First Christian Reformed Church

First Christian Reformed Church, of Wellsburg, Observes 65th Anniversary

The 65th anniversary of the First Christian Reformed church two miles west of Wellsburg was observed Tuesday with exercises that continued during the day and the evening. The occasion was regarded as one making new history for this pioneer church and its substantial and its growing congregation.

The attendance at all of the services yesterday set a new record at this church. Among the large group were men and women who had early affiliations with this church but who are now living elsewhere.

History of This Pioneer Church and Its Congregation
To the early pioneers of this church community the Rev. A. Van Vliet, a Dutch pastor, who had opened a training school for those with clergical aspirations, sent two of his students, John Arends and Ede Meinders. Their labors resulted in the eventual organization of two churches, the Presbyterian church Ostfriesland and the First Christian Reformed church of Wellsburg, of which Rev. H. C. Bode is the present pastor.

Rev. E. Meinders First Pastor
E. Meinders was chosen as the first pastor of the congregation. He served for seven years and was followed by the Rev. B. Mollema, 1874-1878. Following is the order of pastors from 1878 to the present: Rev. T. M. Bosch, 1880-1881; Rev. H. Bode, Sr., 1881-1892; Rev. H. Walkotten, 1893-1895; Rev. J. Timmerman, 1896-1902; Rev. W. R. Smidt, 1902-1905; Rev. G. L. Hoefker, 1908-1917; Rev. H. C. Bode, 1917 to the present.

First Organization Nov. 1, 1867
The organization meeting was held on November 1, 1867, in the school house known as the Ueters schoolhouse, with the following pioneers as charter members:
Mr. and Mrs. Hildert K. Primus, Mr. and Mrs. Dirk Swageman, Mr. and Mrs. Geerd Heikens, Mr. and Mrs. Tjark Meints, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Ross, Mr. and Mrs. G. Geerdes, Mr. and Mrs. Johannes DeNeui, Mr. and Mrs. Hemme Ruter, Mr. and Mrs. Hagen Reverts, Mr. and Mrs. Jan Meyer, Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Jaspers, Mr. and Mrs. Klaus H. Primus, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Jan Okones, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Eite Eiten (Johanna Eiten), Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Okones, Mr. and Mrs. Berend Ruter, Mr. and Mrs. Eppe Tellinghuisen, Heit Swart, Jacobus Swart, Geeske Swart.

After the reception of these members a consistory was chosen consisting of: Elders--H. K. Primus and G. Heikens; Deacons--D. Swageman and J. Meyer.

Those who have served as consistory members: Elders--Hildert K. Primus, Hagen Reverts, Jan Dreesen, Geerd Heikens, J. Roos, H. Eekhoff, Hermanus Bennenga, Tamme Deters, Menne Bakker, Oldig Nederhoff, Albert Zacharius, Engelke Abbas, Hinderk H. Geerdes, Eite Eiten, Peter P. Eekhoff, Berend Primus, B. P. Eekhoff, O. Haupt, John Loger, John A. Eekhoff.

Those who have served as Deacons: Jan Meyer, Eite Eiten, Albert Meyer, D. Swageman, Richt Schafer, Oldig Nederhoff, Hermanus Bennenga, Eilert Bakker, Koert Bunger, Albert R. Meyer, Henry H. Geerdes, Heye Geerdes, Jan Bod Janssen, Gerend Primus, Gerhard Swieter, Henry Schafer, Claus Ruter, H. O. Nederhoff, Tamme Deters, Menne Bakker, B. P. Eekhoff, William Bakker, Ed. Christians, O. Haupt, William Janssen, John M. Bakker.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 25 August 1932

List of Ministers

NameYears Served
E. Meinders1867-1874
Rev. B. Mollema1874-1878
Rev. T. M. Bosch1880-1881
Rev. H. Bode, Sr.1881-1892
Rev. H. Walkotten1893-1895
Rev. J. Timmerman1896-1902
Rev. W. R. Smidt1902-1905
Rev. G. L. Hoefker1908-1917
Rev. H. C. Bode1917-
Rev. Leslie Kuiper1976-1981
Rev. John Gorter1981-1986
Pastor Tom Vos1987-2015