In 1983, Ralph Vander Werf founded Vander Werf Energy. For over 12 years, Ralph, along with his three sons, provided Heating and Cooling as well as Electrical services for the Michiana area and beyond. In 1995, due to business growth, it was decided to incorporate the Electrical department separately and became Vander Werf Electric. For several years, we continued meeting the electrical needs of both residential and local businesses. In the mid 2000’s, as opportunities arose in the oil terminal and pipeline transportation industry, we began shifting our focus in that direction. Ralph continued with Vander Werf Electric until 2011 when he became senior pastor of a church in Elkhart.
Phil Vander Werf presides as President and CEO. Under his leadership, five of his sons are kept sufficiently busy providing our customers with the wide range of services that we offer. With 6 different personalties that each possess unique gifts, we’re able to work together to provide quality work with all the checks, balances, and re-checks that teamwork comes with.
How We Operate & Why We Exist
We are a family owned and operated business. Presently, we employee only family members. Just dad and five boys.
Some laugh at the novelty of it. Others quietly wonder how a father and five sons could possibly stay together in the same business, working alongside each other for so many years. In all honesty, each one of us count it a joy and a privilege to work together, but that doesn’t mean our relationships are always what they should be. We do make mistakes, and sometimes step on each other’s toes real bad. Yet we are able to forgive, forget, and keep working together for one reason– and it’s not because any one of us have a special knack for keeping the peace! The key to our relationships holding together is Jesus Christ and here’s why: God tells us through His Word, the Bible, that we’re all rotten to the core (Romans 3:23). Every one of us is born a sinner. In fact, everyone in the world is born with this sin problem. It usually doesn’t take long to see even the youngest child demonstrating that fact! Sin is a problem that affects everyone, and it’s not possible for us to overcome it on our own (Romans 3:10-12). Oh sure, we can do things that are “good,” but no amount of doing “good” fixes our sin problem (Titus 3:5). As brothers, we would never be able to get along, work together and love each other the way we ought to with this sin problem hanging over us. What’s worse, we’re told in the Bible that the sin that we have committed must be paid for. And it makes sense, too. I mean, what kind of judge would just let wrongdoing go without requiring payment for the wrong? Let’s look at it this way: what murderer should be allowed to go free without receiving the due penalty for his murder? What about a thief without paying for his thievery? Would that be justice? No! Justice demands that sin be judged. God tells us in the first part of Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death”– death, as in, not just a physical death (which is a consequence of sin), but death, as in, a separation from God– forever– in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14). So even though we can’t fix our sin problem, the Good News is that Jesus can and He came to this earth to do just that! Jesus– who is called “Emmanuel” (which means “God with us”)– who didn’t for a moment cease to be God– came to this earth and died a cruel death on the cross to pay the price for our sin– the price that we deserved to pay– the price of which is eternal separation from God. This is something that only He, as God, could do! When Jesus died, the Bible says that He took on Himself the sins of ALL mankind (Isaiah 53:6). But when he accomplished the payment, Jesus did what no man could ever do: He rose again from the dead! If He hadn’t risen from the dead, it would have all been pointless, but because He is God, death couldn’t hold Him! So knowing what the Bible says about 1) our problem of sin, 2) the penalty for our sin, and 3) Jesus’ payment for our sin is one thing, but how can you have YOUR sins forgiven and know it? Jesus said that “God so love the World, that He gave His only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believeth in Him [Jesus] should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God’s promises are the most reliable promises ever made. Every promise He has made, He has kept– and this one is no different. He says in this verse that if you believe [trust/place your dependance] in Him for salvation you would 1) Not perish and 2) Have eternal life! Notice it’s not Jesus-plus my works. It’s Jesus alone who can save. That is God’s promise to YOU! It’s because of God’s great love for us that He has made available this way for us to be at peace with Him, be forgiven of our sins, and have the hope and joy of living forever with Him. Won’t you trust Him for salvation today?
So what does this have to do with our business and family relationships?
Simply this: Jesus promised that if we would depend on Him, taking Him as our personal Savior from sin, He would not only forgive us of our sin and give us a secure promise of eternal life with Him, but He would also be with us each moment of every day to strengthen us to fight those battles against temptation and sin. And we can testify to that fact that in our lives He has– and He does– and He will! God is so good! Without His grace and blessing, we would not be where we are, doing what we do and especially not as a team that just loves to work together.
If you would like to know more about how you can have your sins forgiven and have hope of eternal life in Jesus, we’d be happy to take the time to answer any questions you may have! Please drop us a note on our contact page, and be sure to leave your phone number or email for us to contact you back.
What about Vander Werf Energy?
Good question. They still exist! Many people mistake us for Vander Werf Energy, who also base out of Niles, MI. If you are in need of heating and cooling service, please visit them at 1800theheat.com or call Jim Vander Werf toll free at: 1 (800) THE HEAT (843-4328) or locally: (269) 684-6429. We highly recommend their services!