Reverend Frank Snuttjer
Here is a brief resume’ of my education and years in the ministry. I graduated from the George High School, George, Iowa in 1927. Then I taught in the rural schools of Lyon County, Iowa for three years. I obtained one year of college credit from Iowa State Teachers College 1930, AB degree from Central College in 1933, BD degree from Western Theological Seminary in 1936. I was licensed and ordained to preach by Classis Germania in 1936. I served as pastor of II Reformed Church, Lennox, So. Dak. 1936-1942, Ramsey Reformed Church 1942-1947, Salem Reformed Church, Little Rock, Iowa 1947-1964, Otley Reformed Church, Otley, Iowa 1964-1973. I retired to Orange City, Iowa in 1973 and have served as calling pastor of the First Reformed Church of Orange City, Iowa from 1973 to the present time.
Perhaps the most memorable event was the fact that World War II was in progress, around 26 of our young men were called into service and it was heart-touching as these men, upon being called into service, appeared before the pulpit in the church for prayer of dedication and they were presented with a Bible to take with them into service. They were remembered in prayer at every worship service and many tears flowed in remembrance of them. Some were wounded, some became ill in service and one was reported killed in battle. (I think my memory serves me correctly in this matter; though I may be in error). Then came the glad day, V-E Day, May 8, 1945 and the whole congregation gathered for a service of praise to our Lord on that day! What a glad day that was for all of us, a day long to be remembered!
REFLECTIONS ON MY MINISTRY AT RAMSEY
Much time has elapsed since the years we spent at Ramsey, 1942-1947. That is almost 40 years ago! But we still have many fond memories of serving those warm-hearted people.
We came to Ramsey from Lennox, South Dakota where we had served our first pastorate for six years. We had learned a great deal there but were destined to learn a great deal more in our second field. We came with a family of three daughters - Lavina, Lois and Karen who was just a bit over a month of age. (We left Ramsey in 1947 with four daughters - Mary was born in 1944.) We were accorded a warm welcome upon our arrival with a delicious church supper in the evening of that day.
We learned then and there that the people of that congregation love to eat! At every Mission Fest, and they were held annually, they spread a feast both at noon and in the evening. Annually they held a Harvest Festival and Bazaar and again they evidenced that they love to show their hospitality by spreading a feast.
We learned too that a mountain of work was to be done in serving that congregation. There was the weekly church bulletin to print, the monthly Ramsey Home Visitor to publish, pastoral calls on some 165 families to make, the sick to visit in their homes and in hospitals that range from Algona to Rochester and from Fairmont to Mason City, Fort Dodge and Des Moines and some hospitals between these cities due in part to the fact that the congregation was scattered some distance from the church.
Besides that there was preaching and church work to be done. There was preaching to be done in both the English and German languages; and Sunday School, Catechism classes, Youth Meetings, Daily Vacation Bible School, Ladies Meetings, etc. to be maintained. Yes, there was even some janitorial work for the pastor and his family to do in those days. But by the grace of God under His blessings the Lord's work flourished "for the people had a mind to work" (Neh. 4:6) and to worship!
One of the great surprising changes happened when at an annual meeting it was voted to do away with the German language for the morning worship services. It was disheartening to the elderly saints and they queried, "Now what shall we do?" We volunteered to have a Sunday afternoon worship service in the German language for them. That required that we preach three times some Sundays. This continued for just a short while for these gracious people said, "Dominie that is too much for you. We’ll be able to get along with the English language worship service." Thank the good Lord for their graciousness!
We love to remember that the congregation undertook to have the church redecorated. In doing so they secured a very competent painter to do so. That redecoration was greatly admired and was preserved for many years. A mount was designed in the chancel with the symbol of 10 commandments (the law of God) on it, the symbol of Moses receiving the commandments from the Lord on Mount Sinai. The text, "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came be Jesus Christ" —John 1:17, written over the design. That truth has been proclaimed in Ramsey and believed by her people. And so may it ever be. To our God be the glory now and always!
Rev. Frank Snuttjer