History of the Heritage Protestant Reformed Church by Rev. Allen J. Brummel
The Sioux Falls mission had its beginning in the work of the Reformed Witness Committee, (RWC) which is the evangelism arm of the area Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC) in Northwest Iowa and Southwest Minnesota. This committee for years was aware of a number of families who made their home in Sioux Falls and were interested in establishing a Protestant Reformed Church in Sioux Falls. Throughout the 1980s the committee discussed ways in which they might promote the gospel in Sioux Falls. Bible studies were held, and then, with Doon consistory agreeing to take oversight of the work, the RWC decided to start holding worship services on Sunday evenings. These services made use of a rotation of supply from the area Protestant Reformed pastors, who preached three times a Sunday on those evenings. Oversight was provided with local elders and deacons attending the services. I remember occasionally attending those worship services with my family when I was growing up in Edgerton, MN. These services continued from November 1987 until July of 1988, when they were discontinued due to a lack of outside interest. In the summer of 1990 attempts were made once again to revive a work in Sioux Falls with a Bible Study under the supervision of the Doon consistory. The studies went well, leading Doon to request of Edgerton allow their pastor to carry out the work. Rev. De Vries, the pastor of Edgerton PRC, led those studies from the fall of 1990 until they were concluded on December 20, 1993 due to a lack of outside interest once again. For various reasons, in God’s good providence, none of these labors resulted in the beginning of a mission work in Sioux Falls. But, seeds were being sown.
In the years that followed, still more members of the Protestant Reformed Churches in IA and MN looked to Sioux Falls (about an hour’s drive away) for employment opportunities not available in their communities. Some of them moved, preferring to commute on one or two days back for church and societies. This, however, was not a favorable set of circumstances. Rev. Key addressed the matter with the RWC at their March 21, 2005 meeting, encouraging them to renew work in Sioux Falls, beginning with a Bible Study. He was of the conviction that even apart from the presence of Protestant Reformed people in Sioux Falls there was good potential for ongoing mission work in Sioux Falls. At the July 18, 2005 meeting of the RWC, the Edgerton sub-committee reported that they had met with a few couples in Sioux Falls and were planning to start a Bible Study. Rev. Daniel Kleyn, pastor of Edgerton, was planning to lead the studies, but when he took the call to Holland, MI Rev. Key stepped in with the approval of Hull’s consistory.
The first meeting was held in Sioux Falls Christian School on Sept. 26, 2005. At that time the group decided to send a letter to all Protestant Reformed members and former members, as well as some other contacts in the Sioux Falls area, explaining the purpose of the Bible study and inviting them to join us. Over the next few months a few more began attending the Bible study, and enjoyed a time of fellowship and spiritual instruction. The group met through the remainder of 2005 until April of 2006. They recessed for the summer, then resumed the study again in September of 2006, and Rev. Key led them until December of that year.
Already in May 2006 the group expressed to the RWC its desire to become a mission of the Protestant Reformed Churches with regular preaching services. It took several months before the request worked its way through the area church councils and was approved. With that approval the Bible Study group sent a letter dated September 25, 2006 from the Bible Study group to the Domestic Mission Committee (DMC) expressing the fact that they now had the approval of the area councils/consistories and were requesting the DMC’s assistance in establishing a mission work in Sioux Falls.
The DMC sent a delegation to meet with the Bible Study at one of the biweekly meetings. The delegation was convinced that there was a solid core group in Sioux Falls, who were ready to be a shining light in their community. Accordingly, the DMC delegation recommended that the DMC “immediately look for and send to Sioux Falls a man to work with this group, beginning worship services with them, leading Bible studies and teaching catechism classes, and working on developing contacts in the area.” The 3 grounds were: “1) We have a request to do this (Acts 16:9); 2) The makeup and size of the group is suited to the beginning of a mission in Sioux Falls; and 3) The group is ready and eager, not only to begin services, but also to be active in mission outreach.” The recommendation was adopted, and immediately the DMC requested of Candidate Spronk to move to Sioux Falls and take up the beginning of the work there. In June of 2007 the synod of the PRC approved the work of the DMC establishing a mission in Sioux Falls and appointed Edgerton consistory the calling church for Sioux Falls.
One of the first activities of the group was to choose for themselves the name Heritage Protestant Reformed Fellowship. A steering committee was appointed, and plans were made to begin worship services at 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in the Ambassador Room of the Holiday Inn in downtown Sioux Falls. Worship services began on January 28, 2007, with Rev. R. Kleyn of the DMC preaching in the morning and Rev. D. Overway, pastor of Doon PRC preaching in the afternoon. Rev. Spronk’s family quickly found a place in the Fellowship, and after five months of labor Edgerton demonstrated their appreciation and desire to see him continue that work by issuing their call to him to serve as missionary to Sioux Falls. Candidate Spronk also had a call from Peace PRC, and God moved him to accept that call in July of 2007. At the request of the DMC and Edgerton consistory Rev. Kortering agreed to assist in Sioux Falls until December 16 if necessary. Rev. and Mrs. Kortering spent 10 weeks laboring in Sioux Falls during which time they developed a close bond with the people and the fellowship. Rev. Kortering established a good foundation especially in the way of stirring up the Fellowship to be active in personal witnessing. Edgerton called Rev. R. Kleyn, and after receiving a decline from him they issued a call to Rev. Allen Brummel to be missionary to Sioux Falls. Rev. Brummel accepted the call and he and his family arrived on November 1, 2007. He was installed as missionary on November 8 and preached his first sermon as missionary on Sunday, November 11.
The next two years saw many visitors attending the worship services and steady growth through weddings and new members joining the fellowship as we made our presence known in the community. We moved from the Ambassador Room of the Holiday Inn to the Burgundy Room on the 10th floor, which gave us more room and more privacy for worship. We made use of a broad spectrum of advertising media in order to establish a presence in Sioux Falls, including television ads, radio spots, a website, yellow pages, newspaper ads, and word of mouth. The most effective means to bring individuals into the worship services continues to be personal invitations. We are thankful for members who are willing to invite friends and family to join with us in worship. We are privileged to have visitors at almost every worship service. We are currently setting up a Youtube channel on which we plan to post a number of brief introductions to various pamphlets and short explanations of certain doctrines and practices of the Protestant Reformed Churches. We hosted a booth at the Sioux Empire Fair, where we distributed thousands of pieces of literature and had opportunity to speak to many people about our mission work. We are excited to press on, knowing that God will give the increase as we labor in faithfulness to His Word.
In January of 2008 the core group consisted of 5 families and 7 individuals (18 confessing members and 6 baptized children). Since then other families and individuals were added, until at the time of organization when the congregation numbered 14 families and 2 individuals (30 confessing members and 10 baptized children), not counting the missionary and his family.
On November 15, 2009 the Steering Committee called a meeting of the men of the Fellowship to vote to seek organization at the next meeting of Classis West. The motion was approved by a large majority. Edgerton consistory and the DMC approved the request which, was then presented to and approved by Classis West on March 3, 2010. Edgerton consistory was appointed to oversee the organization of Heritage. The organizational service was held on April 23 , 2010 with Rev. Dennis Lee preaching on I Peter 2:4-6 “Lively Stones Built up a Spiritual House.” Two elders and one deacon were elected at a congregational meeting following the service and, were installed into office as the first consistory. One of the first actions of the new consistory was to propose to the congregation adding a second deacon to the consistory. This proposal was approved so that our consistory currently is comprised of 2 elders who will serve staggered three year terms and 2 deacons serving staggered 2 year terms. The congregation called Rev. Allen Brummel to serve as our pastor and he accepted our call and was ordained as the first pastor of Heritage PRC on May 30, 2010. Our congregation has seen steady growth over the past years both internally with new children being born as well as new families and inidviduals being added to our congregation. We rejoice in the abundant evidences of God’s faithfulness, and we give thanks to God for providing, in His perfect timing and in answer to many prayers, a faithful candelstick committed to showing forth the glory of God in Sioux Falls, SD.
In October of 2012 God opened the opportunity for us to purchase our own church building located at 3800 E. 15th Street just one block east of Bahnson Avenue. We are thankful to God for His generous provision of a building which we can dedicate to the worship of His most glorious name. The dedication service was held on Friday, November 30 with an open house of the facility following the service and continuing on Saturday December 1, 2012. We thank all who joined us in thanksgiving to God for His abundant goodness and faithfulness. Please come and visit us at a worship service as you have opportunity!