Ocheyedan Christian Reformed Church<

Ocheyedan Christian Reformed Church

The Ocheyedan Christian Reformed Church was organized on June 19, 1913. The beginning was small, with six families who had moved in from the Orange City area. The first services were held in the Congregational Church.

In 1914, a building site was purchased, and the first church and horse barn with 24 stalls were built. On those days families came to church with their horses and buggies and stayed for the day.

Following two short term pastors, Rev. Haarsma and Rev. Wassink, in 1918 Rev. Nicholas Fokkens arrived to minister to the congregation. He remained in Ocheyedan until 1934, when he retired due to ill health.

There were many trying times in the early years, especially during World War I when misunderstandings arose in the community mainly due to the use of the Dutch language in the church services. Not until 1926, were services held in the English language, and then only once a month.

In 1919, electricity was put in the horse barn. This allowed for evening meetings, and those attending church could still find their horses afterward. In 1921, a new parsonage was built and a new well was dug. Each year small improvements were made. Then, with the coming of the automobile and indoor plumbing, the horse barn became obsolete and was sold in 1933.

In 1935, Floris Vander Stoep became pastor. He served for six years and then left to serve as a missionary to the Indians in New Mexico, and for the next five years Rev. John Mulder served the church.

In 1946, the congregation had grown to 63 families, and the building was no longer adequate. In 1947, the building was enlarged and remodeled.

In 1946, Rev Clifford Vander Ark came and served for four years. He was followed then by Rev Berard Visscher, and then Rev Leonard Bossenbroek from 1956 to 1964. Rev Peter Van Drunen served from 1965 to 1970. In 1970, Rev Harold De Groot came, having served on the mission field in Nigeria.

In 1972, the building was again too small and a decision was made to build a new church. The Martha Arend property was purchased, and a new building was erected on it. On Sunday, July 21, 1974, a farewell service was held in the old sanctuary. The congregation was then marched to the new church led by the pastor with the pulpit Bible, the elders with the offering set, and the deacons with the offering plates while everyone sang "Onward Christian Soldiers." A new Rodgers organ was also purchased, and dedicated.

Rev De Groot served until 1976, when Rev Marvin Van Donselaar came and served until 1988. In 1989, the Lawrence Ringling house was purchased for a parsonage, and the old parsonage was sold.

Rev Ronald Baker arrived in March 1990.

From Ocheyedan, Ia Centennial 1891-1991

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