A Brief History
The Protestant Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa, was organized in 1928 with seven families. Under the successive ministries of the Revs. Ver Meer, H. Veldman, Lubbers, Ver Meer, and Gritters, the congregation prospered until in 1952 it numbered twenty-eight families. However, here too, the conditional-theology controversy took its toll; only three families stood with us in the year 1955. From that time until 1967, as few as three individuals constituted the flock. Yet officebearers continued to function, pulpit supply was granted us by the Classes, and many taped sermons and reading sermons were employed. Through these hard years the Lord preserved and encouraged us so that we never “despised the day of small things” (Zech. 4:10). That we may continue to write of better days is due only to His faithfulness!
During 1967 various families began to visit our services, so that it became necessary to change the place of meeting from one of our homes to the local American Legion Hall. This indication of interest also led the Mission Committee to send several of our ministers to lecture here in the fall of this year. By May of 1968 enough families had joined that a permanent place of worship was purchased. With slight remodeling the former medical center proved to fill our requirements.
More families showed their interest so that the Mission Committee, at the request of our Consistory, decided to request various ministers to labor in our midst during the first half of 1969. Four ministers-each spent six weeks with us, and during this time two more families joined our fellowship, with eleven children! About this time also Pella received permission from Classis West to call their own minister. Since we knew the Lord would send us a servant in His time, we also purchased a parsonage during this summer. Disappointment followed the first six calls we sent out, but in response to the seventh call we received the glad news that Rev. Kuiper felt constrained to take up his labors in our midst. The joy that was already ours due to the Truth we possessed was greatly increased when we learned that God was sending us our own pastor and teacher!
We are still a tiny congregation; we number but thirty souls. But we have the Reformed Truth of the Scriptures: And we have systematic catechetical instruction. And we have a wonderful Adult Bible Study society! Also, we are greatly encouraged by the fact that eighteen or twenty families have visited with us at our worship services during the past two years. At present, no Sunday evening passes without five, or ten, or even fifteen visitors in attendance.
We will not venture to predict what will happen in this year or in the next. Will we grow? Will some visitors become members? We hope so. We are even inclined to think so. Yet this is not our primary concern. More and more we want to grow into the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ! Faithfully we desire to proclaim to a nominally Reformed community the distinctive Reformed Truth! In this way the Lord will add unto us in accordance with His holy will. We are convinced He has preserved us here for that purpose.
Pella, a busy city of seven thousand, is located forty miles southeast of Des Moines and a few miles south of Interstate 80. We cordially invite readers of the Standard Bearer to spend a weekend with us this summer as you journey to or from your vacations. Or better yet, spend some time in this historic area. Either way, you will be able to share in our joy, the joy that is in Christ Jesus!
PELLA PROTESTANT REFORMED CHURCH