Replica of the Historical First Reformed Church – Sioux Center, IA
N 43° 05.132 W 096° 09.517
14T E 731281 N 4774231
Quick Description: This little replica church has an interesting story which makes history come alive.
Location: Iowa, United States
Date Posted: 7/14/2011 1:00:44 PM
Waymark Code: WMC1GA
This little replica church has an interesting story which makes history come alive. It is located in the Heritage Village on the west side of the Sioux County Fairgrounds. The original Sioux Center church was built in 1877. A history is written and displayed on an interior wall and reads as follows:
“About this church replica: Rev. Seine Bolks came every other week to conduct church services in private homes or schoolhouses. Many walked to Orange City to attend church.
“In 1877 Rev. Bolks and Elder H. Muilenburg held an organizational meeting at Sioux Center which was not a town at the time. Ten families and 5 single men were the charter members.
“Maybe it could be called one of the first drive-in churches. Twenty acres of land was bought for $110 and the original building was 14’ x 20 feet long and 10 feet high. No funds were left for seats, so wagon seats were used. They would drive their wagons next to the open windows. Later they brought their own chairs. The church was enlarged in 1878.
“In the 1879 report to the classis, there were now 26 families, 56 souls. The Sunday School was also started that year and a parsonage was built. The first pastor was Rev. James DePree whose picture is on display in the church.
“The first funeral was for a child, Jacob Kosters, burned in the prairie fire.
“The name was changed in 1899 to the First Reformed Church of Sioux Center.
“This replica of the first church was built by donated labor, and the 2 x 4’s and the railing was salvaged from the demolition of the First Reformed Church. Some of the wood is thought to be from the church that was destroyed by strong winds in 1902.
“NOTE: The original floor was all dirt, but to comply with the laws of today had to be made accessible to the handicapped.”
There is a marker made from small stones that sits in front of the Heritage Village Church, which looks to be original. It has the words “First Ref. Church, 1877” embedded in the pebbles. There is a sign at the base with the words “EBEN – HAEZER, 1st Sam. 7:12.”
The grounds are accessible any time of the year, but the buildings are open during the July county fair and during the annual Harvest Festival in the middle of September, or by appointment.
Where is original located?: Sioux Center
Where is this replica located?: Heritage Village in Sioux Center
Who created the original?: Members of the church
Internet Link about Original: http://www.siouxcenter.org/index.aspx?nid=76
Year Original was Created (approx. ok): 1877
Post at least one photo of the replica.
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