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William L. Hiemstra Collection



Biographical Note

Detailed Description

Musings and Papers

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William L. Hiemstra Collection, 1963-1987 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

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Collection Overview

Title: William L. Hiemstra Collection, 1963-1987

ID: COLL/106

Primary Creator: William L. Hiemstra (1915-2004)

Extent: 1.0 Box. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description

Subjects: Pastoral counseling

Forms of Material: Poetry


Chaplain of Christian Sanatorium Association (Wyckoff, New Jersey), Pine Rest Christian Hospital (Grand Rapids, Michigan), and Executive Director of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies. The collection includes papers on the subject of clinical pastoral counseling; and poems that were collected in two monographs entitled Musings of W. L. H. and God's Grace in Free Verse.

Biographical Note

William L. Hiemstra was born in Clifton, New Jersey on March 6, 1915. Son of a salesman, Hiemstra starting working at the age 7. Hiemstra grew up working various jobs throughout his childhood and teenage years. After a brief period of working as a certified public accountant, Hiemstra decided to move to Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend Calvin College.

After graduating from Calvin in 1938, he then went off to Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Throughout his college and seminary career, Hiemstra continued to work odds jobs for money. In 1942, Hiemstra married Thelma Mae Ferrier. Together they had three children. Hiemstra also studied at New York University in Newark. In 1943, he was ordained at the First Presbyterian in Milton, Florida. From 1945-1948, he was the pastor of the First Presbyterian at Water Valley, Mississippi. In 1948, Hiemstra moved back to his home state of New Jersey to serve the congregation of First Holland Reformed Church of Paterson.

Also during this time in New Jersey, Hiemstra served as a spiritual advisor at the Christian Sanatorium in Wyckoff. This part-time spiritual advisor position ignited a spark of interest in mental health and psychology for Hiemstra. This interest led Hiemstra back to Grand Rapids where he would serve as chaplain of Pine Rest Christian Hospital for the next 23 years.

At Pine Rest, Hiemstra started out as a co-pastor, but quickly made his way as head of chaplains in 1969 and in 1977 as senior staff chaplain. He was also the editor of the hospital’s Hot Line and Chaplain’s News Letter. He also served as executive secretary and executive director for the Christian Association for Psychological Studies.

In 1980, Hiemstra moved to Lewes, Delaware and eventually retired there in 2002. He became a member of the Lewes Presbyterian Church and a member of the Lewes Historical Society. Only two years after retiring, Hiemstra passed away in Lewes, Delaware on October 30, 2004.

Subject/Index Terms

Pastoral counseling

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Musings and Papers, 1980-1985],

Series 1: Musings and Papers --- 1980-1985
Box 1
Folder 1: Musings of W. L. H., vol. 1 --- 1981
Folder 2: Musings of W. L. H., vol. 2 --- 1980
Folder 3: Musings of W. L. H., vol. 3 --- 1980
Folder 4: Musings of W. L. H., vol. 4 --- 1981
Folder 5: Musings of W. L. H., vol. 5 --- 1982
Folder 6: Musings of W. L. H., vol. 6 --- 1983
Folder 7: Musings of W. L. H., vol. 7 --- 1984
Folder 8: Musings of W. L. H., vol. 8 --- 1985
Folder 9: Paper, "Christian Mental Hospital" --- [undated]
Folder 10: Paper, "The Essential Element in Counseling" --- [undated]
Folder 11: Paper, "Maturity and Immaturity in Ministry" --- [undated]
Folder 12: Paper, "Psychotherapy and Pastoral Care" --- [undated]
Folder 13: Paper, "Spiritual Maturity: The Aim of Pastoral Counseling" by Ralph Heynen --- [undated]
Folder 14: Article, "A History of Clinical Pastoral Training in the United States," Reformed Review, 30-47 --- (May [1963])
Folder 15: God's Grace in Free Verse --- 1987

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