During the past eight months we, in the congregation of Doon, have been through the Lord’s dispensation without a pastor. On Sunday, February 6, the Reverend John Blankespoor preached his farewell to the congregation. This was followed on the evening of February 10 by a congregational farewell to Reverend and Mrs. Blankespoor and their family, at which the congregation wished them the Lord’s blessing in their new field of labor. And even as it pleased the King of His Church to take from us our beloved pastor, Reverend Blankespoor, He also gladdened our hearts by bringing to us another of His servants, that he might proclaim unto us the Word, both in the weekly services and by means of the many other pastoral labors. Thus our hearts were filled with rejoicing and thanksgiving to our covenant God when we received the glad tidings that Candidate H. C. Hoeksema was coming to help us.

It was a memorable evening in Doon, that evening of October 13, 1949. Our little auditorium was filled to capacity, not only by those of our own congregation, but also by many of our brethren from the surrounding congregations,—attracted there not only because of their feeling of unity and fellowship with Doon, but also because the Consistory of Doon had asked Reverend Herman Hoeksema, father of their pastor-elect, to be present and to deliver the sermon for the occasion. This was the first time that Reverend Hoeksema had been present in Northwest Iowa since the time that he was stricken nearby here two years ago. And so from far and near our people were represented in Doon that evening. The Reverend Hoeksema charged both the congregation and the pastor-elect, his son, in his own inimitable way in a sermon on II Timothy 4, verses 1 and 2: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” The attention of both congregation and pastor-elect was drawn very vividly and directly to the meaning, manner, and significance of the charge to preach the Word.

Sorry to say, Rev. and Mrs. Hoeksema could not remain long in the West, but many of us here in the West entertain the sly hope that perhaps the attraction of having their son here may bring them sometime for a longer stay, and perhaps for a few lectures and sermons in Doon and elsewhere. An invitation is not needed!

On the 16th of October our new pastor preached his in augural sermons. In the morning he chose for his text Romans 1:16-17, calling attention to “The Gospel, God’s power Unto Salvation”. In the afternoon he drew the attention of the congregation to “Zion’s Calling as the Proclaimer of Good Tidings”, preaching on Isaiah 40:9.

October 10 was the date of a congregational reception for the purpose of welcoming the new pastor and his family into our midst. A very enjoyable evening was spent by all in making the acquaintance of both the pastor and his wife as well as by the Reverend and Mrs. Hoeksema in making the acquaintance of their new congregation.

With gratitude we remember the faithful labors of the Reverend Blankespoor, who spent some 6 years in our midst. And our prayer is that the Lord may bless him in his new field of labor. We also wish to thank especially our counsellor, the Rev. A. Cammenga, for his assistance and for his part in the installation ceremony. And to the Rev. S. Cammenga go our thanks as well for his help as counsellor pro tem. And to all the ministers of Classis West, as well as to our missionaries, who supplied our pulpit during our vacancy, we express our sincere thanks.

By the time that this is published, of course, the congregation and pastor of Doon have settled down a bit,—settled down to the normal of a busy congregational life. And it is our prayer that we may, with our new pastor, experience a fruitful ministry of the Word under the blessing of our gracious heavenly Father, and that with all our Protestant Reformed Churches we may experience that the Lord doth prosper Zion, and may have grace to be true to the glorious heritage which He hath given us.

The Consistory of Doon, Iowa,

J. Vanden Top, Clerk