Kyle. This church was the first Reformed Church west of the Allegheny Mountains. Today, it still stands as a historical site, a testimony of the Reformed mission work to Kentucky shortly after the nation’s founding.

In 2024, another Reformed mission work enters Kentucky soil: Christ Reformed Church (URC).

How We Got Here

When my family and I joined Westside Reformed Church (WRC) in 2020, it was always a hope and a dream to plant a Reformed Church in Northern Kentucky (NKY). Since WRC was only 20–30 minutes north of Kentucky, we began inviting friends to church events and, eventually, held a monthly fellowship group in NKY.

As more and more guests and inquirers came out to these fellowship groups, it became clear that people had many questions and also needed some grounding in central Reformed doctrines. In 2023, we shifted from monthly fellowship groups to monthly Bible studies where we examined key tenets of Reformed theology, such as covenant theology, infant baptism, Reformed worship, and the order of salvation.

Beginning in February of 2024, we will launch Sunday evening services. Since WRC does not yet have evening services, some of the Cincinnati members plan to join us as well. We believe that inquirers will be helped by seeing and participating in a Reformed worship service. Lord willing, these services will serve as an on-ramp for inquirers to become “core group” members.

Our prayer is that 2024 will serve as a core group development year, where more and more will join our efforts. We hope, once again, to begin a fellowship group where the core group can build community, grow together, and learn more about Reformed theology and piety.

Our Mission

At Christ Reformed, we want to be a confessional church that stands on Scripture, engages unbelief with truth and love, relies on the ordinary means of grace, and seeks God’s comforting Word and Spirit in every circumstance of life.

The Bible is the inerrant Word of God. In a word, it is our ultimate authority, and all that we do must be rooted in the Bible. If Christ Reformed Church is going to be a faithful church, it must be a Bible church. And as Scripture has told us to “hold to the pattern of sound words” contained in the Bible (2 Tim 1:13), we believe that the Bible is faithfully summarized in the Ecumenical Creeds and the Three Forms of Unity. We look to these creeds and confessions as sources of comfort, stability, and instruction.

Scripture has commanded the church to engage unbelief. This happens when we witness about Christ to those in darkness (Rev 11:1-14)—this witnessing often called evangelism. But the church is also to defend the truth of Scripture (called apologetics), to demolish strongholds, and, persuasively and winsomely, to commend the truth of Christianity to those who question or oppose the faith (1 Pet 3:15). Christ Reformed should be known for its eager engagement with the lost.

While many attend church for entertainment, a social hour, an emotional high, or in order to somehow merit salvation, we want to be an ordinary means-of-grace church. We are eager to gather weekly because we want to worship God according to Scripture alone, and to receive His nourishing grace through Word and Sacrament. We understand that God uses means to bestow the straightening grace that Christ has purchased for us and, therefore, we are diligent to attend to those conduits. On the Lord’s Day we are lifted to heaven in order to be nourished by Christ through faith (Eph 1:3; 2:6; 1 Cor 10:16). Christ Reformed relies on the ordinary means of grace as a high point of our week, for our very sustenance.

Finally, we seek God’s comforting Word and Spirit in every circumstance of life. The Bible is a “lamp unto our feet” that illumines the darkness (Ps 119:105). Whether life is going well or whether we are walking though the valley of the shadow of death, we need Christ (Ps 23:4; 1 Thess 5:18). Christ’s Word is sufficient to help us with every spiritual problem we face in this pilgrim life. As Psalm 18 declares, “God turns my darkness into light.”

How to Pray for Us

  • Pray that Christ is exalted by this Reformed mission work.
  • Pray that many of the inquirers would seek to join CRC.
  • Pray that faithful officers will be trained in the coming years at CRC.
  • Pray for our children to grow up in Christ and be well-catechized.
  • Pray that our outreaches will be successful according to the Lord.

For more information about Christ Reformed Church, please visit our website.

©Brandon Burks. All Rights Reserved.


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Posted by Brandon Burks | Tuesday, February 6, 2024 | Categorized Church Planting, URCNA | Tagged , Bookmark the permalink.

About Brandon Burks

Brandon Burks was raised a Roman Catholic, but came to saving faith while serving as a Navy Diver in his early twenties. After graduating from Westminster Theological Seminary, he pastored a Baptist church before “swimming Lake Geneva.” Since 2021, he has been a co-pastor at Westside Reformed Church (URC) in Cincinnati, OH.

3 comments

  1. Dr we need one Massachusetts Boston area would prime. Please maybe put posters up at Westminster saying Massachusetts needs YOU with a picture of Calvin pointing at you. Be great to have a URC church. There’s a lot of crc people who have left and are going to an OPC church but would love to be at a URC

    • Brother,
      As one that served in the Northeast (as a baptist evangelical), I empathize with your plight. The northeast is a dark battle field of a unique nature in many ways. It also is sparse in the P&R presence. One suggestion I would make is to contact the Eastern Classis of the URC about this. There would need to be a committed group of you but they could help you explore this if truly serious. You can find that information on the URCNA website under the eastern classis page.

  2. Praying for this church plant and more in KY!! It is very difficult to find a Reformed church where Confessions are studied and law/gospel distinctions are maintained in most of KY. May God bless these endeavors!

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