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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Source: Sheboygan Press April 29, 1927

Churches Of Oostburg And Cedar Grove Have Interesting Histories


The First Presbyterian church at Cedar Grove was organized in 1848, and in 1853 the society was incorporated under the state laws of Wisconsin. The Rev. J. Zonne was the first pastor to serve the church. He began his pastoral duties in 1853 and continued until his death which occurred in 1865. During his pastorate, the first house of worship was erected.

After the Rev. Mr. Zonne passed away the congregation called the Rev. J. De Suister, but due to ill health he remained for only one year. During his pastorate, the first parsonage was built. The Rev. Arendsen served from 1870 to 1873, and was succeeded by the Rev. J. J. Fles who served from 1873 until 1879. The Rev. J. Bos then occupied the pulpit for the next two and one-half years.

In 1883 a call was extended to the Rev. J. W. T. Roth, Jr., of Greenleafton, Minn., who arrived in Cedar Grove on June 14, 1884. A new building was erected and the edifice was dedicated in October of the same year. In 1893 a new manse was built.

On May 8, 1915, the Rev. Mr. Roth was stricken while in the pulpit and was forced to abandon his Christian work after thirty-one years of constant and faithful service to the church. The Rev. Mr. Roth still resides in Cedar Grove, but is deprived of the power of speech as a result of the stroke which he suffered in 1915. He is, however, still enthusiastic and his hearty handclasps and sparkling eyes indicate as strongly as spoken words could do the love he still cherished for the flock which he formerly served so well.

In February, 1916, the Rev. John Ver Straate was installed in the pastorate. He served the congregation until May, 1925, and it was during this period that the present beautiful modern edifice was erected. The building was completed and formally dedicated with impressive ceremonies on November 13, 1921. The new parsonage was erected on July 9, 1925.

At the present time, the oldest living member of the congregation is Lewis Oppeneer, who has been a faithful member of the church in Cedar Grove for more than sixty years. Except during the most severe weather, Mr. Oppeneer is a regular attendant at the Sunday worship.

The following elders served since the Rev. Mr. Roth's pastorate: Roelof Saarman, D. W. Huinink, G. J. Jentink, Christ Voskuil. Garret J. Meinen, H. Walvoord, J. W. Damkot, Egbert Saarman, and H. J. Huenink. The only survivors of this group of elders are Christ Voskuil, who resides at Gibbsville and H. J. Huenink, of Cedar Grove, who still serves as elder.

Reformed Church Of Cedar Grove

The Reformed church of Cedar Grove was organized on February 20, 1856, with the Rev. Mr. Van Leewen as the first pastor, who served the congregation at the munificent salary of $350 a year.

The first elders were T. Schuppert, G. Davelaar, D. Meengs, and J. W. Stabelcamp, and the first deacons were: D. A. Voskuil. G. J. Hilbelink and H. J. Traas. These several men also constituted the trustees of the church.

The first consistory meeting was held in Cedar Grove on July 24, 1856, ministers being called from the Netherlands.

While the first house of worship was erected in 1856, it was not until April 10, the following year, that it was decided to build the parsonage.

The second minister to serve the congregation was Jacob Van Der Meulen, who came on July 26, 1861. During his administration, in 1862, a church barn was built from free will gifts, and soon thereafter a new edifice was erected.

On January 19, 1865, the Rev. Mr. Stobbelaar accepted a call to serve the congregation.

Other pastors in regular order of succession were as follows:

1875 - Rev. Mr. Borges
1882 - Rev. Mr. Wosmser
- Rev. Wm. Stabelcamp
1895 - Rec. H. Veldman
1899 - Rev. J. J. Van Zanten
1903 - Rev. A. Klerk
1911 - Rev. C. Kuyper

During the latter's pastorate, a new church building was erected, and a change was made to have one service conducted in the English language.

A new parsonage was built a few years ago.

First Presbyterian Church Of Oostburg

The Presbyterian church of Oostburg was organized as a Holland Presbyterian church at East Oostburg, on August 10, 1867, with a membership of 166 at the date of organization. The first house of worship was erected on a site about one mile east and one mile south of the present village of Oostburg.

There was quite a settlement there at the time, but after the railroad was completed and a station established at the present site, the stores and other buildings were moved or converted to other purposes and the early settlement became only a matter of history.

The first pastor to serve the congregation of East Oostburg was the Rev. J. De Rooij, who remained from August 10, 1867, until August 2, 1875. He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Bloemendall, who was pastor from October, 1877, until June, 1886, when a call was extended to the Rev. J. A. Van Griethuysen, which was accepted. The latter administered to the spiritual wants of the congregation from May 26, 1887, to September 21, 1892. This vacancy was filled by the Rev. R. De Lange, who remained from September 5, 1892, until November 14, 1899. The Rev. H. A. Van Griethuysen then again accepted a call and was installed on May 13, 1900, continuing as the pastor to the present time.

Under the Rev. Mr. Van Griethuysen's pastorate, the congregation has flourished, and has grown considerably in membership, the total membership now being 312.

The following deacons have served the church at various times: Adrian Zuurmond, B. Obrink, Garret Heebink, and I. Claerbout. The trustees were: D. J. Hartman, L. Te Grotenhuis, I. De Munck and George Heebink.

On account of its location, it was deemed advisable to move the church edifice and parsonage to the present village of Oostburg. The buildings were accordingly moved in February, 1923, at which time the church building was remodeled into a practically new edifice with modern conveniences, including electric light, new pews and other equipment.

The present elders are: L. B. Grotenhuis, John Dirkse, Wm. Kranendonk and John Brethouwer.

The present deacons are: Dan Smies, Walter Davies, Ed. Daane and H. P. Brethouwer.

The trustees are: M. Daane, John Daane, G. J. Lemkuil and Harry Draayers.

The superintendent of the Sunday school is John Brethouwer.

Besides two circles of the Women's Missionary society, the church has a society of Loyal Daughters and a Christian Endeavor. Mrs. J. Brethouwer is leader of the former, and Meta Graskamp is president, and Grace Hopeman is secretary of the latter.

First Reformed Church Of Oostburg

The First Reformed church of Oostburg was organized in 1850 and the first meetings were held in a log school house in the settlement then known as East Oostburg. The first church building at this settlement was built in 1855, and was replaced by another erected in 1866. After the Lake Shore railroad established a station, the former settlement gradually was moved to the present site of the village of Oostburg. This church was moved to the village in 1908, and in 1917 the present edifice was erected.

The Rev. K. Van Der Schuur was the first pastor, serving the congregation from 1850 until 1866. Other pastors in the order of their succession were: John Karsten, 1867 to 1869 (he was recalled to the parish and served from 1883 and again from 1893 to 1899); J. W. Te Winkel, from 1869 to 1871; John Hofman from 1874 to 1881; W. Lubach from 1886 to 1893; J. Sietsema from 1900 to 1903; A. Rozendaal from 1904 to 1907; Wm. Beckering from 1907 to 1911; H. K. Pasma from 1913 to 1917; Peter Swart from 1917 to 1921; and A. T. Laman since 1921.

The elders of the church were: H. Harmsen; A.J. Hillebrands; J. Smies; B. Kleinhesselink; J. H. Wilterdink; G. W. Soerens; P. Bak; P. J. Ernisse; J. W. Stronks; G. W. Hyink; L. Liezen; B. Kleinhesselink; J. Huibregtse; J. Kleinhesselink; C. Walvoord; B. W. Mentink; J. W. Hesselink; Jacob Daane; Ed. Harmeling; B. B. Hesselink and George Harmeling.

The deacons were: G. W. Soerens; A. Ernisse; J. W. Ten Tuizen; H. Lemmenes; S. Dekker; A. Zuurmond; C. Snoeinbos; J. B. Meerdink; A. Lubbers; J. W. Stronks; E. Hartman; L. Liezen; G. W. Hyink; H. J. Draayers; B. Kleinhesselink; W. Jagerink; A. Blekkink; B. Ver Straate; Ed. Harmeling; Wm. Lensink; Ed. Faas; H. Damkot; A. J. Koskamp; George Harmeling; David Wolfert; and James De Munck.

The Sunday school was started in 1875, the Woman's Missionary society in 1884, the Ladies Aid society was organized in 1901, the Ever Faithful Guild in 1923, and the Men's Brotherhood in 1925.

Christian Reformed Church

The first records of the Christian Reformed church at Oostburg reveal that this was the first Christian Reformed congregation organized in the state of Wisconsin, and also that it was the first to erect a house of worship for that denomination in the state.

The congregation was organized in 1866, and the church edifice was dedicated on October 18 of that year.

The building originally was located at East Oostburg, a settlement about one mile east and one mile south of the present village of Oostburg.

The records further show that in 1875 the church building was moved to Oostburg, which became a village after the railroad was completed through that section. The old edifice was used until 1908, when the present building was erected in its place.

The first resident pastor to serve the congregation after the church was moved to the village of Oostburg, was the Rev. J. De Rooy, who continued administering to the spiritual needs of the membership until his death, which occurred in 1884.

Other pastors in regular order of succession were as follows: The Revs. P. Kasten; J. Wyngaarten; N. Borduin; D. J. Tuuk; D. Zwier; J. Smitter; W. De Groot; and Richard J. Frens. The latter came to fill the pastorate after the Rev. Mr. De Groot left in October, 1926.

At the present time there are 147 communicant members and a total membership of about 290 in the congregation.

There are several societies connected with the church, prominent among which are the Ladies Aid, the Choral society and the Girls' society.


Transcribed by Kay R.

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