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We have, once and again, reflected upon the church political aspect of the Forbes-Isabel churches in their severing of relationship with the Eureka Classis. 

That we spoke mostly about the Isabel church in this respect is due to the fact, that, when Rev. Mensch was deposed, Isabel was a congregational unit, recognized as a member church of the Eureka Classis, which the Forbes Church was a faithful minority-group with Rev. Mensch in the Oriens Reformed Church at Leola. 

Now just a word about the Forbes congregation. 

It should be understood by the reader that on or about November 28, 1956, the “Executive” issued their usurping decretal, declaring Rev. H. Mensch officially (?) no more a minister in the Leola church. Immediately thereupon the faithful brethren continued holding services in the large and commodious basement of the parsonage in Leola, where Rev. Mensch lived. They were about 28 souls. Since they felt that the, entire matter was still pending with the coming session of Classis in May of 1957, and whereas they could not be without some organization in the meanwhile, they organized in such a way, that, should the Classis not undo the action of the “Executive,” they could proceed to permanent organization. They elected as elder-elect, E. Hauck, and A. Rau, and as deacon-elect, W. Hauck. That was in December of 1956. 

When the Classis gave its sanction to the decretal of the deposition of Rev. Mensch by an “Executive” committee, the brethren and sisters proceeded. to permanent organization. This meant that, small as they were, they proceeded with faith in God. He, who had led them thus far, would be faithful in the future. And they named their little congregation “The Ebenezer Reformed Church” at Forbes, N.D. This is some 25 miles north and east from Leola. At first meetings were held in the farm home of E. Hauch, but soon a small, unused school-house was acquired in that vicinity. The place is now marked by a very tasteful sign “The Ebenezer Reformed Church.” 

Thus was born the Ebenezer Reformed Church. 

But why did this little band of men, women and children not abide by the decision of Eureka Classis concerning the Rev. Mensch? 

This is a good and proper question and calls for an answer, and the answer is that they had vowed before the face of God that they would abide by the teaching and preaching of Rev. Mensch. It was a matter of confession of faith! It was not simply sentimental adherence to a mere man, whose breath is in his nostrils. The seed sown by Rev. Mensch had fallen into good ground! In a document titled “Re-affirmation Of Loyalty” we read the following noteworthy expression, which was signed by six male members in the congregation. “We, the undersigned members of the Oriens Reformed Church, do solemnly attest, 1. That it is your duty, Rev. H. Mensch, to be faithful to us as minister . . . . 2. That it is our calling and privilege to support you, Rev. H. Mensch, with our gifts and prayers, and to be faithful members under your preaching. We set our seal of approval to the foregoing resolutions and reaffirmation of faithfulness by affixing our names, which do further appear as follows.” 

Such was their vow before the face of God! 

It was no rash vow on the part of those who continued in the Name of God at Forbes! 

The undersigned was present when this meeting was held, and these signatures were made, as above stipulated. 

On September 15, 1957, the elder-elect E. Hauch and deacon-elect W. Hauck were installed into office in the morning service. That afternoon elder Hauch administered the sacrament of baptism to an infant child in the congregation. And two weeks later elder Hauch administered the Lord’s Supper. Both times the Forms were read from the back of our Psalter. 

The Consistory of the Leola church, which remained with Eureka Classis, were duly informed of the membership of the Ebenezer Reformed Church, and they were requested to remove those names from their books, which incidentally, possibly were not even kept in that congregation! 

It was truly a day of small beginning! 

However, if it is of the Lord it will surely stand! We have abundant reason to believe that it shall. 

Let us remember this small, but courageous church before the throne of grace. 

—G.L.