In the spring of 1937, one of the brethren from Edgerton, Minnesota gave a talk to a League of Christian School Societies in Hull, Iowa. While talking with some of the people gathered there, he met Rev. L. Vermeer and after a talk with him about Church and School matters, he invited Rev. Vermeer to come over and give a speech in Edgerton.

Time went on and before we knew it, it was fall and a busy time for farmers. One day in September, Rev. B. Kok came over to Edgerton and settled down with his auto trailer in one of the side streets of Edgerton. Being a stranger in a strange land he had to make some point of contact which is hard to do if you don’t know anybody. But it did not take him long to find the man he was looking for — somebody who was well acquainted with the Christian Reformed congregation. So, after a visit at the home of this “someone” Rev. Kok found a big field to work in but very little knowledge. He also found some people who were very much dissatisfied with the preaching of the common grace theory. These people had the same experience as children in a merry-go-round, the sermons took them around and around but did not bring them anywhere. It took a little time for Rev. Kok to get his work lined up so he could contact the people. Of course, there was no church for rent but there happened to be a Memorial Hall in Edgerton which could be rented reasonably. After some advertising, Rev. Kok gave his first sermon!

The first few Sunday evenings the hall was packed. Then the warning went forth to stay away from Rev. Kok’s meetings. But a number of people found it to be a living Testimony of the Truth. Most of the older people who attended these meetings were born in the Netherlands, and so Rev. Kok gave all his first sermons in the Holland Language. After much hard but fruitful labor by the missionary, we decided to organize. Rev. Kok asked the Mission Committee to come over and organize and install office bearers in the new congregation. In April, 1938, 17 families came together to be organized and to elect 2 elders and 2 deacons to lead and govern the congregation.

A minister was promptly called, but the call was declined. Once! Twice! The third time the congregation was gladdened with the answer: I will come over and help you!

We had Rev. Kok in our midst till July, 1938, when he had to go to Manhattan to labor there. We were all sorry to see him go with his family, but we did not sit down in sackcloth and ashes. With faith in God and in His promises we went forward and labored for the wellbeing of the congregation. In the fall of that same year, we bought two lots so that we could build a parsonage and church as soon as possible.

When Rev. Verhil, our first pastor came over, we had a house rented and ready for him but it was not at all modem: a pump by the house, no running water, and no bathroom — Minnesota farm style! Rev. and Mrs. Verhil seemed to fit right in our young congregation. They labored hard in our midst and were very much appreciated. We decided to build a parsonage first and to do most of the labor ourselves to save money. It was not long before Rev. and Mrs. Verhil moved into the new parsonage. To make you understand how it was possible for a small and young congregation to do so much, we can’t explain it in any other way than that the Spirit of the Lord made the people willing and it was a pleasure for the minister and the consistory to lean the congregation in the way they should go. When we look back on those three years that we were busy with the building of the parsonage and church, we must admit they were the best years of our lives. The building committee as a rule found our people always willing to do their duty. Our people did not like the idea of being in debt so they all dug deep in their pockets to pay as much as possible. Some people ask us, “How did you people do it?” And the only answer we can give is that as minister and consistory and congregation, we worked and prayed and paid! And you know, when everybody is busy and working hard there is very little time and cause for friction. You must not think that everything Edgerton accomplished in so short a time was easy. It was a steady grind but nobody can ever do anything worthwhile if he doesn’t take his coat off and get to work. That is so in material as well as spiritual labor.

Our congregation is now five and a half years old. That is six months older than some people said we would ever get. They said. “Inside of five years they will be back.” At present we have at least 30 families, a Men’s Society, a Holland Ladies’ Aid, an English Ladies’ Aid, and a Young People’s Society which are all well attended.

If any of our Protestant Reformed People came to Edgerton, be sure to step in and visit a while, so you can see what great things the Lord has done there. We even have some ground bought to build our own Christian School as soon as we can get material with which to build. Since I have been away from Edgerton for some time now on account of health, I did not mention much of last year’s history. It was very hard on the congregation that the Lord took away by death our first minister, Rev. Verhil. He and his family were very much loved and appreciated and they have done very much for Edgerton. But the congregation is happy that they now have another minister, Rev. G. Vos, who we hope will labor in Edgerton for years, and will be a blessing to the church to the Glory of our God.

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

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