A continuous arrival of immigrants from the Netherlands in 1847 and 1848 dotted the Black River region with a number of distinct communities. Noordeloos, which was named for the first pastor's native village, provided rich soil for farming. Early settlers had previously worshipped in Zeeland, but a distance of five miles and poor roads prompted these parishioners to petition the Classis Holland on April 3, 1856, to organize their own Reformed church. The Reverend Koene van den Bosch, an influential "seceder," was invited to minister to area settlers. On May 16, 1856, he arrived from Noordeloos, the Netherlands, and he was welcomed into the classis. He became the first pastor of the Noordeloos Reformed Church and preached his inaugural sermon from a farmer's wagon in the woods.