God has always had God’s people who have heard God’s voice and in faith and love obeyed.
On August 24, 1902, 14 of God’s people, led by the Rev. John M. Vander Muelen, heard God’s voice and organized The Dutch Reform Church of America of Cordell, Oklahoma. The “wars” with the plains Indians were barely over, and many of the Indians confined to tribal lands were unhappy with the rush of white settlers around them. Despite the hardships, southwestern Oklahoma flourished and in 1911 this same group of God’s people became the First Presbyterian Church of Cordell. As the membership grew, this branch of Christ’s church built the present building in 1950 and in 1951 Cordell Presbyterians formed a yoke parish with the Presbyterians of Colony who had had a similar beginning. The cooperation and mutual support of these two congregations have been true blessings.
Through God’s grace these two Presbyterian groups of God’s people have survived Oklahoma’s difficult days of depression, the dustbowl days, two world wars, the turbulent 60’s, the oil boom of the early 90’s, and the calling of their first woman pastor in the 90’s. After 200 years of Presbyterianism in America, it is worth remembering that for 100 of those years, Cordell has had a church of the Reformed Tradition.
The congregation has lived its Presbyterian heritage through its emphasis on education, Reformed worship, community participation and leadership, and welcoming all who profess faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Members continually minister to each other in times of sorrow and joy. Financial contributions to the church are the best they have been in years. The equality of men and women is being modeled with the call of a woman minister. Freshness has entered worship. The fire of an informed, passionate evangelism has been rekindled with the session of Cordell signing “A Commitment to Evangelism.” Sunrise. Morning glories. Signs of a new and better day as we move into the 21st century led by the Holy Spirit.