By DUANE NOLLEN
The Oskaloosa Herald
Sunday is the final church service for The Rev. Don DeGlopper of the Central Reformed Church as he retires after a more than 39 years of ministry.
DeGlopper has been the minister at Central Reformed Church since June 1997. Before coming to Oskaloosa, DeGlopper was a minister in Orange City for 10 years; spent 12 years in Seattle, Wash.; before that, 1 ½ years in Michigan.
“It’s hard to believe I’m at the end of my career,” he said.
DeGlopper said he went to the University of Michigan to be a high school band director, but instead chose the ministry.
“While I was in college, I had a calling to ministry,” he said.
DeGlopper said his career is an interesting juxtaposition to his father’s career.
DeGlopper said if his father had not gone into business to be a traffic manager for a western Michigan paper mill, he would have either been a minister or a professional musician.
“I was trained as a musician and became a minister,” he said.
Besides being the day of his last church service, DeGlopper said Sunday will be his 66th birthday.
Looking back over the years he has spent in Oskaloosa, DeGlopper said a lot has changed for the congregation.
The church officials have bought five lots of land around the church so land would be available for any future expansion, he said.
Also, computers have played a big role in recent years.
“All of us have computers. We’re online a lot,” he said.
The church as two services — the first is a more traditional service and the second one has “a more casual and contemporary feel,” he said. Both services use video and the new church sound system. Also, the church praise band plays some songs during the first service and plays all the music in the second service, he added.
DeGlopper said both church services are recorded and broadcast them on local channels. Also the services are available online at www.centralosky.com.
DeGlopper said the more significant changes have occurred with people. He said the congregation now is more open to visitors and newcomers, and the congregation is invested in helping those people.
“The heart of the congregation has awakened to the needs of the people around them,” he said.
DeGlopper said the congregation numbers around 460 people and when they see a need that they can identify with, the members pitch in to help. An example of that occurred this past weekend when congregation members helped frame walls for the next Habitat for Humanity home, he said.
“None of this is really unique,” he said. “When I got here, we were a quiet, to-ourselves kind of people.”
Another exciting change is “who frequently and how easily people recognize God’s work in their lives and talk about it,” DeGlopper said.
In retirement, DeGlopper said he and his wife, Cindy, will move to West Des Moines so he can spend time with his grandson.
DeGlopper said Interim Minister Case Van Kempen will arrive in Oskaloosa in November. He will provide pastoral ministry and lead the congregation in a search for a new minister.
“It may take a year to do that, but he’s trained to do that,” DeGlopper said. “We’re very excited to have him come.”
Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org