Ben Wigger is an elder in the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan.
With this issue of the Standard Bearer, we continue the profiles of our churches with a profile of the Doon, Iowa, Protestant Reformed Church.
In March of 1926, out of the upheaval of the common grace question, a very small group formed the local Protestant Reformed congregation of Doon. This group had its early struggles; no pastor, no church home, and heading into the depression years. This group also had its early problems in regard to growth and falling away. It remained a small and struggling group between the corn rows of the far tip of Northwest Iowa. Many may even have often wondered if Doon still existed.
By the grace of God who is the Father of all history, Doon finally started to thrive under the teaching of faithful pastors and a renewed dedication to the truth of the Scriptures; this took place through the upheaval of the early fifties.
For thirty some years of slow but steady and noticeable growth Doon now numbers some fifty-plus families with around two hundred forty souls.
Doon is a relatively young congregation. In their own Protestant Reformed grade school they have about fifty pupils, with four teachers instructing. There are also about fifty children below school age. Their school opened its doors in the fall of 1967, and has operated faithfully ever since.
In times past Doon was made up almost entirely of farmers, but this has changed drastically in latter years. Many of the congregation now work in small industries nearby.
Doon worshipped in an old church purchased from the Baptists about fifty years ago. This was replaced in 1975 by a new edifice and in 1985 a new parsonage was built. Both are located on half of a city block in the northeastern part of Doon.
The most enjoyable and interesting aspect of the Doon congregation has been its slow but steady growth, its desire to stand firm in the faith and truths of Scripture, and the faithfulness of our covenant God in supplying all of their spiritual needs through faithful shepherds over the years. The results of all of this have been a peaceful, loving congregation, spared from the public gross sins which are often devastating to small congregations.
Edward Van Egdom, who supplied the above information, concludes his letter to me by saying “thanks be to God and to Him be the glory alone. We are almost as peaceful as the little city in which we live. Come to see us some time.”
From Edmonton we learned that the Lord willing, there could be one more Protestant Reformed congregation in Canada. Several families of our church in Edmonton live in the neighboring city of Lacombe, a city about eighty miles to the south. This means they must travel quite a distance every Sunday just to get to church. These members have decided to seek Classis’ advice and approval to organize as a separate congregation. Let us all remember this matter in our prayers as it will come before Classis West in March.
An officebearers conference is being planned for Tuesday, March 3 in Hull, Iowa on the subject “Dispensationalism”. A morning and an afternoon session are being planned.
Pastors in the greater Grand Rapids area have once again organized a Marriage Seminar for all those who are planning to be married during this coming year, as well as those who have been married within the past two years.
These seminars are all scheduled to be held on Thursday evenings at 7:30 and will meet at Southwest Protestant Reformed Church beginning February 12 and running for five more weeks after that. Subjects for these seminars were listed as follows: Feb. 12—The Foundation, Feb. 19—The Husband, Feb. 26—The Wife, March 5—Finances, March 12—Sex, Children, March 19—Devotions, etc.
I also noticed that beginning Feb. 1, Rev. Haak of our Lynden, Protestant Reformed Church began a series on Marriage and the Family with a sermon entitled Marriage’s Divine Origin.
It was also mentioned here last time that Lynden is trying to deal with an overcrowding problem. To follow up on that idea, I can inform you that on February 5, a Thursday evening, the entire congregation of Lynden was asked to gather at the Word of Life Church. The church was open at 7:00 PM for the congregation to browse around in. At 8:15 the members gathered in the auditorium at which time Rev. Haak gave a short meditation based on II Peter 1:10. After this the New Building Committee answered questions on the many options facing the congregation. Coffee and fellowship followed in the basement.
Lynden also began airing their church services on radio station KNIR (1550 AM) on February 8 between 7:00 and 8:00 A.M.
Due to Rev. Engelsma’s absence on church visitation to Classis West, the Council of South Holland arranged a pulpit exchange with Rev. Van Overloop, their missionary, for the evening service of January 18.
On February 13, young people from area churches gathered in Grand Village Mall in Grandville, Michigan for a Mystery Person Hunt. If I have this straight, several people disguised themselves and just walked the mall as regular shoppers. The object for the young people was to discover these disguised shoppers. It could be embarrassing if you guessed wrong. Games and refreshments were provided afterward at Covenant Christian High School.b