PRC Archives – The Early Years: Communion Wine and Curatorium Report

Kevin R. putting in place in the new archives room the last of our “official” archive boxes.

Today we feature a couple of fascinating items out of the PRC archives – both from the early years. Both were discovered yesterday while sorting through and cataloging old Theological School Committee (TSC) files, which Bob Drnek has been working on, in part because he is TSC secretary and has a personal interest in the history of the seminary and its committee. 🙂

For years these files had been stored in a cabinet in the seminary building, but this summer we decided they belonged in the archives, both for better protection and for preservation. And we are glad we made that decision, because these are a valuable part of our history and because there are some real treasures here!


GMO-faculty-report (2)

This first item is a report of the rector of the seminary, at the time Rev. George Ophoff (the professors, as they still do, held this administrative position by rotation), to the Curatorium, the “committee” that oversaw the seminary prior to the formation of the TSC. Writing on behalf of the faculty, Ophoff reported on the work that was being done both by the professors and the students, as you will see. But the brief report breathes the spirit of Ophoff. Don’t waste words, get to the point, and if there isn’t much to say, make sure you indicate that “something was also accomplished.” We think this report dates from the 1930s but are not sure as yet.


This second item is even more fascinating. Remember the Prohibition Era, when alcohol was mostly prohibited and strictly controlled?! Well, most of us know about this age only in name, since it goes back to the early years of the 1900s in this country. What you may not know (I didn’t!) is that churches had to fill out a special form to gain permission to use wine for communion (the Lord’s Supper)!

So, what you see above is such a form (stored away in the seminary’s early history files) filled out by the clerk of our Hudsonville PRC to purchase two gallons of wine from a U.S. government-approved, wine supply house in Milwaukee, WI! The date? May 24, 1928!

Amazing! Can you imagine?! No wonder, given the times, they ordered by the gallon! I’m also guessing that that “domestic Muscatel” was a rather cheap, red wine. Anyone have memories of these times?

Published in: on December 12, 2019 at 3:54 PM  Leave a Comment  

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