Holland Christian Reformed Church

The history of the Holland Christian Reformed Church dates back to 1918, when Dr. C. Hayenga met with the people to worship in the Holland School. He labored here faithfully as home missionary from 1918 to 1920.

On the evening of April 6, 1920, a meeting was called for the purpose of organizing a congregation. The first consistory members were: Elders--C. Poppenga and Ben Boldt; deacons--Henry A. Siefken and P. A. Meyer; and in January 1921, Dick Werkman Sr. was also elected to the consistory.

One of the great accomplishments of our pioneers was the building of a place to worship. Many sacrifices were made by all the groups. Men, women and children all helped work on the building of the church. The church was located in the northwest part of Holland on a lot given by Mr. and Mrs. Con Poppenga.

On May 21, 1921, the new building was dedicated to the services of God.

Rev. C. Bode of Wellsburg I Church and Dr. Bode, president of Grundy College, willingly and faithfully offered their preaching services, conducted consistory meetings and in many other ways shepherded the church during those early years.

The professors and students of the Grundy College and Seminary ministered to the spiritual needs of the people during the many years the congregation was without a regular pastor.

Sunday School, Ladies Aid and Kings Daughters were organized at this time.

There were two faithful students, Henry and John Zwanstraa of the Grundy College, who always walked the railroad track to Holland every Sunday morning to teach Sunday School. It didn't make any difference what the weather was, they were always there.

In 1927, Rev. G. Westenberg came to Holland as the classical home missionary for both Holland and Grundy College churches. He preached both the English and Holland languages. He left in 1928.

In 1930, Dr. William H. Rutgers came to serve as the part-time pastor. He served as college church pastor and president of Grundy College. He worked with zeal and dedication for 3 years.

Rev. Louis Voskuil accepted a call in September of 1933 and was installed as part-time pastor on Oct. 8. In 1936, Rev. Voskuil left serving the Grundy College church and became a full-time minister. During his stay, a Young Men's Society was organized. He left in November 1937.

In December 1937, candidate Peter H. Eldersveld arrived in Holland. He was ordained and installed on March 17, 1938. A new parsonage was erected in the autumn and winter of 1938 and 1939. In 1940, the first Bible School was held and all the children of the community were invited to attend. In 1941 remodeling took place in the church and church basement and a garage was added to the parsonage. In 1942, a loud speaking system was installed.

The Young Women's Guild was added to the societies. Reverend Eldersveld left in 1943 and went to South Holland, Ill.

Rev. Paul Holtrop and his family arrived in September 1943. An Adult Sunday School Class was organized to meet in conjunction with the Sunday School. A choir, although not formally organized, occasionally brought a message in song under the direction of Albert Slickers. During World War II, 16 young men from the church served in the Armed Forces of our country.

On April 6, 1945, the congregation was privileged to celebrate its silver anniversary. Rev. Holtrop left in 1947 for De Motte, Ind.

In January 1948, Rev. Henry Petersen and his family arrived to serve this church. During his stay a new organ and piano were purchased. In 1953 he accepted a call to Platte, S.D.

The Rev. J. A. Wesseling was pastor from 1953 to 1957. During his stay, the building fund for a new church was started.

Rev. Jay DeVries was ordained and installed on Sept. 27, 1957, and stayed until 1961.

The pulpit was vacant for a period of 2 years and during this time, Rev. K. Tebben of Cedar Falls served faithfully.

In September 1963, Rev. Clyde VanWinkle and family arrived. The Mission Workshop Society was organized March 10, 1965. Rev. VanWinkle left in 1966.

The next pastor to serve was the Rev. John S. Meyer. He and his wife arrived in September 1966. In April 1968 it was voted to build a new church. Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Brower gave two acres of ground at the east edge of Holland for the new church building.

Ground breaking services were held May 4, 1968. On March 16, 1969, the congregation began services in the new church even though dedication services were not held until May 21, 1969. Rev. C. Oliver Buus of Tucson, Ariz., a son of the church, was the guest speaker.

The Willing Workers Society was organized during the time Reverend Meyer was the pastor. They were men, women and young people who under the leadership of Mrs. Dick (Anna) Luhrs, Mrs. Dick (Anna) Werkman and Mrs. John (Phyllis) Miller worked faithfully and hard to help make up the money for the first payment on the new church. Also, the new organ and piano were purchased at this time.

Reverend Meyer closed his ministry here in November 1969.

Rev. John Entingh accepted a call and was installed on Jan. 30, 1970. During his stay the congregation was privileged to celebrate its golden anniversary. Reverend Entingh retired in February 1976 and moved to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Candidate Karl Wiersum accepted a call in November 1976 and he and his wife arrived in Holland on Dec. 9. He was ordained and installed on Dec. 16, 1976.

--Holland Centennial, 1877-1977

List of Ministers

NameYears Served
Rev. G. Westenberg1927-1928
Dr. William H. Rutgers1930-1933
Rev. Louis Voskuil1933-1937
Rev. Peter H. Eldersveld1937-1943
Rev. Paul Holtrop1943-1947
Rev. Henry Petersen1948-1953
Rev. J. A. Wesseling1953-1957
Rev. Jay DeVries1957-1961
Rev. Clyde VanWinkle1963-1966
Rev. John S. Meyer1966-1969
Rev. John Entingh1970-1976
Rev. Karl Wiersum1976-
Pastor Gary Nibbelink1995-

*Rev. K. Tebben of Cedar Falls filled the pulpit and served faithfully during this time.