MONARCH REFORMED CHURCH
A small group of Dutch families began to arrive in the Monarch and Nobleford areas in 1904. Together they began holding Sunday services in each other's homes. On August 12, 1909, ten families met together in the farm home of W.J. Van Lohuizen for the purpose of organizing a Reformed Church. It's charter membership was comprised of 19 confessing members and 4 baptized members. This church is the oldest Canadian church belonging to the Reformed Church in America (RCA) denomination.
The pioneers budgeted $1,000 to build their "little white church on the prairie". Construction began in 1910 and was finished in 1911. A large, black pot-bellied stove was placed in the center of the sanctuary, toasting those nearby in contrast to those seated to the uninsulated walls. Some early members joked that the stove should be painted red so to at least give the illusion of heat!
In 1916, the church called it's first pastor, Rev. Adriaan Van Dyke. Nineteen (19) full-time ministers and 20 student ministers have followed him since then.
Music has been a vital part of our in the beginning. Prior to having an organ, a "voorsinger" was appointed to set the key and lead the singing of hymns and psalms. Today, our dedicated praise and worship team lead us in both traditional and contemporary musical selections.
Missions and outreach have always been a strong conviction of the members of the church. Serving our local community through small group ministry, Sunday School, Soup N' Swaps, Christmas programs, Men's Breakfasts, retreats, Shrove Tuesday Pancake Suppers, food drives, etc., all help us to live and show Christ's love. Through Words of Hope we have been blessed to been a part of the Ugandan Radio Project. A partnership with Lethbridge-based Bridges of Hope has enabled the congregation to follow the spirit's call and support communities in Burkina Faso.
We give thanks to God and look forward to our continued mission in the Monarch/Nobleford communities and beyond with the advent of the church's 110th Anniversary in August 2019. God is so good!