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Small Protestant Church
This church was built in 1845-1846 for the protestant congregation of Aruba, established in 1822. The old church was built according to traditional design and construction methods using hewn rocks and coral stone and is located on a large lot confined by Wilhelminastraat, Schoolstraat, the Rifstraat and Klipstraat . The south front, portico and main entrance are situated on the Wilhelminastraat.

Small Protestant Church      Wilhelminastraat 1

The oldest of the church buildings in Aruba, was built on the foundations of a house purchased from the Arends family for 250 Aruban florins. After the acquisition of the Arends house, the latter was transformed into a dwelling and church hall and on August 25, 1822, the first service was conducted there. A church bell was placed in one of the dormer-windows. Lack of adequate space and the dilapidated state of the structure prompted the planning of the construction of a new church, the funds for this were collected in Aruba were 876.50 florins and in Curacao 2050.75 florins.  In 1845 construction started, the stones of the demolished building were used for wall construction of the church. The church in Wilhelminastraat due to its location then close to the coastline was called ‘The church at the Bay’.

On February 15, 1846, the newly erected house of prayer was consecrated by Drs. A. Meyer from Curacao, who purchased some furniture for the church in Curacao.

The cost of the construction amounted to 2714.08 florins.

The old church bell broke during its transport. A generous gift from Commandeur Jacob Jarman made the purchase of a church bell from Coro, Venezuela, possible. The new bell was placed in a belfry, erected on top of the roof in May 1856, which was commonly known as the “duiventil ” (pigeon house), which was replaced by a tower designed by Lieutenant Governor J.H. Ferguson, built in 1867. During the 1886 renovation, where the church walls were increased in height, a tile roof was constructed. The church was used for service till 1950, hereafter, church service took place in the nearest new protestant church. During 1988-1994 restoration of the Church took place under direction of Ds. A. van den Doel, the old church was restored to its nineteenth century settings. Ds. A, van den Doelen has transferred the recent pews from a Dutch church. Van den Doel has ordered to make the recent chairs in the Twentse buttons chair style. The pulpit, the baptistery screen and the balustrade found on the church balcony were made by Kees van Dijk (the Netherlands). He also ordered to make text designs on the decorative wall plates.

The organ was acquired with money received from a gift. Chandeliers, organ and current roof tiles all originate from the Netherlands. On the pulpit an image is found in a woodcarving depicting the Good Samaritan; this was executed by an Indonesian artisan. The windows were restored in the original style. In the portico a Dutch tile tableau designed and painted by Renske and Fred Patist can be found. Nowadays the old protestant church is used for exhibitions and music performances.

For more information on this premise you can contact the Monumentenbureau.

                                                                                Composed by the Monument Office  

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