Last week we published a mystery document again for our PRC archives item (mystery item #5) – some handwritten sermon notes. It seems that most of you were stumped by this one, and I will grant you that this was not an easy one, even with the hints.
But one sharp fella in Edgerton, MN got it – Skip Hunter (see the comments under that post)! He correctly guessed Rev.Herman Veldman (1908-1997), who was actually Seminarian H.Veldman at the time (PRC Seminary, 1929-1932 – ordained and installed in 1st PRC of Pella, IA in Sept. of 1932), for these sermon notes on Psalm 19:15 were found in his student sermon folder in the archive room.
That sweet smell emanating from these notes was from Rev.Veldman’s pipe, which he smoked diligently until the end of his life, and is one of my own fond memories of him (sorry, anti-smokers, but that was a wonderful odor!). We also took note of his fine handwriting, another characteristic of this meticulous minister. I asked if anyone had heard this sermon, or knew where and when it had been preached, and it appears that will stay a mystery – at least for now.
I have many good memories of Rev.H.Veldman (besides his dignified Genevan preaching gown!). He was my own pastor at Hope PRC, Walker, MI when I was a young boy (1963-66). Later on, when I was in Seminary, I believe, he preached our Heidelberg Catechism sermons in the morning while we were vacant. He memorized his sermons word for word, and I will say I was mesmerized by his style of preaching. I still recall him ending many sermons with his arm raised and his finger pointed out, a large smile on his face, as he would state with utter confidence, “And that’s the way it is, beloved!” O, I loved that! And God used that to build my own confidence of faith in the truth of the gospel at a challenging time in my life.
After I was married, I lived in the same trailer park as he did and had the privilege of picking him up for catechism classes. What a treat! Yes, he smoked his pipe in my car, and I didn’t mind it at all. And if I had, he probably would have smoked it anyway! But he was always full of advice and stories. I only wished I had written them down and kept them to heart.
I also have some fun(ny) memories of this servant of God – some of my own and some from my father. Rev.Veldman liked to enjoy his glass of cold water (with ice!) on the pulpit, and let his audience know it. He would lift it high, rattle the ice around, and then take a drink, letting out a loud “Ah!”, as if to say, “Now, that was a great glass of water! Thank you very much!”
Rev.Veldman was also known to be quite helpless when it came to practical matters at the parsonage. My father, who served on the Building Committee (he was an electrician), told us a few choice stories. Such as the time Rev.Veldman called him to change a light bulb in a dark closet. And asked him to come over and get his study fan working again. Dad looked it over, traced the cord back, and plugged it in. Bingo, fan working! That was Rev.H.Veldman too.
Perhaps you have your own stories. Feel free to share them here. I could tell you many more, such as how he handled unruly teenagers in the back of church, or crying babies, but I will stop for now.
Because now we have to get on to the next mystery item! Today we return to the photograph feature. And once again it is a Young People’s Convention picture. I found this yesterday in some Beacon Lights’ folders in the archives room. It is a collage of pictures (There is also a first page, which I will wait to reveal.), which makes it quite interesting and challenging. I recognized some of these people immediately, even though they preceded my own birth (1958!) – there’s your one and only hint. But I had no idea what year this one was and where the convention was that year until I looked.
So, go ahead, pour over this collage, and let me know who these folks are if you recognize someone. And what year you think this convention was. And who the host societies were that year, which will include where the convention was held that year. The pictures are numbered, so that will help you when we leave a guess (Click on it to enlarge even more). Enjoy mystery item #6!