Mrs. A. H. Klein is the only living charter member of the Doon Protestant Reformed Church.
Doon PRC’s history began in the year 1926 with a meeting on March 17. Rev. Danhof, minister of the Protesting Reformed Church of Hull, presided over the meeting to organize the Protesting Reformed Church of Doon. The membership was comprised of seven families and four individuals for a total of fifty-two souls. “For who hath despised the day of small things?” (Zech. 4:10). our Lord admonishes us! At this same meeting, a consistory of two elders and two deacons was elected. Later that year, the congregation officially adopted the name Doon Protestant Reformed Church.
Three years of vacancy finally ended when Rev. J. De Jong accepted the call to come Doon in October of 1929. It was at this time the local Baptist church on Main Street became available for sale and the Doon PRC made the purchase of the cold, drafty place of worship. Remodeling was done and the same building served as the sanctuary, catechism room, and society meeting place until 1975. Old leather padded theatre seats made for comfortable, (although somewhat sticky in the summer), individual seating. No crowding extra bodies into any rows! Weary and often discouraged in a struggling congregation, the men labored faithfully and God gave the grace for the group to continue.
After only three years, Rev. De Jong left the young congregation. Vacancy again was their lot for two years. Rev. Lubbers arrived in 1934 and stayed until 1937. This was the time of the Great Depression and often the minister’s “salary” was meat or garden produce from the local farm families. Wood was cut from local pastures to fuel the wood furnace since coal was scarce.
Rev. J. Vander Breggen, Rev. J. Blankespoor, and Rev. H. C. Hoeksema were the next ministers for the congregation. Rev. Hoeksema arrived in 1949. The year of 1953 marked a painful but needed split in the Protestant Reformed Churches. By the grace of God, Doon did not experience the decimation of members as some congregations did. This may be attributed to God’s giving them dedicated elders and a zealous pastor at this crucial time. Rev. Hoeksema received the call to serve as professor in the Protestant Reformed Seminary and left Doon in 1955. Rev. Gise Van Baren came to Iowa hoping to experience “a good ole Iowa snowstorm.” He certainly did! The year of 1963 would go into the record books as one of the snowiest ever. Roads literally became snow tunnels. The young pastor and his wife took pictures of it all as “proof” for the family and friends. Not surprisingly Rev. Van Baren took a call and left Doon the following year!
Rev. Herman Hanko came to Doon from Hope PRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He only served two years as pastor before being called to the seminary. During this time God stirred the hearts of the parents to begin the planning of our own Protestant Reformed grade school. This work was blessed by God so that the school could open its doors in 1967. The new pastor, Rev. Robert Decker, had arrived in 1965 fresh out of seminary and spoke at the dedication. The school is still in operation today with an average enrollment of 40 students each year. Rev. Decker took a call to South Holland PRC in 1969.
Two years of vacancy ended when Rev. Richard Moore accepted the call to come to Doon. He was the pastor for four years during which time the new church edifice was built in the northeast corner of Doon on the old Roman Catholic Church grounds. It was dedicated in May of 1975. It is still the building of worship today. Rev. Marvin Kamps came to Doon in the fall of 1975 and served the congregation until 1986. During this time the new parsonage was built next to the present church and still serves as parsonage today. Doon served as calling church for the mission field in Singapore. Rev. Arie Den Hartog labored faithfully there from 1979-1987. God blessed those labors with the establishment of sister churches in Singapore.
Candidate Russell Dykstra came to Doon in the summer of 1986. He was called and ordained as Doon’s next pastor in the fall of the year. He was minister of the Word until leaving in 1995 for Hope PRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rev. Richard Smit’s first charge would be in Doon from 1996-2004. While he was pastor the Saturday catechism classes times were changed to Wednesday afternoon, and night services were adopted for part of each year. Doon was appointed as calling church to the Philippines. She called Rev. Audred Spriensma to serve as missionary. He, along with his wife and daughter, are currently laboring faithfully for the cause of the Truth in that distant land.
Presently, Rev. David Overway is pastor at Doon having arrived in early 2005 with his wife and two children. This is Rev. Overway’s second congregation. The endless cornfields of Iowa are a definite change from the city scene of New Jersey. Rev. Overway is pastor of 60 families, totaling 217 souls. Doon remains in the heart of agricultural country, but today less than five families rely on farming as their primary source of income. The members are busy in their God-given stations at the factory, offices, schools, shops, and medical facilities of the area. Church services are held each Sunday AM at 9:30 and PM at 2:00 during Central Standard Time and at 6:00 during Daylight Savings Time. Five societies meet regularly to study God’s Word. Five catechism classes instruct the youth from first grade until confession of faith.
The Reformed Witness Committee is made up of members in Doon, Hull, and Edgerton PRC’s and organizes local witness in the way of lectures, pamphlets, Bible studies, etc. The Reformed Witness Hour can be heard on two radio stations in the area each Sunday.
In the eyes of the church world Doon PRC is small—very small. By the grace of God she has stood strong in “the faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). May she and the entire PRC denomination ever so remain!