Pleasant Valley Reformed Church

Reformed Church Dedication February 6-8

The Reformed Church of Parkersburg located in Pleasant Valley township will have dedicatory services for the new church beginning at 1:30 p.m. Friday, February 6th. A special religious program has also been arranged for Sunday, February 8th.

New Building Two Miles West of Fern Has Been Under Construction The Past Year
Another rural church building in Grundy county has been completed. It is the Reformed church in Pleasant Valley township two miles west of Fern.

The new building will be formally dedicated on Friday of this week, February 6th. This will be another big event in the history of the Reformed church of Pleasant Valley township which was organized 79 years ago and which has had a gradual growth from year to year. The congregation has outgrown two buildings. The third new building is a modern structure made of the best material and designed to meet present and future needs of the congregation for many years to come.

Decide on New Building in 1951
Members of the congregation had realized a number of years that they were outgrowing the capacity and facilities of the old building and they began talking among themselves about a larger and a better building and equipment. Rev. Paul Schmidt, a young man who was called to this church as its pastor in 1950, began at once to stimulate interest in a new building and this interest grew until at a congregational meeting in January, 1952, it was decided to erect a new building and an architect was engaged to draw plans. The plans were approved three months later and work on the new building began in May of last year. Good progress was made in the construction work and in the procuring of the equipment and all are in readiness for the formal opening on Friday of this week.

Cost of Building and Furnishings $70,000
The cost of the new building and its furnishings will reach $70,000 and according to present building costs the Reformed church congregation are getting very good value for their investment.

80 Percent of Cost Has Been Raised
Subscriptions have been received to pay for 80 percent of the total cost of the new improvements and it is expected the total amount will be raised shortly. There are only 93 families who are members of this congregation and for that number to contribute such a large amount for their house of worship is ample proof of their loyalty and generosity. Generous as their contributions have been they will soon forget the cost in the spiritual comfort in future years that these contributions will bring them.

Will Have Seating Capacity of Nearly 400
The new church auditorium and balcony will have a seating capacity of about 400. It is expected that there will be few if any vacant seats at the dedication exercises on Friday. There is an ample basement which has a probable seating capacity of 300. This space can be used when auditorium and balcony are filled which they will be on special occasions. The big basement with a modern kitchen and equipment and dining room will be put into service for the first time Friday when members of the congregation and their families who come for the afternoon and the evening services will be served.

Members Regular Church Attendants
There are now 90 families who are members of the Reformed chruch in Pleasant Valley township. The average attendance at Sunday services is 250 and 165 in the Sunday school. With an attendance of three times the family membership is proof that the members of this congregation are regular attendants.

There were 43 families who helped to organize this church in 1874. The membership has more than doubled during that time while the population of the farming area surrounding the church is but little larger now than it was when the church was organized.

Observed Diamond Jubilee in 1949
The Reformed church congregation observed their 75th anniversary in 1949. That was a big occasion and it attracted hundreds of visitors and many former members of the church who had moved away from here. All former pastors still living were present and participated in the jubiliee celebration.

Dedication Services Start at 1:30
The dedication services will begin at 1:30 Friday afternoon. The opening services will be in the old church building and they will be continued in the new building after the key to the new structure will be accepted by Rev. Paul Schmidt, president of the Consistory. The processional into the new building will be led by the pastor, elders and deacons, assisting minister, building and finance committees.

Many Visitors
There will be many visiting ministers who will be present and assist in the program. All visitors to the services will be welcomed and many are expected.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 5 February 1953

Pleasant Valley Reformed Church Is Ready To Observe 100th Anniversary

The Pleasant Valley Reformed Church has come to a great milestone in her ministry and witness. On April 30, 1974, the congregation will be one hundred years old. Let us reminisce a bit about the past.

This church was organized a April 30, 1874, with 43 members. Very little can be said in regard to its history. Some of the first record books are lost and such that are preserved are partly torn with parts mising. But we are very thankful for the remnants from which we tried to gather few facts.

The organization committee was composed of Rev. D. Bolks of Orange City, Iowa, and the Rev. K. B. Weiland of Pella, Iowa, members of the Illinois Classis. The meeting was opened by singing Psalm 84:1 and led in prayer by Rev. D. Bolks.

After the matter was sufficiently discussed, the motion was made and adopted for organization. Forty-three persons were present and were accepted as the charter members. These are as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Evers, nee Hanke Engelkes; Mr. and Mrs. Hindrik Wilfang, nee Assel Herborg; Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Buss, nee Antje Harms; Mr. and Mrs. Nanne Geerds, nee Gaapje Rosenboom; Mr. and Mrs. Sievert Geerds, nee Eltjie Klaasen; Mr. and Mrs. Hinderk Boese, nee Antjie Elias; Mr. and Mrs. Hinderk Meester, nee Anna Klaasen; Mr. and Mrs. Habbert Boes, nee Ebina Sunis; Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Meester, nee Antje Everts; Mr. Harm Willemsen; Mr. and Mrs. Ulfert Willemsen, nee Bankje Tranken; Mr. and Mrs. Jan Meeseter, nee Engel Boes; Mr. Eilert Rippentroy; Mr. and Mrs. Wessel Harms, nee Trientje Rust; Mr. and Mrs. Harm Boes, nee Dina Buseman. Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Geerds, nee Grietje Wiltfang; Mr. Frank Sents; Mr. and Mrs. Koerd Rippentropp, nee Grietje Koenen; Mr. Harm Vennenga; Mr. and Mrs. Eilert Folkers, nee Schwaante Geerds; Mr. and Mrs. Berend Duitschen, nee Foostje Muller; Mr. Berend Boekhoff; Mr. Phillip Rubel; Mr. and Mrs. Geerd Giessen, nee Grietje Steen; Mr. Jan Maats; Mr. Christoffer Flesner.

In October, 1874, Rev. John DeBeer became the first resident pastor and it was decided to build a sanctuary. The following year on October 10, the new sanctuary was dedicated to the glory of God. Seventy-six years later, during the summer of 1951, the problem of better facilities and more seating capacity came before the consistory for discussion. The decision was made to build a new edifice and on February 6, 1953, the present church building was dedicated.

In the one hundred years of its existance the congregation has been ably served by the following pastors:
Rev. John DeBeer ---1874-1880
Rev. K. Weiland ----1880-1883
Rev. G. Veenker ----1884-1892
Rev. D. Schaefer ---1893-1908
Rev. D. Siemsen ----1908-1936
Rev. A. Linneman ---1936-1949
Rev. Paul Schmidt --1950-1955
Rev. Albert Moss ---1957-1962
Rev. G. Osland -----1962-1971
Rev. Carl Regnerus -1973-

No attempt is being made to set forth the work done by the individual pastors serving this church. The writer has the conviction that each servant used his gift and talents by serving his generation for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

Several sons of the congregation have gone into the ministry: Rev. Hilko DeBeer, Rev. John B. Frerichs, Rev. Otto Poppen, Rev. Calvin Siemsen (all deceased) and the Rev. Johann Kloosterboer (retired). Presently we have two sons of the congregation in the active ministry and three in seminary: Rev. Irvin Jungling, Zeeland, Michigan; Rev. Ken Schmitt, Chicago, Illinois; Mr. Rodney Meester, Western Seminary; Mr. Keith Schmitt, New Brunswick Seminary; and Mr. Dick Doeden, Western Seminary.

Our church began with 43 members 100 years ago and now has a membership of 105 families. These families and their pictures are in our 1974 Church Directory. We have a number of these directories still available at $1.25 per book.

As we look at the statistics over these 100 years we find the following facts: Holy Baptism was administered to 1081 souls. Weddings, no record available from 1874 to 1885, but since then 252 couples have been united in marriage. Five hundred and forty-nine people have made confession of faith. Since the start of our congregation 401 souls have gone to their reward.

Finally, a word about our practices. In our worship we offer a Gospel of comfort to those who are weary and heavy laden, joy to the sorrowing, peace to the troubled, love to the lonely, life to the spiritually faltering, and Christ to all who will receive him.

Our congregation belongs to the historic evangelic Church renewed at the time of the Reformation in 1517 from which we received our name - "Reformed". We are a part of the Reformed Church in America and Classis Pleasant Prairie. Our denomination is the oldest Protestant denomination in America with a continuous ministry since 1628. Two presidents, Martin Van Buren and Theodore Roosevelt, were members of our denomination.

We believe in one God manifested in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; that Jesus Christ, as a son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary, taught us the way of salvation, died an atoning death on the cross, rose bodily from the grave, and ascended into Heaven, and that He will return in person to judge the living and the dead.

We believe that He, without question, is the individual's only Saviour from sin, and the only source of true happiness; that the Bible is the holy inspired Word of God, and our only perfect guide in matters of faith and daily life; and that the Holy Spirit leads to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

This, then, is a historical sketch and description of the Pleasant Valley Reformed Church. Together with God she has achieved past goals; together with God she has completed her first century of praise and service; together with God we move forward into our second century.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 25 April 1974

List of Ministers

NameYears Served
Rev. John DeBeer1874-1880
Rev. K. Weiland1880-1884
Rev. G. A. Veenker1884-1892
Rev. Daniel Schaefer1892-1908
Rev. D. Siemsen1908-1936
Rev. A. Linneman1936-1949
Rev. Paul Schmidt1950-1955
Rev. Albert Moss1957-1962
Rev. Gerald Osland1962-1971
Rev. Carl Regnerus1973-1984
Rev. Joel Brummel1985-
Pastor Russell Muilenburg
Rev. Rick Vollema