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Richard Postma Collection, 1924-1975

Collection Overview

Title: Richard Postma Collection, 1924-1975

ID: COLL/391

Creator: Postma, Richard (1891-1976)

Extent: 1.95 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Teacher, principal, department editor ("For Boys and Girls" by Uncle Dick in the Banner), and director of the Young Calvinist Federation. The collection includes diaries, clippings, photographs, speeches, addresses, papers, articles, interviews, correspondence, and other materials regarding the Young Calvinist Federation, Christian schools, National Union of Christian Schools, National Association of Evangelicals, American Federation of Reformed Young Men's Society, United Calvinistic Youth, Christian Youth Center, League of Young Men's Societies, Christian Citizens' Committee, Christian War Veterans of America, Christian Social Action, Rehoboth Mission; and includes various copies of Vital Issues, a periodical published by AFRYMS. [See also Campus Titles Database.]

Biographical Note

Richard Postma was born on March 17, 1891 in the village of Rottevalle, the Netherlands. His father, Ynse Postma, worked as a carpenter, and often it was hard for him to find a job. So, young Postma and his family would move from town to town for his father to find work.  At the age of sixteen, Postma became the principal of the school in Rottevalle.  A pivotal moment in Postma's life was when he attended a youth meeting in Amsterdam. It was there that a speech made by Abraham Kuyper that truly resonated with Postma. From that point on, Postma decided to devote his time and energy in serving the Lord, with a special focus on inspiring young people to live a Christian life.

In 1912 Postma immigrated to the United States, and settled in Chicago. During this time, Postma met Reverend William Stuart. Rev. Stuart took Postma under his wing and taught him English. Rev. Stuart even arranged for Postma's long-term girlfriend, Gertrude Dykstra to travel to the United States. He married Postma and his bride, Gertrude, on December 29, 1913.

While in Roseland, Postma took classes through the YMCA, and eventually became a teacher at the Christian school. By 1917 Postma and his growing family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where he accepted the role of principal of the Pine Street Christian School. He eventually moved on to work at Grandville Avenue Christian School.

In 1919 the movement of Young Calvinist Federation began, in which Postma played a major role. Postma served as the director of the Young Calvinist Federation for many years which allowed him to travel around the world promoting their mission.

Another important role Postma played in the lives of youth was as "Uncle Dick" of the Banner Children's page.  He began writing for the Banner in 1931 and soon after his mailbox was full of letters from children. For the children's page, Postma always encouraged his young readers to assist in causes such as raising funds for a new school bus in Japan.

Richard Postma died on August 16, 1976 several weeks after a major surgery of removing a tumor from his brain.

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: [General Materials]
Box 1
Folder 1: Paper, Christian School movement in Michigan --- 1926
Series 2: Translations by Fred Greidanus, edited and reformatted by Gerrit Sheeres
Box 1
Folder 2: Correspondence (with translation) --- August 1940
Folder 3: Correspondence (with translation) --- September 1940
Folder 4: Censured (Gecensureerd) envelopes (with translation) --- 1941
Folder 5: Correspondence (with translation) --- January 1941
Folder 6: Correspondence (with translation) --- October 1941
Folder 7: Correspondence (with translation) --- May 1945
Folder 8: Correspondence (with translation) --- July 1945
Folder 9: Correspondence (with translation) --- September 1945
Folder 10: Correspondence (with translation) --- November 1945
Folder 11: Correspondence (with translation) --- January 1946
Folder 12: Correspondence (with translation) --- February 1946
Folder 13: Correspondence (with translation) --- June 1946
Folder 14: Correspondence (with translation) --- July 1946
Folder 15: Correspondence (with translation) --- 1947
Folder 16-17: Correspondence (with translation) --- undated
Series 3: Correspondence and Other Materials
Box 1
Folder 18: Interview re: Young Calvinist Federation --- 1972
Folder 19: Investments --- 1952-1962
Folder 20: Material relating to retirement --- 1963
Folder 21: Young Calvinist articles re: R. Postma's retirement --- 1962-1963
Box 2
Folder 1: Miscellaneous correspondence --- 1937-1962
Folder 2: Correspondence re: trip to state of Washington --- 1956
Folder 3: Correspondence re: Johnny Van Dyke --- 1945
Folder 4: Correspondence re: NUCS promotion director position --- 1946-1947
Folder 5: Letters and articles in response to Postma's articles on extremism --- 1964-1965
Folder 6: Correspondence re: Postma's article on pagent, "Call to Action" --- 1949
Folder 7: Correspondence re: National Association of Evangelicals --- 1950-1952
Folder 8: Correspondence re: Indian Cousins articles in The Banner --- 1964-1966
Folder 9: "Interesting" correspondence
Folder 10: Correspondence from Australia --- 1952
Folder 11: Correspondence from South Africa --- 1945-1962
Folder 12: Correspondence from the Netherlands --- 1945-1953
Folder 13: News clippings --- 1958
Folder 14: Photographs: Richard Postma, wife, Young Men's Society, Grandville Ave. CRC --- 1920s
Box 3
Folder 1: Young Men's Society Convention, Paterson, New Jersey --- 1939
Folder 2: Addresses given at Young Calvinist Conventions --- 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961
Folder 3: Addresses given at Young Calvinist Conventions --- 1950, 1954, 1955, 1956
Folder 4: Report to the Young Calvinist Federation Board --- 1962
Folder 5: Young Calvinist Book Club material --- 1964-1968
Folder 6: Young Calvinist Federation Executive Committee minutes --- 1951
Folder 7: Various Synodical Reports on Youth Work --- 1928, 1944
Folder 8: Material re: Relationship of United Youth Movement to the CRC --- 1938-1952
Folder 9: Material on organization of United Youth Movement --- 1938-1954
Folder 10
Item 1: The Calvinistic Youth Movement, paper, Richard Postma --- 1950
Item 2: A History of the Calvinistic Youth Movement, paper, Doug Kamstra --- 1975
Folder 11: Material on International Conference on Reformed Youth Work --- 1953
Folder 12: Material re: Evangelical Youth Organization --- 1947-1948
Folder 13: Youth Study Committee materials --- 1956
Folder 14: Material re: Establishment of a Christian Youth Center --- 1946-1952
Folder 15: Material re: "Youth Problems" --- 1950s
Folder 16: The Banner/De Wachter articles re: Young People
Box 4
Folder 1: YMS Literature Committee minutes and correspondence --- 1924-1927
Folder 2: Material re: founding of Reformed Young Men's Federation
Folder 3: Young Men's Society Federation material --- 1927, 1938
Folder 4: "Vital Issues," published by Federation of Reformed Young Men's Societies --- 1931, 1936, 1937
Folder 5: Yearbooks of Federation of Reformed Young Men's Societies --- 1932, 1933, and 1948
Folder 6: Christian schools historical data
Folder 7: Material re: Christian Citizens' Committee --- 1952
Folder 8: The Banner articles "Know Your Church" --- 1955
Folder 9
Item 1: Article: “Labor and the Christian” --- 1956
Item 2: Paper: “The Calvinist Youth Movement" --- 1950
Folder 10: Speeches
Folder 11: Material on the Boy Scouts --- 1946-1947
Folder 12: Articles by Richard Postma --- 1956, 1957
Folder 13: First Annual Social of Grand Rapids Christian High School Board of Trustees
Folder 14: Material re: Christian War Veterans of America
Folder 15: Christian Social Action Committee material
Folder 16: Material re: Rehoboth Mission --- 1946
Box 5: Diaries --- 1953-1969
Series 4: Photographs
Box 2
Folder 14: Photographs: Richard Postma, wife, Young Men's Society, Grandville Ave. CRC --- 1920s