First and Second Church Buildings

   

First and Second Church Parsonages

           

"Oefenaar" J. Dragt                                                                  Rev. W. Greve                                                                   Rev. G. G. Haan

          

Rev. T. Van der Ark                                                 Rev. William DeGroot                                                     Rev. P. Kosten

            

Rev. J. B. Jonkman                                                                                  Rev. E. J. Krohne                                                                                     Rev. K. W. Fortuin

Rev. A. DeVries

1933 Consistory

Borculo Band - Organized in 1929

Borculo Christian Reformed Church
50th Anniversary

Short History, 1883-1933

The history of the Christian Reformed Church of Borculo is very closely related to the history of the first settlement of the village now known as Borculo. When the first settlers (some of whom came from Borculo, Gelderland, Netherlands, after which this place was named( came to this place they found a low swampy place, which was covered with woods everywhere. There were no roads to speak of. Among the first settlers were B. Kuiers, P. Lamer, J. Klunderman, Geert Moeke and others. The last named greatly assisted this community by setting up a sawmill, thereby providing labor, lumber for homes, and also gave an outlet for the lumber with which the whole country was covered.

Soon the need of a church of its own was felt, as it was almost a physical impossibility to remain with First Zeeland or with neighboring churches, especially in view of the bad road, and the scanty means of conveyance. First a group of settlers gathered at the home of j. Klunderman and were assisted in their public worship in turn by the Christian Reformed and the Reformed church of Zeeland, Mich. Soon the group became too big to meet conveniently in a private home, and the public school of Borculo was chosen as its next meeting place. The early settlers discussed their need of being organized into a separate congregation many times. But they lacked the man to push the matter until the arrival of Mr. B. DeHaan, a man gifted with talents for leadership and who for years had been an office-bearer in the land across the ocean. Finally it was decided to request Classis Holland to organize them as a separate congregation. Brother DeHaan pleaded the cause of this community so well that the Classis decided to grant the request. Revs. H. Douwstra and R. T. Kuiper and Elder G. Karsten were appointed to assist in the organization of a Christian Reformed Church in Borculo.

The organization took place 5 July 1883. The Classical Committee met with the members who wished to organize. Rev. R. T. Kuiper preached a sermon based on Psalm 122:6, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee." Fifteen families signified their willingness to become the first members of the new church. As Elders were Chosen B. DeHaan, L. Dijkstra and J. Norden, while H. Wiegmink and B. Blauwkamp served as Deacons. Of these first charter members only four persons are still with us, namely B. Blauwkamp, Mrs. B. Kuiers, and Mr. and Mrs. P. Lamer.

A little church was called into being. According to some it was doomed to be a failure. But God rules. Its beginning was small, its struggles not a few, but God provided a helper in sending to this place the Edifier or "Oefenaar" J. Dragt, who had already studied in the Netherlands. The steady growth of this settlement, together with the faithful labor of Mr. Dragt, who became afterwards a Minister in the Reformed Church, proved to be a blessing to the congregation.

The school house soon became too small and it was decided to build a new church. Geert Moeke donated a quarter acre ground located at the southwest corner of the Borculo crossing. Geert Moeke, H. A. Wiegmink, Albert Marling, L. Morsink and J. Boessenkool served as building committee. In the Spring of 1885 the first church building was dedicated for the service of God. The incorporation of our church took place 11 March 1885. When Mr. Dragt received a call from North Overijsel we promised him a salary of $200.00. Notwithstanding this inducement Dragt left us in the Spring of 1889.

After the departure of Brother Dragt it was decided to call an ordained minister. Many calls were extended. In the meantime a house was bought from Willem Van Loo for $600.00. (This house is now the property of G. Talsma.) Because this house was too far from the church it was exchanged on 24 July 1890 for a store building belonging to R. Bouwman. This building was remodeled and became the parsonage of the future ministers of Borculo’s church. The building committee consisted of the brethren r. Timmerman, P. Lamer and Geert Moeke.

On 18 June 1890 Rev. W. Greve of Chicago, Ill., was called and accepted the call. When Greve came the church grew in membership and soon it was found necessary to build a new church. A new site, the present location, was donated by Mr. G. Moeke, and the church was moved to its new location. A little later this church was again torn down and a new and larger church built on the same spot. The lumber for this church was, for the greater part, donated by the members, who cut down the trees in their woods, which were transformed into building timber at Mr. Moeke’s sawmill. This church building was dedicated unto the Lord in the year 1891. While the church was under construction the congregation worshipped in the church barn. When Rev. Greve left us, having accepted a call of the Grandville Avenue Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Borculo possessed an up-to-date church building and a fine parsonage.

Candidate G. G. Haan became our second pastor. On the 6th of October 1893, he preached his inaugural sermon based on 2 Cor. 3:4-6. Rev. Haan did much to beautify the property by planting many shade trees, some of which were destroyed by the conflagration of April, 1927. Mr. G. Moeke served many years as "Voorzinger". In this time our first organ was installed. Rev Haan labored here until September, 1896, when he became a home missionary, a task for which he was well equipped.

In thest years much trouble was experienced with parents who came with their children for baptism but refused to make confession of faith. The consistory labored faithful during these years to overcome these mistaken views of the covenant.

After calling many times in vain the congregation rejoiced again when on the 7th of November 1897, Candidate T. Van der Ark was installed as Borculo’s third pastor. This brother labored faithfully and with zeal among his first flock, and was loved by old as well as young. A Consistory room was built to provided also a meeting place for the Young Men’s Society. Geert Moeke presented the church with two acres of ground east of the church to be used for horse stables, pasture, etc. Rev. Van der Ark departed to the Commerce Street Church at Grand Rapids, Mich., in December, 1900.

After a short vacancy Rev. William de Groot of Hospers, Iowa, was installed 3 February 1901 as Borculo’s fourth pastor by Rev. Huizingh of Beaverdam. At that time it is recorded that the number of families was "between 120 and 130. The number of souls totaled about 700." In his historical sketch Rev. de Groot wrote: "There is a good audience every Sunday." And so it has continued up to this day. Rev de Groot left us in August, 1903 for Graafschap, Michigan.

Rev. P. Kosten of Paterson, N. J., was called to become our fifth pastor. His forceful and practical sermons are still remembered by those who heard them. At this time Mr. R. Bouwman led the singing in public worship. Rev. Kosten left us for West Sayville, N. J., July, 1907.

Again our church was without a pastor, but soon succeeded in securing a new pastor in Rev. J. B. Jonkman of Harderwijk. His inaugural sermon was based on Ef 3:8. During his ministration an extended organ loft was built and a new Hinner’s tractor organ installed. But also Rev. Jonkman had no abiding place in Borculo as he left us in July, 1919 for Fulton, Illinois.

This time the congregation did not have to wait long for a pastor for in September, 1912, Rev. E. J. Krohne was installed as Borculo’s seventh pastor. To him belongs the distinction of having served this congregation no less than nine years. The old parsonage proved defective, and the present beautiful parsonage was built. During his stay in Borculo the congregation became involved in the Americanization process. The use of English was introduced in the catechism classes, and an occasional English sermon in the evening. The process of the gradual change from Holland to English was peaceful, and has continued so up to the present time. A budge system was adopted. The good old days of horse and buggy ended when Rev. Krohne purchased an auto. Hudsonville called and this brother preached his farewell in August, 1921.

Rev. K. W. Fortuin became our eighth pastor. On the 22nd of January 1922, this brother was inducted into this field of labor by Rev. E. J. Krohne. On the afternoon of that same day he preached his inaugural sermon based on Col. 1:28. Again a further process was made in the Americanization of our church. First an English service once a month was introduced, and one year later two such services, the second and last Sunday of every month was decided upon. In this time also the debt or our church was paid off. During his ministry the congregation went through the bitter experience of losing its church building. "April 10, 1927, shall forever remain a sad day in the history of the congregation. During the morning service of that day the congregation was forced to leave its house of worship and behold its stately building being turned into a huge pile of burning embers. But glory to God, the congregation although saddened, was not dismayed. It strengthened itself into the Lord our God, and with His aid, and by his grace it started out to plan and build a new house of worship, and to obtain a new pipe organ." (The Banner, November 25, 1927.) The building committee consisted of Gerrit Van Beek, P. De Groot, L. Luurtsema, L. Vollink, Ben De Roo, Harm Stremler and H. Wesseldijk. First the congregation worshipped in a tent back of the church, but when the ten collapsed the horse barn was fixed up and used for a place of worship. Rev. Fortuin proved to be the right man in these trying times. Through his organizing ability soon a new church was erected, and nearly all paid for. The people were willing to sacrifice. The congregation greatly rejoiced when on 8 November 1971, the new church building was solemnly dedicated to the service of the Lord. Rev. Fortuin remained with us about one year more and left us to become pastor of South Holland, Illinois.

During the ensuing vacancy five calls were extended, the last one to Rev. A. DeVries of Leighton, Iowa, who accepted this call and was installed on Sunday, 19 May 1929 by the moderator, Rev. J. Medendorp of Rusk. And in the afternoon the present pastor preached his inaugural sermon based on 2 Cor. 3:4,5. Til the present time he labors in our midst with joy and receives a blessing upon his work. In 1930 the language problem again came up and it was decided that one service on the Lord’s day would be in the Holland language and the other in the English language. A weekly budget was adopted about two years ago. Notwithstanding the depression we still press on to the mark which God has set for His servants in His kingdom. Two new societies have made their appearance in the last four years. The Borculo Band was organized in 1929 and a young men’s society was organized last fall under the leadership of Mr. Dick Walters. And in th winter of 1932 a new garage was built for the auto of the pastor.

We are thankful for the many blessings which God has so graciously bestowed upon us. We are also very thankful that some of our sons serve the Lord in the ministry: Rev. J. Hiemenga of Paterson, N. J.; Rev. H. Goodijk of Reeman, Mich.; Rev. J. Steigenga of Lee Street, Grand Rapids, MIch.,; Rev. J. Boerman of the Reformed Church of Three Oaks, Mich., and Candidate Dick Walters, who is now eligible for a call from our churches.

May the Lord, the Shepherd and King of the Church guide us and bless us in the future as He has done in the past, and prepare us for His glorious kingdom.

Charter Members

Mr. and Mrs. B. DeHaan
Mr. and Mrs. Berend Blauwkamp
Mr. and Mrs. Siebe Dijkstra
Mr. and Mrs. A. Brunnink
Mr. and Mrs. Gerrit Jan Langius
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Marling
Mr. and Mrs. Pieter Lamer
Mr. and Mrs. Berend Kuiers
Mr. and Mrs. Jan Norde
Mr. and Mrs. Geert Moeke
Mr. and Mrs. Lambert Morsink
Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Wiegmink
Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Broekhuis
Mr. and Mrs. A. Schemper
Mr. J. Boesenkool

1933 Church Directory

Number of Families – 120
Number of Communicant Members – 340
Total Number of Souls – 704

Consistory
Rev. A. DeVries, President

Elders
A. Machiela, Vice-President
J. Ammeraal
B. DeRoo
J. H. Morsink, Secretary
H. Stremler
G. Meppelink

Deacons
J. Schout, Treasurer
G. Steigenga
L. Luurtsema
G. Boetsma
G. Talsma
H. Goodijk

Organists
Miss Grace Overweg
Mr. John Kraai

Janitor
Mr. G. Geurink

Deacons and Elders, 1883 - 1933

OFFICER

TITLE

AALDERING, G. J.

DEACON

AMMERAAL, J.

DEACON

AMMERAAL, J.

ELDER

BALDER, B.

ELDER

BATEMA, J.

ELDER

BLAUWKAMP, A.

ELDER

BLAUWKAMP, B.

DEACON

BLAUWKAMP, B.

ELDER

BLAUWKAMP, JOH.

DEACON

BOES, D.

DEACON

BOETSMA, G.

DEACON

BOETSMA, JAN

ELDER

BOS, H.

ELDER

BOSCH, A. J. A.

DEACON

BOSCH, J. A.

DEACON

BOUWMAN, JOHN

DEACON

BOUWMAN, R.

DEACON

BRUNINK, B.

DEACON

BRUNNINK, BEN

ELDER

BUSSIS, GEERT

DEACON

DALMAN, W.

DEACON

DE BROOT, P.

ELDER

DE HAAN, B.

ELDER

DE ROO, B.

DEACON

DE ROO, B.

ELDER

DIEPENHORST, P.

DEACON

DIEPENHORST, P.

ELDER

DIJKSTRA, S.

ELDER

DRAGT, J. J.

ELDER

ESSENBURG, R.

DEACON

GEBBEN, L.

ELDER

GEURINK, H.

DEACON

GEURINK, HENRY

DEACON

GLAS, B.

DEACON

GLAS, BEN

ELDER

GOODIJK, HENRY

DEACON

GOODIJK, HENRY

ELDER

GOORMAN, G. J.

ELDER

GRUPPEN, ED

DEACON

GRUPPEN, H.

ELDER

HIEMENGA, J.

DEACON

KALSBEEK, W.

ELDER

KLEINJANS, E.

ELDER

KLUNDERMAN, D.

DEACON

LAMER, P.

DEACON

LUURTSEMA, L.

DEACON

MACHIELA, ANNE

ELDER

MACHIELA, D.

ELDER

MARTINIE, M.

ELDER

MEPPELINK, G.

DEACON

MEPPELINK, G.

ELDER

MEPPELINK, H. J.

DEACON

MEPPELINK, H. J.

ELDER

MOEKE, G.

DEACON

MOEKE, GEERT

ELDER

MORSINK, J. H.

DEACON

MORSINK, J. H.

ELDER

MORSINK, L.

ELDER

NORDE, JAN

ELDER

OVERWEG, A.

DEACON

OVERWEG, DR.

DEACON

PATROELJE, HARRY

DEACON

PATROELJE, P.

ELDER

RIETMAN, CHARLES

DEACON

SCHEMPER, A.

DEACON

SCHOUT, H.

DEACON

SCHOUT, JOHN

DEACON

SMITH, JOHN

DEACON

SMITH, JOHN

DEACON

STEIGENGA, GERRIT

DEACON

STEIGENGA, JACOB

ELDER

STREMLER, CHRIS

DEACON

STREMLER, H.

DEACON

STREMLER, H.

ELDER

TALSMA, G. E.

DEACON

TALSMA, R.

DEACON

TIMMERMAN, K.

DEACON

TIMMERMAN, K.

ELDER

VAN BEEK, G.

DEACON

VAN BEEK, G.

ELDER

VAN DEN HEUVEL, ED.

DEACON

VANDER VEER, W.

DEACON

VOLLINK, GEERT

DEACON

WALTERS, D.

DEACON

WIEGMINK, A.

DEACON

WONNINK, H.

DEACON

ZIJLSTRA, P.

ELDER

ZUWERINK, B.

ELDER


Transcriber: ES
Created: 27 April 2013
URL: http://ottawa.migenweb.net/churches/christianref/Borculo.html