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Sibley’s First Reformed Church turns 100

By Erin Trestser, Daily Globe

SIBLEY, Iowa — First Reformed Church of Sibley began with 18 members in the fall of 1913.

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Now, with the marking of its 100th anniversary on Sunday, the church has 550 members, and the whole parish has taken part in celebratory activities throughout October.

“This has been an exciting month for the whole parish,” said Luella Eggink, co-chairwoman of the centennial committee. “The theme of the anniversary is ‘Rejoice in the Lord Always,’ and I think we have definitely kept with the theme.”

The full day of celebration will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday with coffee fellowship, and a worship service at 10 a.m. A noon meal will be offered, followed by a church history program as well as cake and ice cream.

“The whole parish has worked very hard in putting this together, and it really has been a joint effort,” Eggink said.

Throughout October, the congregation has participated in fun activities each Sunday in preparation for the anniversary event.

“We started out the first Sunday of the month with a Dutch service in honor of the rich Dutch history in our church,” Eggink said.

Services were conducted in Dutch from 1913 until 1942, when they were discontinued in favor of English services. In 1949, the church building was enlarged, and the current building was completed in order to accommodate more room in May 1972.

Eggnik explained some of the other activities that have taken place during the past month.

“We had a ‘dress as our era’ day where we all dressed in older clothing and tried to make the church look like the original one from 1913,” she said. “Finally, the Sunday before the celebration, we decorated pumpkins and had old pictures of the church on display.”

The congregation has also working on placing the original 1913 church bell into the landscape at the front of the church.

“We’ve had a few setbacks, but we’re really trying to move the bell and place it in the front of the church by the anniversary,” Eggink said. “It’s quite a sight and will be a great addition to the church’s landscape.”

The church members worked as a team to prepare for the celebration, and all are welcome to come and participate.

“Every ministry of the parish has been doing their part in getting ready for this, and we’re all very excited for the anniversary and to celebrate our unique history,” Eggink said.