Who we are?
“Many people…One Lord” describes the Antwerp International Protestant Church.Founded in 1962, our community is inter-denominational and English-speaking. We minister to people from Antwerp, Flanders and the southern Netherlands. What draws us together is our common faith in Jesus Christ and our desire to live as His followers in the world. We welcome you to join us in worship or visit one of our Bible study groups or social events.
Our mission statement is to be an open and diverse community where Jesus is real and relevant today.
As a church we do support each other in taking the next steps in following Jesus.
As one former pastor said, “we are something like the New Testament Church in Jerusalem after the day of Pentecost. We come from many different parts of the world – our worship customs may differ, but here in our community we are one in Christ and all our differences fall away as we worship God together.” We welcome all who seek Jesus and who want to follow him. Today, as at the church’s founding, a strong spirit of ecumenism prevails. The present membership includes people from various Protestant denominations, along with Roman Catholics and Orthodox believers. The Sunday morning worship is attended by 150 people from 38 different countries. There is an active outreach to immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. The congregation also supports several local ministries, including a chaplain to seafarers.
Our Sunday worship begins at 10:45 and takes place in the Fine Arts Theatre of the Antwerp International School. Nursery care and Children’s Church are provided. We look forward to meeting you!
Where do we come from?
The American Protestant Church of Antwerp held its first public worship service in the Belgian Methodist Church on Sunday, March 25, 1962. Five families formed the original charter membership and during the first year of the congregation’s life, pastoral guidance and leadership was provided by the Rev. David Williams who was serving as minister of the American Protestant Church of Brussels. Church services and Sunday School sessions were held in a home on the Gounodstraat during the first two years of the congregation’s life, when the membership stood at about fifteen families.
In March 1964, on the congregation’s second anniversary, a move to larger quarters in the then British Sailor’s Society building on the Italialei resulted in significant growth in membership and activity. After a period of nine years on the Italialei, the worship center moved to the Servio Club on Jacob Jordaenstraat, where it remained until the late seventies when the Swedish Seamen’s Chapel and Center on the Noorderlaan became its home.
In the summer of 1987, the congregation began worshipping in the cafeteria of the Antwerp International School in Ekeren. In the autumn of 1992 the congregation moved into the newly constructed Fine Arts Center at the Antwerp International School where it currently worships. In 2001 the name of the church was changed to the Antwerp International Protestant Church. In 2004 a Belgian vzw (non-profit) was formed called the Christelijke Oecumenische Missie Europa to support the work of the church. In 1962, the Rev. William Cruikshank became the first pastor serving the fledgling congregation until 1965. Since that date more than 15 pastors have served the congregation.