Doon Church Histories
First Congregational Church
Rev. Fitch from Rock Rapids met with seven local enthusiastic pioneers the night of December 10, 1889. It was decided to officially organize the First Congregational Church of Doon. The following seven persons became the charter members:
Mrs. Lucia Wilcox, Mrs. Elmer Mead, Miss Eugenia Mather, Mr. E.O. Lendt, Mrs. J. Shatswell, Mrs. E.O. Lendt, Mr. Pomeroy Mather.
Together they adopted the Confession of Faith and the constitution. Later the articles of incorporation were officially registered on June 19, 1890. They extended a call to Rev. Fitch, who accepted, and Doon had its first church organization. The first officers to serve were as follows:
Deans: Pomeroy Mather, E.O. Lendt; Trustees: G.W. Holmes (replaced by Mrs. J.S. Shatswell:), Pomeroy Mather, E.O. Lendt. Treasurer: Mrs. Lucia Wilcox.
The congregation met in the Public School until a church was completed in 1890. It was built for a cost of $2,500 and was dedicated in 1891. The church continued under Congregational pastors until 1950 when it became evident that if the church was to continue something must be done. The Methodists of Rock Valley consented to share their minister so the problem was solved. Reverend Jones was the pastor at this time.
Through the years many improvements have been added to the original structure. A total of thirty-five pastors have served the church in its near one hundred and five years of existence. Following are the names of the pastors and their tenure of service:
Pastors of the Church: Rev. R.L. Fitch, 1889-1891; Rev. Henry Mercer, 1891-1894; Rev. W.H. Jones, 1894-1895; Rev. W.L. Brandt, 1895-1898; Rev. S.A. Wheelright, 1898-1899; Rev. D.E. Hartsough, 1899-1900; Rev. D.E. Skinner, 1900-1903; Rev. William J. Watt, 1903-1905; Rev. C.F. Shaw, 1905-1906; Rev. John H. Burnett, 1906-1908; Rev. F.H. Richardson, 1908-1914; Rev. D.W. Witham, 1915-1916; Rev. N.H. May, 1926-1929; Rev. Claude Hobson, 1929-1933; Rev. George LaBounty, 1934-1936; Rev. Burton Cheney, 1937-1942; Rev. E. Carnell Wilson, 1942-1944; Rev. Everett Dayton (student), 1944-1945; Rev. J. Wesley Pierson, 1948; Rev. Ross Hartman, 1948-1950; Rev. J.L. Jones, 1950-1954; Rev. Dr. Nelson Price, 1954-1957; Rev. Mervin Nelson, 1957-1966; Rev. Raymond Roeloff, 1966-1969; Rev. William Ballard, 1969-1975; Rev. David Waterman, 1975-1982; Rev. Janice Burnett, 1982-1983; Rev. Leslie Calhoun, 1983-1984; Don Nelson, 1984, 1985; Tim Mason, 1985-1987; Ed VanHolland, 1987-1991; Rev. Shurmane McAlpine, 1991-present.
The congregational church recorded these recent improvements: new carpeting in 1990 and a new furnace and sound system in 1991. The church marked a very successful centennial celebration in June of 1989.
Saint Mary's Catholic
The history of the former St. Mary's Mission dates back to the winter of 1890. It was at that time that Archbishop John Hennessy of Dubuque purchased block No. 16 in Doon for the sum of $600.
The first mass was celebrated in Doon during May of 1890 in the public school. Four brave parishioners decided it was time to build a local church and this was completed in May 1891. The early builders who did the work were: Pete Miller, J.F. Fisch, Nick Enders, and Frank Enders. The first mass was said in the new church on April 26, 1892 by Father Phealon of Rock Valley. St. Mary's was at that time a mission of Rock Valley. From 1893 to 1965 it was a mission of Sacred Heart Parish of Alvord. The new church was officially dedicated in the fall of 1900.
Some of the first members listed were: Frank Enders, Nick Enders, J.P. Fisch, Thomas Fox, Lester Graves, Mrs. Hayden, Joe Kleespics, J.P. Mueller and Anthony Richards, Daniel Thyne.
Membership never varied too much through the years, always numbering about 12 to 18 families. It reached its peak under the pastorate of Father Buckholtz, from the year 1934-1943. The church was about to celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary when it disbanded. The local members going to the Alvord church for services. The building was torn down leaving a very vacant spot on the hill. A list of the former St. Mary's Mission priest's includes the following: Father J. McCormick, 1893-1898; Father W.P. Desmond, 1898-1905; Father L. Cooper, 1905-1911; Father J. Fitzpatrick, 1911-1912; Father F. LeBland, 1912-1913; Father F. Wren, 1913-1915; Father P. Murphy, 1915-1919; Father J.A. Roder, 1919-1927; Father R. Graf, 1927-1934; Father William F. Buckholtz, 1934-1943; Father Leo F. Kelm, 1943-1944; Father George Benjamin, May 1944-July 1944; Father Linis Eisenbacker, 1944-1951; Father E.D. Thorn, 1951-1952; Father Vincent Beacom, 1952-1954; Father Gabriel O'Rourke, 1954-1956; Father E. Everett Apt, 1956-; Father Rhinehart; Father Koster; Father Chas. Borman, 1966-1967; Father Gerald Fisch, 1967 -.
It was in the summer of 1902 that a small group of this faith decided to hold their own services. They secured the use of the Congregational Church for their weekly meetings. They soon had visions of greater things and it was decided that a special meeting should be held on November 13, 1902 for the purpose of organizing a Doon Christian Reformed Church. Rev. A VanderVelde, Rev. VanderBok, Missionary Pastor P. Schut, and elder S. VanOtterloo of Rock Rapids guided the decisions at this meeting. The decision was made to organize. The charger members were as follows:
John Hoekstra, G. Tolsma, K. Fiekema, William Baron, D. Dykstra, M. Zonneveld, R. VanderMier, Berend Vredveld, K. Koning, Mrs. T. Dykema, R. Landman. First Officers: Elders: R. Landman, John Hockstra. Deacons: D. Dykstra, Minnie Zonneveld.
The newly organized congregation continued to meet in the Congregational Church and during the time Missionary Pastor Rev. P. Schut served for two years. Many parishioners expressed interest in building a church building of their own. In due time one was erected. It was dedicated on December 11, 1907 with Rev. Van Why as the speaker of the day.
In the summer of 1913 Christian School instruction was started and classes were held in the public school, with Gerrit Holwerda as instructor. It was decided to build a school in 1914 and one was completed in 1917. A more modern building was erected in 1955 to replace the old one.
The first service in English was held June 9, 1924. On July 27, 1952 the last Dutch service was held. Many trials were experienced when the church decided to build a basement. It took from 1927 to 1945 to get the job completed but faith and perseverance won out.
There were periods of time when the church was without a pastor but eventually one would always answer the call. Here is a list of those who served so faithfully:
Rev. N. Burgraff, 1908-1912; Rev. M. DeBoer, 1912-1917; Rev. B. DeJonge, 1917-1922; Rev. M. Monsma, 1924-1928; Rev. J. Betten, 1928-1936; Rev. Ed Visser, 1938-1941; Rev. Walter Hekman, 1941-1948; Rev. A.H. Bratt, 1949-1952; Rev. Carl Toeset, 1952-1957; Rev. Clarence VanderPlate, 1957-1960; Rev. John Elensbaas, 1960-1966; Rev. Gerald Oosterveen, 1966-1971; Rev. Wm. Dryfhout, 1972-1977; Rev. Henry VanderKam, 1979-1982; Rev. Paul Hockstra, 1982-1985; Rev. Peter VanDrunen, 1985-1992.
First Reformed Church
In the year 1908 a small band of Christians decided they had been attending church out of town long enough. Doon was a thriving town and they could foresee supporting a church of their own.
Meetings were held in the Baptist and Congregational churches and April 29, 1908 a group of charter members effected a church organization. They were as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. J. Ruisch, Mr. and Mrs. V. Ruisch, Mr. and Mrs. George DeBey, Mr. and Mrs. Arie DeGroot, Mr. and Mrs. A. Brower, Mr. and Mrs. Dick Visser, Mr. and Mrs. Gerrit Kloek, Mr. and Mrs. C. Hoogedalen, Mr. and Mrs. G. Franken, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Slob, Mr. and Mrs. Van Sloten, Mr. and Mrs. J. Pik, Mr. and Mrs. De Knikker, Mr. and Mrs. John Bunning.
Student pastor Walvoort served the group as its first pastor in 1909 and early 1910. The first consistory of the church was ordained by Rev. Husenga on May 17, 1908 and consisted of the following officers:
Elders: George DeBey, A. De Groot; Deacons: Andrew Brouwer, A. Wolfswinkel.
Gerrit Kloek and Dick Visser was selected as a building committee for the purpose of supervising the building of a church. The late Andrew Anderson was hired to build the sanctuary and he completed the building in the fall of 1909. It was formally dedicated on June 29, 1910. Recorded here is a list of the faithful ministers who served the church through the years:
Rev. Fred C. Dekker, 1910-1912; Rev. Elbert S. Schilstra, 1913-1922; John De Jongh, 1922-1925; Rev. Henry J. Harsevoort, 1925-1927; Rev. John Ossewarde, 1928-1929; Rev. Fred Lubbers D.D., 1930=1936; Rev. Gerrit Vander Wolde, 1937-1943; Rev. Albert Baker, 1943-1946; Rev. Rensa Dykstra, 1947-1954; Rev. Thomas Zylstra, 1955-1957; Rev. Paul E. Trompen, 1957-1965; and Rev. Jacob Van Mantgens, 1966-1969; Rev. Norman Menning, 1970-1991; Rev. James DeBruyne, 1992-present.
Improvements included remodeling and redecoration of the sanctuary in 1973; adding narthex in 1976 and building a new parsonage in 1985.
Protestant Reformed Church
Doon's youngest church is the Protestant Reformed. Founded as a denomination in 1924, a congregation was established here in 1926. The first organized meetings were held in what was then the vacant Baptist church. This building was purchased and through the years extensively remodeled including a new full basement.
Charter members in the infant church were: Henry Kuiper, John Kuiper, Albert Kuiper, John Prins, Charles Aardema, Lane Lems, Isaac Visser, Herman Zylstra, Yje Mulder, Mr. and Mrs. Sy Stellinga and Mrs. John Blankespoor.
First office bearers were: elders, Herman Zylstra and John Blankespoor; deacons, Henry Kuiper and Sy Stellinga.
Pastors who swerved through the years were; J. DeJong, 1929-1932; G.C. Lubbers, 1934-1937; J. VanderBreggen, 1939-1942; J. Blankespoor, 1943-1949; H.C. Hoeksema, 1949-1955; G. VanBaren, 1956-1962; H. Hanko, 1963-1965; and R. Decker, 1965-1968; Rev. Richard Moore, 1971-1976; Rev. Marvin Kamps, 1976-1986. Rev. Russell Dykstra, 1986-present.
Improvements included building a new church in 1975 and a new parsonage in 1985.
Once Baptists and Lutherans Here
The Baptist church was established here in 1897. It was the Baptists who built the church on upper main street and that remains today as the carpentry shop of Jim Keizer.
Two churches no longer a part of the community but strong in the memories of earlier Doon residents are the Doon Baptist church and the Doon German Lutheran Church in 1927.
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