Introducing Zach Vanderploeg

Hello, brothers and sisters! My name is Zach Vanderploeg, and it’s my joy to share with you some snapshots of the Lord’s grace and guidance in my life over these last four years and, truly, all my life long!

The curtain opened on a dark and (probably) rainy afternoon in the Pacific Northwest. Born the fifth of six children, I grew up in the suburbs of Surrey, BC. I thank the Lord for the faithful and loving nurture of my parents, who have ever been a lifeline of Christ-like compassion and counsel, as well as for my siblings, in whose footsteps I could walk through many years of covenant education, labour on the family vegetable farm, and into the halls of post-secondary education. These were big shoes to fill! My siblings passed along to me a love for sports of almost any kind, and as I laced up their hand-me-down athletics footwear, I looked up to them for (err… mostly) patient instruction. As the years have passed, these lessons have extended far beyond the court as they continue to be godly examples of service to Christ and his church.

As I neared the end of high school, a childhood desire to serve the Lord in pastoral ministry deepened. Armed with the encouragement of dear saints, I stepped into university studies in history, with a concentration in late-medieval Europe. These were spiritually-formative years, as I grappled in faith with questions about the God-breathed nature of Scripture and the lordship of Christ not only over my own life but also over my unbelieving classmates-turned-friends. Midway through this degree, I stepped away from formal study for a year in which I worked full-time on the family farm and took some courses at a Christian university. I returned with a mind refreshed to learn and a heart renewed to serve the Lord with whatever gifts he had given me, in whatever circumstances he placed me. Cue an additional year of learning the Biblical languages, and I soon signed an application to CRTS. With fear and trembling (and not a few tears), I bid farewells and moved to Hamilton.

The Lord has been gracious and very near to me these last four years. He has given me many beloved brothers and sisters within and outside the walls of the seminary, in addition to the dear ones that I left behind in BC. He has impressed upon me that his Word is a wellspring beyond measure and that his saints truly are the excellent ones in the land (Ps 16:3). These lessons and joys have come on both near and foreign fields. I’m grateful to Rev. Arend Witten (London) and Rev. Joe Poppe (Winnipeg-Redeemer) in particular for their guidance during summer internships, as well as to Rev. Sungmin Hong for his oversight of an eye-opening mission internship through South Korea last summer. I have cherished the opportunity to speak of Christ and his gospel from many pulpits and with many saints who have opened their homes and hearts to me these last few years. I thank the Lord and continue in prayer for all of you!

The Lord is my guide and stay. In this truth, I look forward with three parts excitement and one part trepidation (the parts mix and match, depending on the day) to the next trail marker on this journey in the Lord’s service. Once the school year ends, I hope to present myself for a preparatory exam back in Classis Pacific West. May Christ be all, and I be nothing!