What’s New in the PRC Archives? December 2018 *(Updated)

With a few new donations in the last few months, it is time to give a brief update on some treasures that have come into the PRC archives located in the PRC Seminary.


This old framed picture was donated by the D. Westra family recently. Perhaps some of you recognize this former organist of our First PRC in Grand Rapids – Mr. James Jonker, a talented musician who was playing the organ in church in his teens (Don Doezema, a friend of James in high school and college estimates that he is 17 years old in this picture.), was called home to glory in his early 20s. This photo is a real keepsake and we thank the Westras for donating it.

revhdanhofWe also received this past week from Rev. Jerome Julien (a local retired URC pastor and friend of the PRC) a set of old bulletins from the early days of Rev. Henry Danhof in the Protesting First CRC of Kalamazoo, from 1927 on.


These early bulletins were quite extensive, including an article on a current doctrinal topic or current event, as well as significant church news, including, of course, the common grace debate taking place in the Christian Reformed Church and in the newly formed PRC.


I have scanned the front and back covers of the initial bulletin here (No.1 – notice the “Introductie”, I.e., “Introduction”), which is not dated, but the first one that is (No.3) is Sunday, March 6, 1927. The early ones were heavy on Dutch, with a mixture of English thrown in, typical of the CRC and PRC bulletins at the time.


Mention of Kalamazoo PRC leads me to highlight an unusual and very special donation we just received this week from the Rust family, through Prof. H. Hanko, a friend of the family. It is a collection (some bound, some loose; some in Dutch, some in English) of hand-written prayers that Mr. John Rust wrote out and prayed in his role as elder for many years in our church there. The above image is a sample of two pages from a record book that contains several of these beautiful prayers. If you enlarge the image, you will see for yourself the Reformed piety of this faithful servant of the Lord (now in glory). We thank the Rust family for this wonderful gift to the archives!

A friend also pointed me this week through Facebook to a lady who has a special Holland (MI) history Facebook page, and a photo was recently posted there of the original building of the First PRC of Holland when it was being built – with this date attached: October 26, 1938! A gem! Thank you for pointing me to this!

Sadly this church site was lost to the PRC during the Schism of 1953, but the members survived, even thrived and later rebuilt in two places. She now has her presence on the northeast side of Holland. And the old building shown here still abides, we are told, in relatively fine shape.

**Don’t forget that we are ALWAYS ready and willing to receive your archival items – whether they be documents (of all kinds!), pictures, tapes, etc.! We are headed for our 100th anniversary as a denomination (1924/25 – 2024/25). Let’s make sure we can display as many items from our history as possible!

Nate P. and Matt VO from Bosveld doing work at seminary this week.

Speaking of PRC archives and buildings, we may also report that some work was done this past week on the new addition at the seminary that will house the PRC archives. Some demo work had to be done on the exterior of the west side of the seminary, so that the block walls can go up. That will probably take place next week. In the mean time, the newly poured floor continues to harden!

Demo completed and ready for new wall to go up!

Published in: on December 13, 2018 at 11:05 PM  Leave a Comment  

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