Frederick Franson

Frederick Franson

Our church is the outgrowth of a vision the Lord gave to his servant Frederick Franson back in the nineteenth century. Franson was born in Sweden on June 17, 1852. He grew up in a Christian environment and his family immigrated to Nebraska, USA, in 1869. At the age of 20 he was converted after reading Romans 10:6-7 and was later baptized in the Swedish Baptist Church.

In America he worked as a counselor during the outreach services of D.L. Moody and later became a member of Moody's Church in Chicago. By the age of 23 he was involved in missionary work among the Swedish speaking communities in Minnesota.

Franson went back to his homeland in 1881 and spent nine years in Scandinavia preaching the gospel. His work led to the birth of the Scandinavian Alliance Mission (SAM) in which several church formed an alliance to send missionaries around the world, including China. When he returned to the US in 1890 The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) was founded. Franson's life's motto was "Forward Till Upward."

In early 1920 TEAM missionaries focused their attention on Venezuela and Colombia. When their visas needed to be renewed they would go to Aruba or Curacao to wait for the necessary permits. It was during these visits that the need for reaching the islands was sensed.

G.A. Holmberg and his wife were appointed to minister in Aruba while awaiting their visas for Venezuela. Once their visas were issued they were replaced by Paul Sheetz and his wife Sharlotte in 1943. The preaching ministry of Paul Sheetz brought many to faith in Jesus Christ and in 1955 the Evangelical Alliance Church of Oranjestad was founded. Other TEAM missionaries who served on the island of Aruba were, among others, Bruce Bromley, Robert McClain, Betty Ratzslaff and, Lillian Mikkelson. TEAM was instrumental in establishing a radio station in Aruba, Radio Victoria, and translating the complete Bible into Papiamento, the local language.

Rev. Edgar Martens was sent to Aruba as director of constructions and in 1970 a church was founded in the English speaking community of San Nicolas in Aruba. Thus, Evangelical Church of San Nicolas was born. Later Lester Morris replaced Rev. Martens.

Those who have served as pastors in the Evangelical Church of San Nicolas were Edgar Martens (Canada), Lester Morris (Canada), Anthony Green (Aruba), Fernando Eights (Aruba), Carlos van Langeveld (Curacao), Ron Johnson (USA), Phil Holiday (Canada), Delbert Denny (USA), Michael Scolare (USA) and, Norman Browne (Aruba).