Salem Reformed Church       © 2015 

Love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:12

Salem Reformed 

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Church History

A group of pioneers settled in the area of Little Rock, Iowa.  Their faith in God, a very vital part of the pioneer, was reflected in their efforts toward establishing a congregation.  The Rev. G. Veenker, a Classical Missionary of Classis Pleasant Prairie, was assigned to minister to this group in 1892.  The first services were held in different school houses, east and south of Little Rock.  At the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. Baumann the congregation was officially organized on July 29, 1894 by Classis Pleasant Prairie under the supervision of Rev. G. Veenker and Elder S. Peter.  On December 25, 1894, the congregation voted to give themselves a Christmas present in the form of a new name.  They changed it from St. John to Salem.  The name "Salem" means Peace.

 

After holding services for a time in the Enterprise School House two miles east of Little Rock, they began to hold services in the August Ross Hall in Little Rock.  Rev. R. Janssen came in October, 1895 to serve them as their Pastor.  The plot of ground on which the present structure stands was purchased in 1896 and the first sanctuary was dedicated on December 13, 1896.  The structure, 28' x 42' cost $1240.

 

In 1900 a parsonage was built near the church.  It serves yet today as a private home, having been sold by the church in 1910, for $2000 when a more modern home was purchased two blocks north of the church for $5000.

 

In the course of the ministry of Rev. E. Aeilts who came in the year 1910, the congregation experienced numerical growth.  This created the need for additional room.  The decision was made to build a 25' by 28' addition to the south side of the church.  It was during the ministry of Rev. Uhden that a full basement was made.  To allow for more room for the organ and the choir, an addition was built on the north side of the church.  The Rev. George Uhden served the congregation from 1925-1928; Rev. J. G. Thielken, 1929-1933; Rev. F. Reeverts, 1933-1940.

 

The church entered into a major remodeling program in 1940, and new pews were purchased, a new organ was installed, and a new oil-burning furnace replaced the oil heating unit.  A new enclosure on the east side of the church was also part of the remodeling package.  This proved to be the last of the improvements on the old building.  The Rev. Edward Jurgens served the congregation from 1940-1946.

 

It was decided on January 11, 1955 to proceed with plans for a new church building.  After much prayerful consideration the congregation launched out in faith to approve a plan which included a main structure 40' by 106' and a wing for Sunday School classrooms of 34' by 30'.  On August 14 the cornerstone was laid.  The lovely meeting place in which all could encounter the presence of God was dedicated to the glory of God on June 24, 1956.  The Rev. Frank Snuitjer was pastor from 1947-1964.  

 

The Rev. John R. Boender became pastor in 1966 and served until 1974.  In April, 1966, the new parsonage was completed at a cost of about $25,000.  In 1966 the lot directly across the road to the east from the church was purchased for $3550 and then prepared for a parking lot.

 

The Rev. Harold Kammeraad came in 1975 and served until August, 1981.  In 1978, the nave and narthex were carpeted, and new pew pads were added in 1979.

 

Four new furnaces were purchased in 1983 and replaced the one large furnace.

 

The Rev. Brian Hellenga became pastor in April, 1982 and served until 2011.

 

The church parsonage received a number of update between 2012 and 2014.  A new steel roof was installed in 2012 along with a fresh coat of interior paint.  Then in 2014 the exterior of the parsonage was painted and a new deck was installed.  The bushes north of the church were removed, window wells installed and cement poured to eliminate the seepage of water into the basement.

 

In April 2013, Salem Reformed purchased the lot next to the church to the south.  The house on the lot was subsequently removed.

 

The Rev. Michael Weaver became pastor in March, 2013 and served until March 2014.

 

In June of 2015, we welcomed Dustin Sperlich as the new pastor of Salem Reformed Church.