Bethany Reformed Church

720 NE 52nd Ave,
Des Moines, IA 50313

Phone: 515-265-6962

Welcome to Bethany!  Please take a look at the website and let us know if you have any questions.

We are a family called to glorify God by serving as a doorway through which people meet God and grow in their relationship with Him.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” -Matthew 28:18-20

Member of the Reformed Church in America            


Our heritage as a Reformed Church is based on a vision of Pella Classis who authorized a new field of endeavor by sending William Miller, a student at Western Theological Seminary, to survey the North Des Moines area for a possible new church start in the summer of 1942.

Shortly thereafter, a small group organized and began worshipping in the basement of Canary Lake School located at East 14th and Broadway.  The first pastor to serve was Rev. William Everts, a regional missionary for the State of Iowa.  Rev. Everts shared his time between the Des Moines and Waterloo congregations.  Under his leadership a small house was purchased at 613 E. Broadway for the purpose of worship.  Pastor Everts served until June 1943.

John Westhoff, seminary student at Western Theological Seminary, served as interim pastor from June to August of 1943.

On September 1, 1943, Rev. George Enyedi, a regional missionary, came to serve this young congregation.  During his ministry, the congregation adopted the name “North Des Moines Community Church” in 1944.

The Pella Classis authorized the purchase of property at Cornell and Monk Streets on June 18, 1944.  The congregation worshipped in a barn-shaped building until they could afford to erect a new church.  Now having suitable room for building, the first project was to build a basement.  The basement was then used for a time until Pella Classis presented them with a church building located near Sully, Iowa.  The church, named “Bethany Reformed Church”, was dismantled and reconstructed where it still stands today.  With the church building erected, dedication was held on October 1, 1944.  Articles of Incorporation were adopted under the name “North Des Moines Community Church” on December 9, 1944.  Charter membership was left open until January 15, 1945, which is the date when the congregation held their first Communion Service.  A full list of charter members received is listed elsewhere in this book.

In 1945 Rev. Benjamin Ver Steeg became Pastor, and in 1946, the first parsonage was purchased.  The two-story house was located near Ankeny, Iowa, and moved to a location adjacent to the church.  The structure had to be reduced in size to clear telephone and electric lines, so it was cut in half and then reassembled in its new location.

During the summer of 1947, William Kroon, student at Western Theological Seminary, spent three months serving North Des Moines Community Church between Pastors Benjamin Ver Steeg and William Ooms.  Rev. Ooms was Pastor from 1947 to 1950.

After two years without a Pastor, Rev. Norman Van Heukelom came to serve from 1952 to 1954.  In 1953, a building addition was approved and built, housing classrooms and restrooms.

On June 23, 1954, it was voted at a special congregational meeting that the name be changed to “Bethany Reformed Church”.  This change was then recorded in the office of the Secretary of State on May 12, 1955.

Rev. Gerrit Menning served as Pastor from 1955 to 1957, followed by Rev. Eugene De Hoogh who served from 1957 to 1962.

Rev. George C. Muyskens was appointed as Moderator in 1962, during which time proposals were made to relocate the church.  These proposals were adopted after Rev. Ralph Pronk was installed as Pastor in August, 1962.  After examining the various fields of relocation, it was decided and approved by Pella Classis to purchase ten acres of ground at 752 NE 52nd Avenue for $25,000.  The property was given as an outright gift from Pella Classis.  The Particular Synod of Iowa also donated $5,000.

The blueprints for the new church were approved, and the Pella Classis Extension Committee authorized that construction begin on the new church on Clearview Hill with a suggested maximum cost of $85,000.

On Sunday, April 21, 1963, the people of Bethany came to celebrate the ground breaking ceremony.  Rev. Pronk presided, Leona Strain played the piano, the combined choirs of Bethany and Meredith Drive churches sang, and the spading ceremony was performed for our permanent facility that we enjoy today.

The old parsonage was sold on contract for $10,000, and the old church was sold to the Pentecostal Tabernacle for $22,500.

While the new church was being built, worship services were held in the American Legion Hall on Second Avenue until October 13, 1963.  Thereafter services were held in the fellowship hall in the new church.  Another milestone in Bethany’s history was the “Laying of the Cornerstone” on Sunday, October 20, 1963.  The first worship service held in the new sanctuary was on Sunday, December 22, 1963.

The sanctuary was built to accommodate 280 people, and by opening the folding door the total capacity is 500. Including the fellowship hall, the educational portion of the building had fifteen classrooms.

After Rev. Pronk left as Pastor in 1965, the Rev. Burrell Pennings came to serve from 1966 to 1969.  A new parsonage was built in 1967.

Rev. E. R. Voogd served as Pastor from 1969 to 1970, followed by Rev. G. Lloyd Menning, son of former Pastor Gerrit Menning, from 1971 to 1976.  During their pastorates, Bethany sponsored the Cal Hayes Evangelistic Association.

In 1976 Rev. Cornelius Reynen came to serve.  During his pastorate, it was decided to build more classroom space.  The new addition was built and dedicated in March of 1980. Kelly Clark was the youth pastor during this time.  Rev. Reynen retired in 1982.

Our next Pastor was Rev. Perry De Groot who served from 1982 to 1989.  During this time, Mike Flack served as an Associate Pastor from 1985 to 1988.

From June of 1989 until January of 1992, Bethany was without a Pastor.  Rev. James Dykstra came to serve at that time and continued to serve until December of 1999.  Clint Hogrefe was hired as the Youth Director of Bethany Reformed Church in 1997.  He left at the end of 2003 so that he could begin seminary in 2004.

On August 13, 2000, Rev. Barry Wynveen was installed as the Pastor, and he served until October of 2008.  Rev. Todd Rempe began his ministry at Bethany Reformed Church on July 1, 2009, and served until May of 2018.

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Elders & Deacons

Bob Snyder                                    2019
Terry Dippold                                2019
Steve Landhuis                              2020
Scott Van Der Weide                     2021
Kent Whitmore                             2021
Tony Dorman                               2019
Susan Cowles                               2019
Melissa Smith                              2020
Lee Harms                                   2021
​Thomas Van Woerkom                 2021

Committee Chairs

Pastoral Care
Preschool Liaison
Classis Delegate

Kent Whitmore
Bob Snyder
Melissa Smith & Thomas Van Woerkom
Scott Van Der Weide
Lee Harms & Thomas Van Woerkom
Susan Cowles
Terry Dippold

If you'd like to get involved, pleace contact the committee chair