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George Goris (1895-1963) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: George Goris (1895-1963)

Historical Note:

When Dr. George Goris suddenly passed away the evening of Monday, April 8, 1963, an active ministry of forty-four years ended. It began August 17, 1919, when he preached his inaugural sermon on Galatians 6:14 on the theme, "Glorying in the Cross." The theme characterized his ministry.

George Goris was born in Lafayette, Indiana, February 22, 1895, becoming another member of the Goris family, which participated actively in the life of the church and the Christian school. Members of that family are listed as church members of the Holland Christian Reformed Church of Lafayette, organized in 1865. The Gorises served in the consistory of the church and on the school board of the Christian school. In the anniversary booklet of the Christian Reformed Church of Lafayette, entitled "100 years of God’s grace, 1865-1965," the name of Goris appears repeatedly as evidence of a family serving faithfully.

When George Goris was fourteen years old, he made profession of faith, and from boyhood, he had a desire to enter the ministry. In 1918, he graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary. He continued his education the following year in Princeton Theological Seminary from which he graduated with a Th. M. degree. While in the active ministry, he studied at Union Theological Seminary and at Columbia University to obtain his Doctor of Theology degree.

In 1919, Rev. George Goris was ordained and installed in the Eastmanville Christian Reformed Church. Churches in which he served as a gifted preacher included Grand Haven, 1921; Englewood, New Jersey, 1927; Fuller Avenue, Grand Rapids, 1930; Sherman Street, 1941; La Grave Avenue, 1945; and Hope in Grandville. He excelled in a conversational style in preaching.

Two sons, Donald and Howard, were born to George and Jennie (Brinks).

Rev. and Mrs. Goris often visited the sick shut-ins, and bereaved together, a team ministry.

During his ministry, Dr. George Goris served the denomination on its boards and the community in ministerial associations. He was instrumental in the establishment of a chapel (at the University of Michigan) and the organization of the Christian Reformed Church in Washington, DC. He was recognized in the press as a "life-long leader in the Christian Reformed Church."

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