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William Haverkamp (1908-1983) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: William Haverkamp (1908-1983)

Historical Note:

Our collection came from Bill Haverkamp, son of Rev. William Haverkamp. In a letter attached to the four boxes, Bill wrote, "You’re free to keep anything but it was my father’s preference that only samples of his sermons or sermon outlines be kept." We have kept samples of William Haverkamp’s Heidelberg Catechism sermons, general sermons based on Bible passages from Genesis to Revelation, and sermons for special occasions. There were no complete manuscripts. Most of the sermonic material is in outline form either in the Dutch or English language. There are notes of interest on some of the outlines.

William Haverkamp was born in Zuidbroek, the Netherlands, on February 12, 1908. When the family moved to the United States William attended Calvin College and Seminary, graduating in 1933. Also in 1933, he married Jeanne Larooy. Late in life, at age seventy, he completed requirements for a master of divinity.

Pastor Bill served De Motte, Indiana (1933-1937); Second Roseland, Illinois (1937-1943); Bethel, Paterson, New Jersey (1943-1949); Central Avenue, Holland, Michigan (1949-1955); Eastern Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1955-1960); Second Kalamazoo, Michigan (1960-1966); and East Leonard, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1966-1973). Although he was declared emeritus in 1973, he continued to serve as editor of De Wachter until his death from cancer on August 22, 1985.

Editor Haverkamp kept himself alert on current events in the church and in the ecclesiastical world. His editorials revealed keen analysis. Readers were made aware of his position on various issues.

Churchman Haverkamp was a frequent delegate to synod and served four times as president. He served on the Calvin College Board of Trustees. Haverkamp attended events and conventions of significance to the denomination and informed the church of the movements in the wider Reformed fellowship. His dedication to the church and to Calvin led him to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the Calvin Alumni Association in 1970.

The many activities of William Haverkamp prevented him from spending sufficient time to produce finished sermonic material. The sermons he preached, however, were based on Scripture, expository, and congregations grew in grace and knowledge under William Haverkamp’s ministry.

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