First Reformed Church has a long history. No, we weren’t planted by one of the original 12 apostles, but we’re no Johnny-come-lately either.
FRC was started back in Laura-Ingalls-Wilder time — 1871 — as the fulfilled dream of a community of Dutch settlers to Northwest Iowa. Our earliest members worshipped God—in the Dutch language, mind you—in a stark, one-room structure that also served as the town’s schoolhouse. These first congregants were a tough bunch; during their first few years on the Sioux County prairie, they endured grass fires, blizzards, locusts, and a smallpox epidemic.
But their resolve, borne of a deep faith in God, did not abandon them.
Under the leadership of many gifted and hard-working pastors, the church grew. In time, the congregation’s expansion and heart for new ministries led the members to plant eight additional churches in Sioux County. They also laid the groundwork for a Christian academy known today as Northwestern College.
FRC’s second, enlarged facility served our members through the wars and economic depressions of the early 20th Century. In 1956, fire from a lightning strike prompted a renovation of the sanctuary. In 1963, an education wing was added to meet the needs of a growing number of children. During these years, the church staff also expanded to employ music leaders, associate pastors, and youth ministers.
Our current worship facility was completed in 1979, and an office wing was added in 2000. At present, FRC consists of around 900 members and nine paid staff. It places an emphasis on numerous overseas and domestic missions and continues to serve a leading role in the Orange City community.