First Reformed Church is a New Testament church of true Christian believers awaiting their entire salvation in Jesus Christ. We believe in the Lordship of Jesus Christ over every part of creation. We believe the Holy Scriptures are the living Word of God that points to Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ and makes the Word of God real in our lives.
First Reformed Church exists in order to set people free to:
Listen to the Spirit.
We expect the Holy Spirit to lead us in concrete ways that will transform both us and the world. (Acts 10; John 14:15-31)
How do we listen to the Spirit?
- Learning and practicing lives of prayer. (1 Thess. 5:16-18)
- Reading and studying the Holy Bible personally and together. (Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16)
- Discerning and sharing in God's reconciling activity in the world. (2 Cor. 5:18; Col. 1:20; Rom 12:2)
Follow the Son.
Growing in the knowledge that Jesus is who He says that He is, that we are who He says that we are, that we can become who He says we can become, and living a life that reflects those beliefs. (Eph. 3:14-19; John 10:27-30)
How do we follow the Son?
- Growing in the fruit of the Spirit by walking in step with the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22-25)
- Defending and providing for those who can't defend or provide for themselves. (Micah 5:8; Luke 4:18-21)
- Offering mercy, grace and forgiveness to all people just as God offers it to us. (Luke 6:37; Eph. 4:32)
- Being and making disciples who serve God with our whole hearts, souls, minds and strength. (Deut. 6:4-9; Matt. 22:36-40; 28:18-20)
- Living in unity as the Body of Christ. (Eph. 2:11-22; 4:1-3)
Exalt the Father.
We serve an almighty, holy and loving God and, as thankful children, we strive to glorify him in everything we do. (Romans 11:36; 12:11; Eph. 3:20-21; 1 Cor. 6:20; 10:31; Revelation 4:11)
How do we exalt the Father?
- Celebrating God's holiness and nearness through corporate and private worship. (Luke 19:37-40)
- Offering sacrificially of our time and treasure. (Matt. 22:36-40; Deut. 6:4-9; 1 Pet. 2:5-9)
- Living lives of humility, thankfulness, reverence, joy and service. (Micah 6:8; 1 Thess. 5:16-18)
- Regarding all of life as an act of worship. (Romans 12:1)
Our Vision over the next 3-5 years is to envelop every new person who moves into sioux center and every person who is far from jesus into the life and ministry of First Reformed Church. Furthermore, we are going to expand the reach of the kingdom, locally, regionally, and globally and become a multi-site ministry.
We believe in the transforming power and love of Jesus Christ. We believe that we exist for the sake of the kingdom...beyond ourselves. And we will do whatever it takes to make Christ known.
Missional engagement—to be a Christian is to engage in God’s missional work in the world, that all people may know him and love him. God’s church does not have a mission; God’s mission has a church!
Discipleship—discipleship is the pathway to Jesus Christ, whereby we are taught by him, our lives oriented to him, and our gifts unleashed for him and for the sake of the world.
Worship—God calls all people to our first and truest vocation: to be worshipers and to commit our lives to him in obedience, gratitude, and praise.
As we seek to live into our mission and vision, we will continually ask:
- Does this coincide with Biblical Christianity?
- Will this support intergenerational engagement?
- Are we empowering others to use their God-given gifts?
- Have we and how will we continue to surround this in prayer?
In Regard to AFFIRMATION OF FAITh...
- The Bible is the word of God;
- There is one true and living God who exits in three person: God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
- God created all things for His glory;
- Men and women were created in the image of God;
- God alone is the architect and finisher of our salvation;
- The Holy Spirit gives gifts to His children;
- The church consists of all who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for their eternal salvation;
- Heaven and hell are real places;
- Jesus Christ will one day return to establish His Kingdom forever.
- For a fuller elaboration on our shared faith, please refer to the following historic creeds and confessions:
The First Reformed Church is the oldest institution of Sioux Center, organized in 1877.
A story about the church (written by the Sioux Center News for the city's Golden Jubilee in 1941) noted it was the largest church in Sioux County. The Jubliee news story noted that from 26 original members the membership of the church had grown to 705 communicants, with a total of 1,335 souls; 630 enrolled in Sunday School; an average attendance of 550 each Sunday; and 440 children and young people receiving doctrinal training nine months of the year.
The founders first met in a pioneer schoolhouse situated two miles east of the present church. The Rev. S. Bolks and Elder J. Muilenberg of Orange City conducted the organization meeting.
The first church was named the First Reformed Church of West Branch, so named because its location was on the West Branch, a tributary of the Floyd River.
The members of the first congregation were: Jacob and Pecltje (Bronkhorst) Koster; Sander and Fennitje (Ten Houten) Schut; A. and Elbertje (Van der Pal) Franken, J. Franken; G. and Gijsbertje (De Mots) Rensink; J.W. and Hendrike (Klevvers)Te Grotenhuis, D. W. and Gerritje (Te Grotenhuis) Doornink, H. Mouw, J. Cleveringa, F. Cleveringa, A.L. Rensink, F. and Frederika (Rower) Kuhl, J. and Marie (Tiester) Grevenhoff.
The 1941 Golden Jubilee newspaper noted that families united with the church were officially visited each year by the minister and elders, a custom carried out by the congregation's three ministers: Rev. James De Pree (1880-1910); Dr. F. Lubbers (1910-1930); and Rev. L. A. Brunsting (1930-article's printing in 1941). At that time 17 sons of the congregation had been dedicated to the ministry and Christian missions.
During the early years the organization reflected the hardships and blessings of its members. The first matter was building a place of worship. The first edifice was 14 by 20 feet and 10 feet high. A committee of Jacob Koster and J.W. Te Grotenhuis was chosen to buy grounds and material.
In September of the same year the building was completed and a resolution was made to accept an offering for the church and its enlargement. Three years later the congregation needed more room and busily engaged themselves in securing funds to add a new wing (the first building is pictured on the webpage logo at the upper far left, painted by John Vander Stelt). In the early 1890s, a second church building was erected (white church in webpage logo). In June, 1902, this building was totally destroyed by a disastrous tornado that swept the community. Incidentally, the pulpit Bible that had been donated to the congregation and used for more than a quarter of a century was picked up the morning after the storm without any damage and was the only property saved.
Members of the congregation immediately set about to build a new house of worship, and gratefully accepted the hospitality of the Christian Reformed Church, which offered them the use of their church building to hold services until the new church was completed.