Rev. G. Vos 25th Anniversary Ministry Album: The Redlands PRC Years, 1932-43

In the last few months we have made several posts concerning the recent treasure-gift for the PRC archives – a beautiful leather volume commemorating the 25-year ministry anniversary of Rev. G. Vos (1894-1968).

GVos-25th-cover

The book (which must date from 1952 and probably at least a year before that) is filled with pictures and congratulatory notes from the four PRC congregations Rev. Vos had served up to that point – Sioux Center, IA, 1927-29; Hudsonville, 1929-1932; Hope, Redlands CA, 1932-1943; Edgerton, MN, 1943-1948; and then Hudsonville again, 1948-1966, which is where he was when his 25th anniversary in the ministry was celebrated.

In our previous post we featured those years of Vos’ second charge, when he was in Hudsonville PRC for the first time, from 1929 to 1932. Today let’s look at the time of his third charge, which was Hope, Redlands CA, from 1932 to 1943.

We are able to post all nine (9) of the scanned pages from the album. Those of you with Redlands’ roots will recognize these people and places – enjoy!

Scan_20170912 (11) Scan_20170912 (12) Scan_20170912 (13) Scan_20170912 (14) Scan_20170912 (15) Scan_20170912 (16) Scan_20170912 (17) Scan_20170912 (18) Scan_20170912 (19)

Published in: on November 30, 2017 at 2:22 PM  Leave a Comment  

PRC Seminary – New Building! 1973-74

Besides assisting me in the PRC Seminary library, Kevin Rau also helps with some archival projects, which, being a lover of history – especially church history! – he always enjoys.

The last few weeks he has been taking some time to sort through some old issues (donated loose ones) of the Standard Bearer, with his eyes alert especially to items related to PRC history – seminary news, church organizations/anniversaries, minister ordinations, mission news, memoriams, etc.

Sem-new-building-1973-74_0001

Yesterday, while going through some early 1970s issues, he found some news reports on and pictures of the construction of the new seminary building at it current location (4949 Ivanrest Ave., Wyoming, MI) when our theological school moved from the basement of First PRC in Grand Rapids, where it had been stationed for nearly 50 years.

Sem-new-building-1973-74_0002Since we did a feature on the 1993-94 addition to that building yesterday, today we will go back another 20 years to the construction of the original structure. And yes, you will note how free and clear the property was at that time of its current surroundings – not only tall trees, but also malls, stores, houses, and churches.

Sem-new-building-1973-74_0003In fact, I heard a cute story from our secretary yesterday (when I showed her the SB pics) that when they first moved into the area, she and her husband (the former registrar, whose name will go unmentioned to protect the guilty!) used to go on the roof of seminary on 4th of July evening – from which perch they could view fireworks in all directions! Can you see it? What a hoot, as a friend of mine would say. 🙂

Sem-new-building-1973-74_0004Happy Friday to you all! Have a safe and blessed weekend.

Published in: on November 10, 2017 at 3:49 PM  Leave a Comment  

PRC Seminary Expansion! 1994-95

Recently, while looking for some paperwork in my office file cabinet, I discovered some old pictures of my predecessor (Mr. Don Doezema) on the major expansion project at the PRC Seminary in 1994-95. This was the addition that housed the new professor offices, the new library, the PRC archives, and the RFPA (the latter two in the lower level). Today we make these our PRC archives feature for this week.

Sem-addition-pics-1994_0004
Removing trees and breaking ground on the new seminary addition

Plans and preparations for this addition originated with the PRC Synods in 1991 and 1992, when these broader assemblies instructed the Theological School Committee (TSC) to hire an architect to draw up plans for expansion, approved those plans, and “authorized the TSC to proceed with producing construction drawings when 50% of the estimated cost of the addition has been collected in gifts, and to award a construction contract when 75% of the estimated cost is collected” (from a special brochure published by the TSC in August of 1993).

Sem-addition-pics-1994_0001
Footings set and walls poured

Sem-expansion-brochure-1993

In that August 1993 brochure a final appeal was made to the churches to contribute to this project, with hopes of breaking ground in 1994. That appeal was effective and in the Fall of 1994 the project commenced, with completion coming in 1995.

Sem-addition-pics-1994_0002
Wood and steel framing goes up

Sem-addition-pics-1994_0003
Progress on the exterior during the winter months

Next time we will include some interior pictures and then the open house that was held when the addition was done.

Published in: on November 9, 2017 at 8:57 AM  Leave a Comment  

Rev. G. Vos 25th Anniversary Album: The First Hudsonville PRC Years, 1929-32

In the last few months we have made a couple of initial posts concerning the recent gift of a treasure for the PRC archives – a beautiful leather volume commemorating the 25-year ministry anniversary of Rev. G. Vos (1894-1968).

GVos-25th-cover

The book (which must date from 1952 and probably at least a year before that) is filled with pictures and congratulatory notes from the four PRC congregations Rev. Vos had served up to that point – Sioux Center, IA, 1927-29; Hudsonville, 1929-1932; Hope, Redlands CA, 1932-1943; Edgerton, MN, 1943-1948; and then Hudsonville again, 1948-1966, which is where he was when his 25th anniversary in the ministry was celebrated.

In our previous post we featured those years of Vos’ first charge, in Sioux Center, IA. Today let’s examine the pages that focus on his first charge in Hudsonville PRC, from 1929 to 1932. We are able to post all the pages, because there were only five (5) of them. Enjoy!

Scan_20170912 (8)

Scan_20170912 (9)

Scan_20170912 (10)

Published in: on November 2, 2017 at 10:57 AM  Leave a Comment  

Rev. Gerrit Vos’ 25th Anniversary Book – Sioux Center, IA (1927-29)

GVosLast Friday we made an initial post announcing the gift of a treasure for the PRC archives – a beautiful leather volume commemorating the 25-year ministry anniversary of Rev. G. Vos (1894-1968).

The book (which must date from 1952 and probably at least a year before that) is filled with pictures and congratulatory notes from the four PRC congregations he had served up to that point – Sioux Center, IA, 1927-29; Hudsonville, 1929-1932; Hope, Redlands CA, 1932-1943; Edgerton, MN, 1943-1948; and then Hudsonville again, 1948-1966, which is where he was when his 25th anniversary in the ministry was celebrated.

GVos-25th-cover

I gave you a sample of some pages last week; this week let’s focus on that first charge of his in Sioux Center, IA PRC.

By the way, this first charge of Rev. Vos brings up an interesting bit of PRC and PRC Seminary history. That is that Rev. Vos was called and ordained prior to his finishing his seminary training. While he had completed some of his ministerial training in those years prior to 1927, so needy were the PRC for ministers in the early years of her existence that she called and ordained Vos (William Verhil also, by Hull, IA PRC) before he finished seminary. Both of these men did return to school and graduated in 1932 (while he served as Hudsonville PRC’s minister!).

Scan_20170912 (4)

Now, on to Sioux Center PRC, where Vos served from 1927-29. These are some pages from the book. I post them without further comment at this time, except that I wonder if the church and parsonage are still there. Perhaps some Iowa contacts can let us know.

Scan_20170912 (5)

Scan_20170912 (6)

Scan_20170912 (7)

A New Treasure for the PRC Archives – Rev. G. Vos’ 25th Anniversary Volume

This past Tuesday (Sept.5, 2017), after a visit to the mailbox, Mrs. Judi Doezema set a package on my library desk at the PRC Seminary.

Nothing unusual about that. Book orders come in regularly, so I am accustomed to seeing boxes and bubble packages of varying sizes on my desk. But this box was unusual – in size and in contents. Besides, I didn’t think I had any outstanding book orders. Nevertheless, I excitedly opened the box.

What I found inside left me short of breath and long of thrills. A special leather-bound book with the words “To the Reverend Gerrit Vos in Commemoration of Twenty Five Years in the Ministry of the Word, 1927-1952” on the cover.

And between the leather covers was a treasure-trove of PRC history under the ministry of Rev. G. Vos (1894-1968). Pictures and congratulatory notes from the four PRC congregations he had served up to that point – Sioux Center, IA, 1927-29; Hudsonville, 1929-1932; Hope, Redlands CA, 1932-1943; Edgerton, MN, 1943-1948; and then Hudsonville again, 1948-1966, which is where he was when his 25th anniversary in the ministry was celebrated.

Every page I turned was a gem. Wonderful pictures of Rev. Vos and his wife and family (cf. above), of the church buildings and parsonages, of congregational picnics and societies, of Consistories and Councils, of Vos and colleagues, of Vos and Schilder – and on the list goes. Pages filled with signatures of church members; with tributes to the gracious pastor who had brought them the gospel and ministered to their needs; with letters from Herman Hoeksema and George Ophoff, his seminary professors and fellow-servants in the gospel in those early years of the fledgling denomination (cf. below); with the full program held in Hudsonville PRC marking his 25th written out in beautiful script – speeches and all! – again, and on the list goes.

What a wonderful gift to the seminary and to the PRC archives! Invaluable! Unspeakable!

And from whom did this precious gift come? From his grandson, Dr. Ben Zandstra (son of Vos’ daughter Marilyn and son-in-law, Dr. Ben Zandstra). In the box was a wonderful letter from Dr. Zandstra, in which he expressed his difficulty in parting with such a treasure (a gift he had received from his mother on the 25th anniversary of his own ordination in the CRC), but also stating, “But I know in my heart that this volume belongs at the school of the Protestant Reformed Churches, the denomination that my grandfather served for so many years. So, I pass it on in his memory & Soli Deo Gloria.”

I have sent Dr. Zandstra a personal letter of thanks for this PRC treasure. But I also take this space to say, “From the bottom of our denomination’s heart, Thank you for this precious gift!”

I plan to scan this book as it is to preserve it in its original form. I have an idea the PRC congregations he served that are still in existence (Hope, Redlands, Edgerton, and Hudsonville) will want a digital copy for their own histories. And I plan to feature some pages from it in the months ahead. I have an idea you will be as excited as I was to see what’s inside this amazing volume. 🙂

July 2017 “Standard Bearer” – Isaiah’s Vision of the Holy God

The July 2017 issue of the Standard Bearer is now available, and is its custom, this is the annual PRC Synod issue.

SB-cover-July-2017

Prof. R. Dykstra  summarizes synod’s work and decisions with an editorial that points to the spiritual aspect. Titled “The Effectual Fervent Prayer… Synod 2017,” his article emphasizes how the diligent prayers of the delegates and of the churches’ members carried synod along in its deliberations, especially in those times of overwhelming labors and discussions.

Rev. G. Eriks, the president of the PRC Synod of 2016, delivered the pre-synodical sermon on Monday night, June 12, in Hudsonville PRC. His message from Isaiah 6:1-4 (“The Vision of the Holy God”) set the tone for synod, as you will see from this quotation:

In this vision, God gives us motivation. What we need more than anything else right now is to see the glory of our holy God. Without this, what we fall into is the motivation of doing things to please man or to seek our own glory and honor. This a danger also for the men who are being examined by synod. May the motivation in the answers you give be the glory and honor of the God who is holy, holy, holy.

In this vision, God sets before us what we must be most concerned with in all of our work and in all of our conduct as a synod – the glory of the thrice holy God. God is glorified when we do things His way. We must not be concerned when it comes to protests and appeal with who wins and who loses. We must be concerned with God’s glory. When we are concerned with the glory of God, we will do things in His way instead of attempting to manipulate or to get our way. God is glorified when we work together to understand and apply what God’s Word and the confessions say about the issues before us.

We need the knowledge of God’s holiness because seeing God’s glory qualifies us for the work. This is what qualified Isaiah to be His servant in Judah at this time. In the verses following the text, Isaiah goes from shattered to saying confidently, “Here am I; send me.

As delegates to synod, we also are forged by the living, holy God to be faithful servants of His with this vision of God’s holiness. We are qualified as those who know the holy God. We are qualified, not because we are gifted and wise enough, but because we are forgiven in the blood of Jesus Christ. The God who calls us to the work will equip and strengthen us for it. We are qualified as those who know God and His mercy. We are qualified as those who have been and are in the presence of this thrice holy God.

Sem-grad-7-1

Besides a special picture section of the delegates and work of Synod 2017 and the seven candidates who were examined, this issue contains a couple of letters and responses, and two articles from regular rubrics: “True Worship” by Rev. R. Kleyn (“Believing and Confessing”) and “The Reformation and the Lord’s Supper in Worship” by Rev. C. Griess (“O Come, Let Us Worship”).

To receive this issue or to subscribe to the SB, contact the publisher at the link above.

Book Alert! Less Than the Least: Memoirs of Cornelius Hanko

Less_Than_the_least-CHanko-2017The Reformed Free Publishing Association has just released its latest title, the second edition of the memoirs of Cornelius Hanko, former PRC minister of the Word. Less Than the Least is a The book is

The publisher gives this description on its website:

Less Than the Least is the memoirs of Rev. Cornelius Hanko’s long, fruitful life of nearly a century (1907–2005). He lived through two world wars, the Great Depression, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the rise and fall of communism, and the advent of the space age, and spanned the terms of eighteen US presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt to George W. Bush.
Son of Dutch immigrants to America, Rev. Hanko served six pastorates in five states, most notably in First Protestant Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1948–1964), along with Rev. Herman Hoeksema and Rev. Hubert De Wolf. Rev. Hanko poignantly describes the grief caused in the PRC by De Wolf’s heresy and schism (1953).
More than this, Less Than the Least follows Rev. Hanko from his childhood, school days, and seminary training, all the way to his retirement (1977) and beyond.
This delightful book comes complete with photos and appendices.

I was asked to write the back cover blurb and was delighted to oblige, since I was privileged to get to know Rev. C. Hanko. I wrote the following:

Humble. Godly. Faithful.

These are the three outstanding spiritual character traits that stand out in my mind when I recall from my own experience the life and ministry of Rev. C. Hanko. And that is because those spiritual marks stood out in his life and labors in the Protestant Reformed Churches.

Humility before God and his people. Rev. Hanko lived and ministered in humility because he always saw himself as a sinner saved by grace. For him, being a child of God and a minister of the word was that simple.

Godliness of heart and walk. He lived what he believed. Believing the Reformed faith with all his heart, he devoted himself to the Lord in everything he did. Godly is what he was because he lived close to his God.

Faithfulness as a believer and as a minister of the word. In the face of poverty, personal pain, and persecution he kept the faith of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. His personal memoirs reveal these marks plainly and powerfully.

Less Than the Least is an apropos title, therefore, for Rev. Hanko’s life story. This is precisely how he saw himself. Although, we must also remember the blessed promise of our Lord: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Rev.2:10b)

By God’s grace alone, this humble, godly, and faithful servant has received his Savior’s reward. May we who follow him, learn from him and follow his example, so that we too may receive that glorious reward.

Read on and be so inspired.

I might add that my wife appears in the book too. In 1975 she was part of the “World Tour of 1975” (Chapter 27) with Rev. C. Hanko and Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema and his wife, along with her friend Beth Bos (DeBoer now). Two excited but scared sixteen-year old gals literally went around the world, staying for three weeks in Singapore by themselves (with other Christians) when the PRC first made contact with the young Christians there. Here’s part of the mention of her in the beginning of that chapter:

In 1975 I took a world tour with Prof. Homer Hoeksema and his wife, Gertrude, and in the meantime did some work for the churches. We had a layover in Los Angeles. Homer and Trude left me, my granddaughter Beth Bos, and her friend Verna Klamer temporarily on another flight to visit some islands in the southern Pacific [Hawaii!].

…The next morning we took in some of the scenery, but in the early afternoon Beth and Verna had to take a plane to Hong Kong and then to Singapore, where we would meet them in about four weeks [pp258-59].

Quite a trip for those young ladies. My wife enjoyed reading that chapter and reminiscing about the good times. We still have the airmail letters we shared back and forth the six weeks we were apart, since we were dating in high school at that time.

If you are looking for an interesting and inspiring book on the life and labors of one of our beloved PRC pastors, Less Than the Least will more than satisfy. Highly recommended.

Published in: on July 3, 2017 at 7:26 AM  Leave a Comment  

PRC Archives: 1948 Young People’s Convention – Holland, MI

This year, the 77th annual PRC Young People’s Convention will be held. The First PRC of Holland, MI will again be hosting it.

Theme banner

The first time this congregation hosted it was in 1948, with events held at the church, at Holland Christian High School, Kollen Park, and Tunnel Park – all familiar spots in the Holland area, though buildings and grounds may have changed.

1948-YPsConv-Holland

Today for our PRC archives feature, we post these pages from that 8th annual PR Young People’s Convention Booklet, held August 18-19, 1948. Enjoy!

1948-YPs-Conv-Holland_0001

1948-YPs-Conv-Holland-3

1948-YPs-Conv-Holland_0004

1948-YPs-Conv-Holland_0006

1948-YPs-Conv-Holland_0005And a parting note from the world’s largest furnace installer!

1948-YPs-Conv-Holland_0007

 

Published in: on May 18, 2017 at 3:57 PM  Comments (4)  

PRC Archives – Adams CS Class of 1961

Recently a PRC member wanted some old pictures of Adams Christian School here in Grand Rapids (now located in Wyoming, MI), so I found the box of archived items on this school and she had some items scanned for her use.

AdamsCS-Spotlight-1961_0001

But left in the folder was a 1961 yearbook – the “Spotlight”, as it was called then. I browsed through it and found some interesting pages that I thought could be shared today here.

AdamsCS-Spotlight-1961_0004

For one thing, the dedication was a nice tribute to the work of Mr. Fred Hanko, as you will see from the above page.

AdamsCS-Spotlight-1961_0002

The mention of his coaching in various sports made me locate the sports team pages and sure enough, Mr. Hanko coached both the boys basketball and football teams.

Yes, FOOTBALL team! And to quite a successful season too – undefeated – and not by slim margins either (note those scores!)! I can’t imagine this was tackle football, so perhaps flag. Someone from Adams can confirm. But it brought back memories of the tumbling class Mr. Hanko taught us during gym class when I was at Hope school. That was a lot of fun!

You may also note some familiar names and faces on that basketball team – including a certain PRC minister of some stature (back row in the center). It seems that this team had it struggles on the court, but still counted it a successful season. Mr. Hanko taught them sportsmanship well.

AdamsCS-Spotlight-1961_0003

Now this last posted page is interesting too. I believe you will notice some familiar people on those intramural teams as well as on the “safety squad.” Can you guess what the latter group’s role was? And that teacher in the upper left-hand corner, I believe that is my former 4th grade teacher at Hope – Miss W. Koole, now in glory (along with at least one other in this picture).

What a blessing our Christian schools and teachers are!