Those of our readers who follow the reports of classical and synodical meetings will have noticed a request of our Randolph, Wisconsin congregation for permission to seek collections in the churches for their new building. Perhaps your curiosity was aroused, as was mine. Not having visited Randolph for a while, I had no firsthand information as to the progress of their building project. Hence, I sent a request to Randolph’s pastor, the Rev. Wayne Bekkering, for a little information and a picture or two. This brought some results which I would like to share with our readers. Perhaps this will also stimulate your giving when those collections are announced in the various churches: for it is always better, I think, to have some idea of the project for which one is giving and of the need for help. And our sister-congregation of some 22 families in Wisconsin is in need of help, and also deserving of encouragement in this undertaking.
Have you ever visited Randolph, tucked away in the beautiful and rolling farm country of central Wisconsin, not too far from the famous Wisconsin Dells?
If you have spent a Sunday at their services, you will have to agree, I’m sure, that a new church edifice is a much-needed improvement. For many years — I believe that it is since the days that the late Rev. Henry Kuiper was their pastor — the congregation has been worshipping in the rather uninviting little basement-building which is almost dwarfed, in the accompanying picture, by the completed shell of the new building. I will not go into detail as to the defects and disadvantages of the old building; I would rather accentuate the positive. I am certain our Randolph people will be happy to be out of the basement in the near future; in fact, their new building, though it is very simple and serviceable, will represent sheer luxury for them. And let me add: our Protestant Reformed witness in Randolph, Wisconsin is deserving of such a better house of worship!
The Rev. Bekkering informs that “on the 5th of June, 1973 the work on Randolph’s new church building began. Since that time the work has progressed very well, although there remains much work to be done, especially on the interior, before the new building will be finished.”
Here are a few facts about the building, which, by the way, is being constructed on land which the congregation foresightedly had purchased along with their present building. The church building is 74 feet long and 40 feet wide, with a seating capacity of 200 persons (room enough for Randolph to double its size!). Bench type seats, with padding, will be used in the auditorium. The ground floor plan includes a large foyer, the auditorium, a storage and work room, and a study for the pastor. The basement has a furnace room, restrooms, a kitchen, a classroom, and a large fellowship room.
The estimated cost of the building was nearly $50,000. The actual cost of the building is less than the estimate, due to the fact that nearly all of the work is being done by the men of the congregation. A number of the men who are employed in the building trades have given freely both of their time and talents, along with others who have willingly helped in whatever way they could. The pastor writes that “a spirit of good cooperation has prevailed, and the men have enjoyed working together on the project.”
While no definite date has been fixed for completion, it is expected that the new church will be finished some time in the spring of 1974.
Congratulations, Randolph! We look forward to the announcement of your dedication program next spring, the Lord willing.