First Protestant Reformed Church, Edgerton, Minnesota

In 1936 the Protestant Reformed Mission Committee sent out their first home missionary, Rev. B. Kok. As a fruit of his labors in this area, the congregation at Edgerton was organized on April 11, 1938, with thirteen families committed to starting up a new church. Rev. Wm. Verhil became our first minister, serving from 1938 until his unexpected death in 1942.

For the first years the congregation met in a local community building. They then started work on a church building and parsonage, both of which are still in use today. Most of the work of digging the basements, construction, etc., was done by the men of the group themselves, with completion in 1940 or 1941.

Following the death of Rev. Verhil, Rev. G. Vos served our congregation from 1943-1948 and Rev. P. De Boer from 1948-1953.

A school society was formed not long after the congregation was organized and perhaps before the church building and parsonage were completed. This resulted in our own school being built and completed in time for the fall term of 1950.

In 1953 a very traumatic split in the church took place, decimating the congregation. The church building was kept by the group who left, but the school was retained by those who remained Protestant Reformed. The church services were then held in the school until the community building became available.

In the fall of 1953, second year seminary student Herman Hanko (now professor emeritus) came to bring the word to us for two months. He has often told the story about how he was the only student available, and it was early in his second semester when the professors told him to take a six week break from his classes and preach in the congregation of Edgerton which urgently needed help. He complained that he only had one sermon and reminded the professors that when he had preached it in class for practice preaching, they didn’t even think it was very good. The professors did not accept his excuse and said they would give him some sermon help, but that he would also have to try to keep up with his classroom work by correspondence. He had a double load of being a student and a preacher for that fall. He also tells about how he had to step over legs in front of the group as he preached in the small school room. Rev. Herman Veldman came to be our pastor late in that winter and stayed until 1959. Rev. B. Woudenberg arrived to be our minister in 1960 and stayed until1965.

In 1962 the group which had left in 1953 disbanded and rented the parsonage and church to the Presbyterians. The matter was once more taken to court and this time it was ruled that we were the rightful owners. It was with much joy and thanksgiving that we moved Rev. and Mrs. Woudenberg into the parsonage. Once again we could worship in our own church building.

Ministers following were Rev. G. Lanting, 1966-1974; Rev. J. Slopsema, 1974-1982; Rev. J. Smith, 1982-1985; Rev. M. De Vries, 1985-1995; Rev. A. Brummel, 1995-1998; Rev. D. Kleyn, 1998-2005; Rev. Dennis Lee 2006-present.

Over the years we have done considerable remodeling of the church building: new siding, windows, kitchen, pews, sound system, and had the pipe organ completely revamped. Much work has also been done in the parsonage.

We have 23 families, with 50 communicant members. Mr. Art Bleyenberg, now in a nursing home, is the only charter member living, but there are several members who were children at the time of the organization and remember those exciting days of helping out and observing the building of the church and parsonage.

The Edgerton Protestant Reformed Church exists in a small community so as a result we have not had the internal growth that would have occurred if all the children could have stayed and raised their families here. With the exception of the Canadian churches and mission churches, I think all of the congregations in our denomination have some members who have their roots in Edgerton. Three ministers have come out of our little church: Rev. R. Miersma, Rev. Allen Brummel and Rev. Nathan Brummel. Another son of our congregation, Mr. Heath Bleyenberg is currently a second year student in our seminary. Rev. Dale Kuiper entered the seminary and went into the ministry following teaching in our school here for a few years. His wife Valerie is an Edgerton native.

Our consistory is made up of three elders and two deacons. Current officebearers are elders—Allen Brummel, Andrew Brummel and Harold Brands. Deacons are Gary Boverhof and Dennis Bleyenburg.

The Free Christian School continued in operation through the spring of 2004. That fall, with great sadness in the hearts of the congregation, the doors remained closed due to lack of students. We now rejoice and give thanks to our heavenly Father that two teachers have again been hired and the school doors are set to re-open in this fall of 2006 with an enrollment of nine students. To God be the Glory!